District 155 offers Parent University to address challenges of high school

CRYSTAL LAKE – Preparing for the high school experience can be just as daunting to parents as it is to their children who will walk the hallways and take classes.

Community High School District 155 hopes to ease those fears and answer questions during its sixth annual Parent University. The program, scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Cary-Grove High School, gives incoming and current parents tools and suggestions to handle common but difficult issues that can arise during high school.

Parents will be split into groups for three different breakout sessions during the program. Each session will focus on a different topic such as bullying, depression, signs of alcohol and drug use, relationships and a number of academic and financial tips.

Participants can select six sessions and organizers will try to place each person in their top three selections.

Rebecca Saffert, vice principal at Cary-Grove and event organizer, said the program has become more popular each year and additional sessions have been implemented based on participant feedback.

“Parents have questions on all kinds of things and what makes this nice is it’s all in one place,” Saffert said. “They get the choice on what they hear, whether it’s the social-emotional stuff or college prep or financial assistance. We want to be well-rounded.”

The event will start with a keynote presentation from speaker Dr. Michael Feld, a child and adolescent psychiatrist on staff at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital. Feld’s presentation, Parenting in the Millennium, will focus on parenting differences between each gender, the affect of technology on students and different parenting styles.

He also will discuss keys to maintaining a positive parent-child relationship.

Those interested in registering for the free event can download a form at, and organizers ask that the form be mailed by Friday or dropped off at Cary-Grove High School.

Forms also can be emailed to

Those who do not mail or drop off forms by Friday can still go to the event Feb. 22, but will only be placed in sessions by what is available.

“I think it has become more crucial,” Saffert said of parents preparing for the challenges of high school. “The nice thing is we have a wide variety of speakers and experts from the community and from within the district to address as much as we can.”

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