Parent University

We believe that when parents and schools learn together -- everyone learns more!  Back by popular demand, District 64 Parent University returns for a third year offering a series of free evening events tailor-made for parents and adult community members to extend their own learning.

The 2016-17 series includes:

NOW AVAILABLE VIEW HERE on demand video podcast

Take Care of You: Social-Emotional Learning and How it Impacts Digital Citizenship

How do students protect themselves when they're interacting with others online? In this modern age, students may have many types of interactions while online: positive, negative, friendly, hostile. How can we teach our children to deal/ cope with the actions of others, and their reactions to a digital world? Social worker Linda Mirza (Roosevelt School), Psychologist Jocelyn Ortiz (Field/Roosevelt schools), and Instructional Technology Coach Beth Rihtar (Field School) discuss online interactions, and respond to questions from students submitted anonymously. You will be able to view the video discussion on your own time!  This is geared towards parents of students in grades 3-8 and is a great opportunity for a family viewing and discussion, too. Read more here.

FAMILY EVENING  Making, Coding & STEAMing was held on November 9, 2016 from 6-7 p.m. at Lincoln Middle School (Learning Resource Center), 200 S. Lincoln, Park Ridge. Members of the District 64 Technology Team facilitated a hands-on night of exploration in Making, Coding and Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math (STEAM)-ing together!  Grades K-8 families explored our first elementary and middle school MakerSpaces, tried coding together, and learned the fundamental ideas behind our innovation and design mindset. Families had the opportunity to learn and problem-solve through exploration and play. The evening wa facilitated by District 64 Instructional Technology Coaches Megan Preis and Kevin Michael.  VIEW A PHOTO GALLERY OF THE EVENT HERE

The Climb to Mastery: Understanding Formative Assessment was held on October 12, 2016. It was presented by Instructional Technology Coaches Rachel Labuz and Allison Sobotka. The Climb to Mastery focused on formative assessment, the method teachers use to assess student learning in real-time, and offered a hands-on experience that demonstrates some of the formative assessment strategies and technology tools that teachers and students use to gauge learning and understanding.

Google Apps for Education  was held on September 13, 2016. It was presented by District 64's Instructional Technology Coaches Allison Sobotka (Franklin School) and Kevin Michael (Carpenter School). Google Apps for Education have become an integral part of District 64's learning in our 1:1 learning program. Students have been given the opportunity to use this powerful productivity tool in their learning environments. In this session, parents learned about Google Drive, how it works and the awesome suite of apps students use to be creative, to think critically, to communicate to a variety of audiences, and to practice collaboration skills. The basics of Google Drive were reviewed and some of the great ways Google Apps are used for student learning were highlighted.


2015-16 Series

Our series has concluded for 2015-16. But you can learn on your own through these materials:

  • Student 21st Century Learning Showcase  was held on Monday, May 23, 2016. See a gallery of photos here! The inaugural showcase celebrated 21st century learning in District 64 as students from all grade levels shared examples of their learning in the 4 C's (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity) at this "science fair" type event. The District's 1:1 learning initiative provides a tool for students to amplify their learning opportunities and practice skills that will help them be "future ready."  This first-ever showcase was organized by the District's Instructional Technology Coaches, teachers and students.
  • Summertime Learning Adventures: A Parent's Guide to Preventing Summer Slide was held on Thursday, May 12, 2016. If you missed this program, the presentation is available here. "Summer slide" is real! After all of their hard work all year long, students regress over the summer if they don’t practice their reading and math skills. The good news is that there are many exciting and challenging activities to combat summer slide. Summer-friendly strategies utilizing District 64 and outside resources were discussed at this Parent University event, led by Roosevelt’s Taryn Handlon, Library Information Specialist, and Linda Diekman, Instructional Technology Coach.
  • Let's Move! was held on Monday, April 25, 2016. If you missed this program, the presentation is available here. A decrease in general movement and other societal changes are impacting children’s development and readiness to learn, while evidence is mounting that movement enhances learning. In recent years, we have seen a decrease in free play and increases in structured play and academic requirements. Students’ attention spans, ability to maintain upright postures while seated, handwriting skills and ability to create new ideas have decreased, impacting their readiness to learn. District 64's Occupational and Physical Therapy Team -- Julie Zielinski, an Occupational Therapist working with District 64 for 18 years and Lynn Condon, who has been practicing Physical Therapy for over 25 years -- led the Both are actively involved in introducing 21st century movement-based activities into the classroom setting.
  • Raising Kids in a Digital Age with Guest Speaker Dr. Devorah Heitner - was held on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Devorah Heitner, offered a refreshing perspective on kids and media that went beyond the typical admonishment to limit "screentime." She offered parents and educators concrete criteria to evaluate the quality of our children's media experiences and was a resource for anyone seeking advice on how to help children thrive in a world of digital connectedness. The evening included a panel discussion prompted by audience questions, which opened an enriching dialogue. District 64 Instructional Technology Coach Linda Diekman (Roosevelt) and District 64 Director of Innovation & Instructional Technology Mary Jane Warden facilitated the evening. More about Dr. Heitner: Dr. Heitner is the founder and director of Raising Digital Natives, an online resource for parents and schools. She is an experienced speaker, workshop leader, and consultant, and is currently writing a handbook for parents, "Raising Your Digital Native." Dr. Heitner appears in a TEDx-Naperville presentation: The Challenges of Raising a Digital Native (Empathy is the App) and has been interviewed by CBS and NBC News in Chicago, as well as the NBC Today Show/Parent, among other outlets.She received her doctoral degree in Media/Technology & Society from Northwestern University, and has taught at Northwestern, DePaul University, and Street Level Youth Media. She is raising her own digital native, too!
  • Coding and Computational Thinking - was held on Thursday, December 3, 2015.  If you missed this program, the presentation is available here. This of-the-moment topic featured information and hands-on exploration of the international Hour of Code event in December. We delved into the importance of coding for students of all ages, dove into the resources available to practice coding at home, and discussed plans for students to spend an hour at each of our buildings to experience different forms of coding. District 64 Instructional Technology Coach Megan Preis (Lincoln) and District 64 Director of Innovation & Instructional Technology Mary Jane Warden led the program.
  • The Climb to Mastery:  Understanding Formative Assessment - was held on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. If you missed this program, the presentation is available here. Teachers and students use assessments and technology tools in real-time to guide their learning. This Parent U helped parents learn more about formative assessment, the method by which teachers can assess student learning in real-time to guide instruction. The program offered parents a "hands on" experience to demonstrate several formative assessment strategies and technology tools that teachers and students utilize to gauge learning and understanding. Formative assessment -- including feedback and individual student goal-setting -- is one of the "high impact" instructional strategies that have a significant impact on student learning. It is a hallmark of a rigorous education and directly related to one of the objectives within District 64's new 2020 Vision Strategic Plan. District 64 Instructional Technology Coaches Linda Diekman (Roosevelt) and Allison Sobotka (Franklin) facilitated the evening.
  • Internet Safety in the 21st Century - was held on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. If you missed this program, the presentation is available here. We explored how we can better guide our children to become safe and smart digital citizens. This program was geared towards parents of students in grades 3-8. We shared District 64’s Internet Safety curriculum and how you can discuss with your child aspects of being safe on the Internet. We toured some basic social networking sites, and pointed out the safety/privacy settings available to users and parents. This session provided guidance in monitoring your child's personal media activities and setting up guidelines on Web presence.Participants brought their questions and shared strategies and ideas. District 64 Instructional Technology Coaches Kara Pottinger (Emerson) and Beth Rihtar (Field) facilitated the evening, which was free and open to parents and all adult members of the community.
  • Google Apps for Education - was held on Thursday, September 10, 2015. If you missed this program, the presentation is available here. Google Apps for Education have become an integral part of District 64's Learning Ecosystem over the last few years. Students have been given the opportunity to use this powerful productivity tool in their learning environments. Learn about Google Drive, how it works and the awesome suite of apps students can use to promote creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. Review the basics of Google Drive and some of the great ways Google Apps can be used for student learning. The evening was facilitated by District 64 Instructional Technology Coaches Allison Sobotka (Franklin) and Kevin Michael (Carpenter).
  • 3rd Grade/New Family Chromebook Orientation - sessions were held at the elementary schools in August and September 2015. See the schedule here.

An archive of the 2014-15 Parent University series is available here.