Parent University

Keeping Your Child in a Healthy Mental State

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The West Springfield school counseling pyramid is hosting a workshop for parents & guardians of students in grades K-12 to learn about supporting your student’s emotional well-being.


Participants can select topics most relevant to them during three 35 minute rotations throughout the evening. The event will be at West Springfield High School.


This program is for parents of students who attend:

Orange Hunt Elementary

Hunt Valley Elementary

Rolling Valley Elementary

Cardinal Forest Elementary

Keene Mill Elementary School

West Springfield Elementary School

Sangster Elementary School

Irving Middle School

West Springfield High School

West Springfield High School

Monday, Oct. 27th, 7pm

6100 Rolling Rd

Springfield, VA

A Pre-University session will be start at 6:30 p.m. in the WSHS auditorium for middle and high school parents to learn about the Depression Screening that will take place at Irving Middle (8th grade) & West Springfield High School (9th & 11th grades) .


Parent University will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the WSHS auditorium.

Session Topics

Dealing with Stress

At all levels in our pyramid we are seeing an increase in the stress and anxiety levels of our students. Bette Morris, at the Dunn Loring Center for Parent Resources, will discuss the symptoms of a stressed family, effects of stress on families and children, ways to increase children's resilience to stress and how to cope with stress as a family. Helping children cope with and avoid stress before it majorly impacts the child is a necessary life-skill and lessens the chances of more severe mental health concerns in the future.



Social Media 101

The Social Media 101 session will focus on popular Apps and how to keep students safe in our digital world. Data will be shared about social media sites and the potential dangers that students face when sharing personal information. A handout will be provided to help parents monitor social media sites and encourage open communication with their children.



School Refusal

Has your student started to express a desire to stay home more frequently? Does he or she frequently complain about headaches or stomachaches that disappear once they are able to stay home? Does your student actually refuse to go to school? The reasons behind school refusal are varied, and it is incredibly stressful for parents to manage. Please join us to learn about some causes and strategies to deal with a student who is refusing to come to school. Share strategies that have worked in your own home. Learn about how to partner with the school to improve your student’s overall functioning. Hear about different programs within the county that may better meet your child’s educational needs.




Emotional Survival Skills Every Child Needs

Participants will learn effective strategies to meet the emotional needs of all students. Dr. Tammy Davis from Marymount University will discuss how parents/guardians are a key source in helping children and teens positively overcome personal challenges and adversity. Dr. Davis will emphasize the idea of resiliency which enables individuals to grow from challenging experiences.



Inspiring Positive Relationships

This session will provide parents with tools and tips for raising caring children. We will address empathy, kindness, and community service and how they impact peer relationships and ongoing community connection.




Recognizing Signs of Substance Abuse

A representative from Phoenix House will be teaming up with a Fairfax County Police Officer to discuss the early warning signs and resources available for substance abuse among teenagers. Come learn what to look for and how to receive support from trained professionals in the substance abuse field. This will be an informative session that you will not want to miss.

For Middle & High School Parents.



Communicating with your Child about Suicide

Are you wondering how to speak with your child about the sensitive subject of suicide? Our goal is to help you begin this conversation with your teenager. This session will help parents understand the signs of depression and suicidal thinking, how to speak to your child openly and honestly about this sensitive topic, and how to help your child advocate for themselves and ask for help. Learn about recent statistics, strategies for helping guide your teen through difficult times, and warning signs that you should look for. For Middle & High School Parents.

In order to best plan for Parent University, please provide feedback of which sessions you may be interested in attending.