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Parent Education Series

About the Series

The Aptos High School Parent Education Series is dedicated to bringing relevant and thought provoking topics to a community forum for the purpose of promoting student well-being, academic success and parental support. Expert presentation and discussion in the fields of educational research, neuroscience, brain development and advocacy are the backbone of this series.

Events are hosted two to three times a school year and are an example of why Aptos High School is recognized as a California Distinguished School.

The Parent Education Series is brought to you by the Administration, Faculty, and The Aptos Booster Parent Club.

For questions or comments, please contact:

Upcoming Events

None Scheduled.

Check back soon.

Past Events

Past Events

Spring 2016

Insight Into The Teen Brain:
Dr. Adriana Galvan

Dr. Galvan returned to discuss her research that aims to uncover the neurobiology underlying characteristic teenage behavior, with an emphasis of the effects of stress.  

Life is stressful and our teens in today’s society say they experience stress in patterns similar to adults, and during the school year they report stress levels even higher than those reported by adults. Dr. Galvan will present insights and discuss ways to handle and cope in these challenging times during the question and answer period immediately following her presentation.

Adriana Galvan, PhD. is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Brain Research Institute of University of California, Los Angeles.  Dr. Galvan serves as the Director and Principal Investigator of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory with an expertise in adolescent brain development.

Using brain imaging technology Dr. Galvan has uncovered the effects of daily stress on the adolescent brain and behavior.  At this event she will present her most recent findings, discuss the implications for parent-child interactions and describe how to better help adolescents navigate the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood.


Spring 2016

Julie Lythcott-Haims

how to raise an adult book and Julie image

Julie Lythcott-Haims presented a dynamic and engaging presentation about her nationally acclaimed book, How to Raise an Adult; Break Free of Overparenting and Prepare Your Kid for Success to a robust audience.  Julie’s wisdom, practical advice and strategies provided the groundwork for parents to help their children become more resilient and self-sufficient, so they may successfully navigate adulthood on their own. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the Parent Education series.  In addition to asking ourselves “what can I do today to help grow my kid’s independence? Julie’s top 4 takeaway tips for parents are:

  1. Stop saying “we”
  2. Teach Them to talk to adults
  3. Let them do their work
  4. Put independence in their way


How To Raise An Adult

Fall 2015

Aptos High School hosted a screening of Miss Representation, which won numerous awards when the film originally premiered in 2011.  This documentary was the first film produced by the Representation Project.

Like drawing back a curtain, Miss Representation uncovers a glaring reality we live in every day but fail to see.  Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newson, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.



Where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is:  a woman's value and power lie in Youth - Beauty - Sexuality, and NOT in her capacity as a leader.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists, and academics including:
Margarent Cho, Katie Couric, Rosario Dawson, Rachel Maddow, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, and Gloria Steinhem build momentum as
Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.


Presentation That Accompanied The Screening

Santa Cruz Sentinel Article

Take The Pledge!

Visit Miss Representation for more information about the movie and the accompanying curriculum.

The Mask You Live In was a riveting movie that focused on some of the societal issues and problems plus solutions regarding how we are raising our boys.


"The Mask You Live In Follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America's narrow definition of masculinity.

Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence.  These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become "real" men.

Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the "boy crisis" and tactics to combat it.

The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men."


Presentation That Accompanied The Screening

Santa Cruz Sentinel Article

Take The Pledge!

Visit The Mask You Live In for more information about the movie and the accompanying curriculum.

Spring 2015

Dr. Adriana Galván 

Insight into the Teenage Brain 


Dr. Galvan discussed her research that aims to uncover the neurobiology underlying characteristic teenage behavior, such as risk-taking, exploration and thrill seeking.  Dr. Galvan shared her research goal to understand the opportunities and vulnerabilities that accompany adolescent brain and behavioral development.   She included her most recent findings about the impact of sleep deprivation in teenage brain development.  Dr. Galvan’s presentation was well received to a robust audience.  She was generous with her time and engaged with both students and parents post lecture as well.


Fall 2014

Dr. Madeline Levine 

Parenting For Authentic Success


Dr. Levine discussed how our current paradigm of success is a failure and how to fix it.  Across all spheres, emotional, educational and even in the business world American kids are doing worse not better with the emphasis on grades, trophies and other metrics of success.  Dr. Levine kicked off the Parent Lecture Series to a full house and continued this valuable conversation during a Q& A sessions and a book signing. 

Past PES Lectures