31st Annual HWCDSB Parent Conference

31st Annual HWCDSB Parent Conference — "Weaving the Catholic Partnership: We are Called to Love"
Posted on 10/27/2023
Keynote speaker Miguel Martinez,

The 31st Annual Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board Parent Conference was a resounding success. This year's event, held at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School, revolved around the theme "Weaving the Catholic Partnership: We are Called to Love." It brought together parents and guardians in an evening filled with inspiration, community, and a shared commitment to love and faith.

The evening began with a vibrant showcase of exhibitors from community businesses, organizations, and supporters, setting the stage for a dynamic and engaging event. Parents and guardians had the opportunity to connect with these exhibitors, fostering a sense of community and partnership from the very start.

The event then transitioned to a powerful mass celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Crosby, who delivered a heartfelt message. "And tonight, we give thanks for the gift that is Catholic education and for your children, who are God given and treasured, and whose lives are enriched by what they are learning and what they are living in the schools." His words resonated with attendees, emphasizing the profound value of Catholic education and the significance of the students in our lives.

Keynote speaker Miguel Martinez, founder of MTC Life, delved into the concept of love. Participants explored how to cultivate love and gratitude in their lives and discovered strategies for maintaining positive mental health and overall well-being. Love and compassion, they learned, are essential to supporting one another's well-being, reminding us of our calling to live out God's love.

Director of Education David Hansen highlighted the role of parents as the first and most important teachers of their children, emphasizing that the parent’s role in the education of their child is unquestionable. However, he also stressed that parents do not have to go it alone, and this collaborative spirit is at the heart of the Catholic Partnership. He concluded with the words, 'Thank you for your work with your children and for your support of their teachers'.

Stephanie MacDonald and Beth Dittel, Co-Chairs of the Parent Conference 2023, along with the HWCDSB Parent Conference Committee, played a pivotal role in orchestrating this memorable event, ensuring that every detail was meticulously planned to provide an enriching and inclusive experience for all.

The workshops were an integral part of the conference, allowing attendees to delve into relevant and critical topics. Here are some of the workshop highlights:

  • Bullying Workshop: Addressing the impact of bullying on both victims and bullies, this workshop provided insights into recognizing signs of bullying and strategies for dealing with these difficult situations. It highlighted the importance of ending the cycle of bullying to ensure the well-being of every child.
  • Vaping Workshop: This educational session offered valuable information about local vaping data, health risks, and tips for initiating conversations with children about vaping.
  • Emotion Coaching for Parents and Caregivers: Attendees discovered the power of Emotion Coaching, a communication strategy that can enhance relationships and soothe the brain in as little as 60 seconds. The principles of validation and support were explored to foster emotional well-being.
  • STEM Engagement through FIRST Lego League: Parents had a hands-on experience to understand how play can build STEM skills and encourage creativity and collaboration. The opportunities offered by the FIRST Lego League in HWCDSB schools were also highlighted.
  • OYAP Presentation: The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) was introduced, showcasing how it opens doors for students to explore apprenticeship occupations and high-paying careers, all while completing their secondary school diplomas.
  • Building upon the Religion Curriculum to Strengthen Faith in the Home: Attendees gained an overview of the Religion and Family Life Curriculum in elementary and secondary education. They explored how curriculum and home environments can work together to nurture the faith journey of students and parents.
  • Literacy/Numeracy Workshop: Practical strategies were shared to inspire a love for reading and mathematics at home, reinforcing the idea that reading opens doors to endless possibilities.The workshops were facilitated by knowledgeable experts and educators in their respective fields, ensuring that parents and guardians left with valuable insights and practical knowledge.

The 31st Annual HWCDSB Parent Conference was a celebration of community, love, and faith. It reinforced the importance of love within the Catholic partnership and provided a platform for parents and guardians to come together, learn, and support each other in their journey of faith, love, and personal growth. The event embodied the spirit of unity and collaboration within the community.

Thank you to all the participants, exhibitors, educators, speakers, and organizers for making this event a memorable and enriching experience. We look forward to the continued growth and strengthening of the Catholic partnership within the HWCDSB community.

coats for kids exhibit at parent conferencebienenstock exhibit at parent conferenceBishop Crosby celebrates massBR jr. vocal ensemble performingKeynote speaker Miguel MartinezOYAP presentationHWCDSB staffcochairs and key note speaker in middle