District offers parent forum nights to address student issues

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District offers parent forum nights to address student issues

Canyon ISD will host a series of four parent forums.

Canyon ISD will host a series of four parent forums.

Staff Illustration

Canyon ISD will host a series of four parent forums.

Staff Illustration

Staff Illustration

Canyon ISD will host a series of four parent forums.

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Canyon ISD will address the issue of student suicide Monday, March 4 in its second of four parent forum nights at the District Support Center. The forums feature a panel of professionals who will answer questions and concerns of parents.

The third forum, scheduled for April 1, will address student dating and the final April 30 forum will focus on building parent-child relationships, as well as provide information about preventative actions parents can take through the student support services. A video of the first forum, which addressed teen drug use, is available on the CISD Facebook page. Student and family advocate Dakota Milloway works in student support services for Canyon ISD.

“We are bringing community members from Amarillo who are specialized in working with certain topics in order to bring the most relevant material to parents,” Milloway said. “Making sure parents have this information during the summer and at home is important.”

District drug and alcohol interventionist Carissa Wingate said the forum topics were selected because a large number of students struggle in those areas. 

The forums came out of multiple conversations about how we can be more preventative and how we can get more information in parents’ hands”

— Carissa Wingate, Interventionist

“In our jobs, we do a lot of postvention work,” Wingate said. “We work with students and families when they are in crisis or in the midst of a crisis. The forums came out of multiple conversations about how we can be more preventative and how we can get more information in parents’ hands.”

Parents who cannot attend will be able to access the information through CISD’s Facebook account.

“We hope these forums will be a great night where parents can get the information they are seeking,” Wingate said. “They can even get linked up for resources that are beneficial for their child or their family. The can gain an understanding of what their child is struggling with or facing on a day-to-day basis at their campuses.”

Milloway said when the team was brainstorming for ideas, these topics were the ones that kept coming up.

“We get calls from administrators asking about these topics,” Milloway said. “That’s one of the reasons why we started with the first four. We want to do something good and beneficial to students and parents.”

Wingate said the team wants parents to feel supported.

“Even if they feel like they are knowledgeable in these areas, hopefully parents may learn something new and fresh to help their students.” Wingate said. “This is the first time this is being done in Canyon ISD. Our hope is that if these spring ones go well, we will be doing these monthly.”

We hope these forums will be a great night where parents can get the information they are seeking.”

— Carissa Wingate, Interventionist

The team also plans to address the student body over these topics.

“We talked about doing a school district campaign for mental health,” Milloway said. “We would talk about good coping skills and good techniques students can use when they are struggling with anxious thoughts or stress.”

If students need help now, they can contact a counselor to get information about student services.

“Our branch travels to all the campuses in the district and takes referrals from administrators and counselors to help kids and families,” Wingate said. “Whether it’s through our team or the crisis line, we want students to know that they matter and that there are people here to help you through a difficult time. We feel like if we can bring parents to the table, then we can get the best success from the situation.”

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