Vashon Island School District

To equip every student to engage, thrive, and contribute within an ever-changing world.

Parent Education Events



Parenting the Teenage Brain
February 15, 2017
McMurray Middle School


with Jennifer S. Kennett, MA, MBA, LMHC


Have you ever wondered just why teenagers seem so alien and so likely to take risks? There is new research showing that the answer lies in the brain. Discover how a teenager's brain differs from an adult’s, and what you can do to communicate with a brain still under construction!

Great information whether you have a 5th grade student or a high schooler.



Anxiety, Stress, and Our Kids


VHS Theater

with Yvonne-Monique Aviva, MA

More and more evidence is pointing to a high level of anxiety in our children. Where does it come from? How can we manage it? And when is it too much? Find out how to help you and your child successfully navigate life’s stressful situations in healthy ways.

With over 20 years of experience, Yvonne-Monique offers clients a combination of brain science, evidence-based prevention strategies and practical tips on navigating the teen years. She works with school districts, social service agencies and individuals. She has two sons, 23 and 14 years old.





with Amy Lang, MA

What is the #1 unavoidable fact about teen sexuality? What are typical middle schoolers up to in the sexuality department? What’s the key to getting them to listen to you about appropriate expectations and boundaries? Spend a humorous and informative evening with child sexuality expert, Amy Lang.

If you are looking for a proven professional who can show you how to have fearless and effective talks about sexuality; what kids need to know at each age and stage; and how to become a trusted resource so your children see you as their first and best source of information, I’m your gal! I use humor and a healthy dose of well researched advice to help you wholeheartedly jump into the sex talks.

I am fiercely committed to guiding parents and other adults to become empowered to have regular, open and effective conversations about the birds and the bees with the kids they love. My goal is to help you raise up your children into healthy, happy and whole adults who understand and embrace their unique sexuality.

With over 10 years of experience working with amazing clients with similar worries and concerns and guiding them to achieve remarkable success, my mission and commitment is to change and challenge cultural beliefs about children and sexuality. I aim to do this by teaching adults the best and most effective ways to talk, learn and think about the birds and bees talks. I provide research based, high quality, keynotes, workshops, webinars, books and other tools for adults so they can be true champions for the kids they care for and love. I want every child to grow up knowing sexuality is a healthy, normal, positive and fun part of life that comes with great responsibility.

The Strengthening Families Program for families with children 10-14, is an 8 session series with a unique opportunity that provides a place and lesson structure designed to bring families together in learning and active engagement. The first hour of each week is broken into sections of specific curriculum and activities: one for the kids, and one for the adults. The second hour we all work together in family and group conversations and activities to put into action our lessons and build our skills, then make a plan for taking it all back into our homes.

For extra courage and support for your student and family, consider coming with one or more of their friends and their families!

The classes run on Tuesdays from Jan 31st - Apr 4th, at McMurray Middle School (with no classes held Feb 7th or 21st) from 6:30-8:45 pm, and are offered free to the community. Weekly sessions are facilitated by Woody Pollock, Tanya Flanagin, and me, Tracie Mach. Topics include: Dealing with Stress, Peer Pressures and Good Friends, Understanding Individual Family Values, Building Family Communication, and much more! Childcare for younger siblings is provided.

For more information and to sign up, visit or feel free to email me at

   Image result for elementary kids cartoon image

The Positive Discipline Parenting Class is beginning next week on January 17th for parents and caregivers of elementary aged students. Facilitated by Peggy Rubens Ellis, the seven week series offers practical strategies and a “bag of tricks” to empower both yourself and your children. Peggy’s classes offer an experiential and positive learning environment while taking on the challenges of parenting.

The class series cost is $115 for the seven weeks. Classes run from 6:00-8:00 pm at Peggy’s home, and limited childcare is available.

Please contact Peggy at for more information and to sign up.

Enjoy the long weekend and all the great learning opportunities coming up!

coffee mug

CES Coffee Hour with Parent Educator Melanie Salonen
Weekly on Wednesdays, 9:15am-10:15am

We are delighted to announce that the Vashon School District is one again supporting a drop-in coffee hour for parents! Beginning September 14, Chautauqua will host a weekly, informal coffee hour on Wednesdays from 9:15-10:15 for parents of elementary aged children. Coffee and tea will be provided. The group will meet in the District Office conference room and will be facilitated by parenting educator and coach, Melanie Salonen.
Discussions will include current and relevant hot topics, developmental information, and a chance to meet and share with other parents. There is no charge for this group, and you can join in at any time!

Middle School Parent Coffee Hour
Starts Oct 5
In the counseling portable behind McMurray

The start of a new year can be exciting and full of promise…

It can also be ripe with new parenting challenges, including friendship worries, homework struggles, and a wide variety of other developmental dilemmas. If you are feeling stuck, have used all the tools in your tool-box, or could simply use a little shared wisdom from other parents… you’re in luck! 

Join Parent Educator and Counselor Woody Pollock for weekly support, conversation, resources, and a cup of coffee!

Dove Logo