DCPIC Parent Resource Conference

The Durham Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (DCPIC) is pleased to present its Parent Resource Conference.

Open to parents, guardians and caregivers of students within the Durham Catholic District School Board, this free event features Keynote Speaker Michael Way Skinner, as well as breakout rooms led by subject-matter experts, discussing a variety of topics related to child and youth education, development, wellness and more.

Complimentary child-minding is also available during the conference.

  • Date: Saturday, January 13, 2024
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Location: Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School (80 Mandrake St, Ajax)

Click Here to Register


  • 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.: Parent arrival and sign in
  • 9:00 - 9:15 a.m.: Opening remarks 
  • 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.: First Breakout Sessions
  • 10:15 - 10:30 a.m.: Break
  • 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.: Second Breakout Sessions
  • 11:30 - 11:45 a.m.: Break
  • 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.: Keynote Speaker - Michael Way Skinner 
  • 12:45 - 1:00 p.m.: Closing remarks


Keynote Speaker

Being Catholic Parents In Trying Times - Michael Way Skinner 

As parents, we experience many challenges in usual times. Yet, we are often faced with challenges as parents in trying times.

Our current reality is rife with pandemic and variant troubles. We seek to support, but most of all to understand, in order to do what we can for our children.

This presentation uses story and humour to explore perspectives that can aid us as we raise our children in the day-to-day. Topics include brain development, social development, and sources of hope for young people and their families.


About Michael Way Skinner

Author, curriculum writer and international speaker Michael Way Skinner was born in Newfoundland as the 9th of 10 Children of Mi’kmaq and Irish heritage. He is an award winning Catholic Educator who has worked in Catholic Education for the past 30 years. With his wife, Christine, he has parented six children. He is also the proud Grandfather of Aliyah who is 19 months old.

 About the Breakout Sessions

Youth Engagement on Substance Use - Kelvin Kwong, Pinewoods Addiction Centre

This session will introduce parents, guardians and caregivers to ways of engaging in conversations with youth about substance use. Topics will include core concepts such as use continuum, the stages of change, harm reduction and stigma, as well as support options.

Social Media Safety - Paul Davis, IT Expert

This session will focus on social media safety specific to Snapchat and TikTok, cyberbullying, the electronic sharing of revealing images and privacy.

Engaging Students in STEAM and AI - Tess Butler-Ulrich and Devin Flynn, Research Assistants, Faculty of Education, Ontario Tech University

This session will focus on how and why to engage students in STEAM learning through a maker approach. The maker approach to learning is characterized by inquiry-based, hands-on and student-centered learning. Special attention will also be given to considerations for teaching with and through Artificial Intelligence (A.I.).
Engaging Students in Literacy Education - Lisa Jeffers, JK-12 Curriculum Consultant - Numeracy, Science and Family of Schools, DCDSB
The DCDSB Literacy Team will introduce and explore practical strategies and resources to support the development of early and struggling readers within the home environment. Recognizing the crucial role parents play in a child's literacy journey, we will delve into evidence-based approaches that foster a love for reading and enhance literacy skills.

Engaging Students in Math Education - Michael Jacobs, Consultant, Academic Services, DCDSB

Come and learn to love Math at the DCPIC Parent Engagement Event. This hands-on workshop will allow parents to learn some tried and tested strategies that they can use to support their children’s mathematical progress at home. Parents will themselves engage in some fun math activities: no previous experience necessary!

Vaping Education in Our Schools - Joanne Huizinga, Public Health Nurse, Durham Region Health Department Health

This breakout session will focus on health issues, and the trends and prevention for vaping and tobacco use in youth. This session will also focus on Durham Health’s partnership with the DCDSB to incorporate vaping education into the curriculum. Durham Region Health Department is committed to supporting schools and to providing all members of the school community with the most current, evidence-based information regarding the risks of vaping.