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Parents Go Back to School in Massapequa

A few hours after the school day ended, it was time for parents to head to class in the Massapequa School District on March 20. The inaugural Parent University, which took place at Berner Middle School, featured a dozen workshops for parents and guardians of students from elementary through high school.

Nearly 150 parents registered for classes, and everyone had the opportunity to attend two workshops. The sessions were facilitated by 33 teachers and support staff professionals from across the district.

One of the most popular sessions was “Social Media: the Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly” which informed parents about social media platforms popular with today’s teenagers. Presenters discussed the impact of social media on youth and society overall, and provided parents with safety tips. 

“Full STEAM Ahead” showcased the district’s elementary STEAM curriculum and allowed parents to complete the same hands-on challenges that their children do in school. “Tech Talk” gave insight into the district’s various digital resources and communication platforms, while “It’s time to SELebrate” spotlighted secondary social and emotional learning programs and strategies.

Other workshop topics included early literacy, fostering resilience, student support systems and navigating the educational pathways of the district.

“The goal was to create an engaging and interactive event, where parents could come and learn about topics that are important to them,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Brian Trapani. “The workshops were specifically tailored to parents to support them in developing strategies to help their children succeed.”

Parent University was spearheaded by planning committee of nearly two dozen administrators and teachers. Several student leaders from Berner served as tour guides for parents. Visitors could also learn about several organizations including the PTSA, SEPTA, Massapequa Takes Action Coalition and YES Community Counseling Center.

“It was a truly a team effort in the development of Parent University,” said Dr. Michelle Walsh, assistant to the superintendent for instructional services and general administration. “Our educational leaders and staff members worked together to create a variety of workshops that highlight relevant topics.”

Dr. Walsh added that the goal is for Parent University to become an annual event and build off the success from this year. It supports the district’s mission of strengthening the school-home partnership.

“Our Parent University was a wonderful opportunity for parents to participate in meaningful learning activities with educators to make a positive impact on our children’s academic and social-emotional success,” said Assistant to the Superintendent for Technology and General Administration Bryan Piotrowski. “I would like to thank all the groups that made this night possible.”