Parent University Fall Semester 2023

The fall semester of Wakefield's Parent University will feature three keynote sessions for parents and caregivers. Topics will include dyslexia, childhood health and wellness, and underage drinking. Registration is now open for these three fall sessions.

Since 2014, Wakefield Public Schools has offered the Parent University program
to address academic, social-emotional, and technology topics.
Additional workshops will be offered in the spring during in-person morning sessions on March 9th.

Screenagers Under the Influence

November 28, 2023   6:30 p.m.
In-Person at The Savings Bank Theater, Wakefield Memorial High School

The final fall event will be an in-person presentation on Tuesday, November 28. Attendees will watch Screenagers Under the Influence: Addressing Vaping, Drugs, and Alcohol in the Digital Age, which delves into how the tech revolution has reshaped adolescence and its effects on substance use. The forty-minute film debunks myths and depicts strategies parents can use to encourage healthy decision-making, support teen mental health, set limits, and create healthy home environments. 

The screening will be followed by a Q&A panel discussion comprised of faculty from the student-support services teams at the Galvin Middle School and Wakefield Memorial High School, Wakefield’s Recovery Coordinator, and Wakefield Public Schools alumnae. Resources on mental health, substance-use prevention, and social media will be available. 

This session is aimed at caregivers of students aged 10 and over, though all are welcome. It will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. in The Savings Bank Theater at Wakefield Memorial High School.

*In conjunction with this parent presentation, during the week of December 6th, all WMHS students will view the Chris Herren film "The First Day," which will be followed by an advisory period.

Dr. Peter Gray

October 25, 2023   6:30 p.m.    Virtual

The Power of Play  (co-sponsored by the Wakefield Parent Partnership)

Families of pre-K, elementary, and middle school students are the target audience for the October 25 session, "The Power of Play." Dr. Peter Gray, renowned researcher, Boston College professor, and author of Free to Learn, will discuss children's natural ways of learning and the life-long value of play. He will call upon his research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education to inspire attendees.

The discussion will continue with a Q&A session comprised of Wakefield Public Schools staff and community members, including Brian Schmitt, Walton School Principal; Brendan Kent, Director of Athletics, Health, and Wellness; Craig Beiker, Walton School Physical Education and Health Teacher; Estelle Burdick, Wakefield Academy Director; and Ann Herzog, clinical instructor in the Child Life and Family-Centered Care program at Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development.

This session will be virtual via Zoom from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  You do not need to be a Wakefield resident to attend this virtual session.

Dr. Nadine Gaab

October 19, 2023   7p.m.    Virtual

The Dyslexia Paradox   (co-sponsored by the Wakefield SEPAC)

Dr. Nadine Gaab, an associate professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will review typical and atypical reading development and the brain’s role in creating these outcomes. She will explore the screening process, the response to screening, and the need for evidence-based reading curricula. Offered in partnership with the Wakefield Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), this virtual event is suitable for caregivers of students at all grade levels and will take place via Zoom at 7 p.m. You do not need to be a Wakefield resident to attend this virtual session.