Parent University

Helping You Stay Current on Hot Topics to Better Understand Your High School Student and Navigate the Teenage Years

We want to share information with our VES parents that will help you learn along with your child. Through book recommendations, seminars, faculty and leadership presentations, hot topics in the news, TED Talks and more, we will serve up content that we think you'll find of value.


Resilience and Becoming Your Best Self
VES is excited to share motivational speaker Jim Stroker's message to parents and students as part of our Student Life series of programming. Jim speaks on the topic of resilience and building a growth mindset. His personal narrative is compelling and focuses on handling hard situations and pushing through difficult tasks—and he provides tangible tips and tools to apply along the journey. Watch the presentation >

Freedom from Chemical Dependency
In October, FCD Prevention Specialist George Brown spoke to a parent audience in depth about data regarding their students, parent responsibilities, strategies for prevention and questions to discuss with your child. View the informative presentation >
You also will find this information about teen drinking at home valuable.




  • Where Kids Find Hate Online Common Sense Media 
    "Hate speech is all over the Internet. The intensity of these ideas, the frequency with which kids see them, and the acceptance by so many that it's just part of internet life mean that it's critical to talk to kids about this difficult topic.” 







  • How to Teach Kids About Failure: Watch this light-hearted video by The Atlantic that shows how letting children fail is critical to instilling resilience and creativity.
  • Understanding Islam"Powerful." "Changed my life." "My daughter talked with us every night about what she learned that day; she wanted to keep exploring the topics as a family." "This night alone was worth the year's tuition." These are just a few of the hundreds of passion-filled comments in response to a VES week-long program in 2016 focused on education, open dialogue and engaging activities focused on Islam, religious beliefs, global awareness and pluralism.



  • Independent School Grads Arrive College-Ready A national longitudinal study from NAIS and the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI)
    Compared to their public and private school counterparts, independent school graduates enter college with more of the skills and experiences they’ll need to succeed. 


Our College Counseling team recommends this video—part of a series on WebMD, developed in collaboration with the JED Foundation (check them out at, that focuses on supporting teens in the transition to college. You’ll find lots of helpful information and food for thought!

The following grade-level programs help parents understand the College Counseling process as it relates to students at that point in their high school journey, and the staff answers parents’ questions.

In this video, a diverse and talented group of college coaches and one athletics compliance officer join the College Counseling team for a panel discussion for parents and their students who are interested in pursuing athletics in college to ask the coaches questions. 


A wonderful way to stay educated about topics in college planning is to follow the VES College Counseling Facebook page. Follow now and you'll never miss an interesting post.


Recommended Reading

“The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults” by Francis E. Jensen, renowned neurologist and mother of two boys

At VES, our Student Life programming is guided by adolescent brain science. Dr. Jensen sheds new light on adolescent brain functioning and development in the contexts of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction and decision-making, and provides practical advice on helping teens navigate their journey to adulthood.

“Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era” by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith

This book is based on the award-winning documentary that discusses the dramatic change education must undergo to prepare students with the knowledge, skill sets and character required to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving world and how, as educators, we need to look devise the next generation of education to address these needs.

“Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning” by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger, Mark A. McDaniel

It turns out that many common study habits and practice routines are counterproductive. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer techniques for both better retention of what we learn and achieving a higher level of mastery. Make It Stick appeals to anyone interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

“An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students” by Ron Berger

Ron Berger has been a classroom teacher for more than 25 years and is a master carpenter. Guided by his craftsman's passion for quality, Berger describes what's possible when teachers, students, and parents commit to building and living into a culture of high standards. He brings his passion for excellence in the classroom to organizations that include the Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound school network, Harvard Project Zero, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
A College Preparatory, Independent Boarding and Day School for Students in Grades 9-12
400 VES Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 • 434.385.3600