December 14, 2010
Maria Paredes, the Director of Community Education at Creighton School District in Arizona, has developed a new model for parent engagement that is attracting national attention and resulting in positive outcomes in her district.
The model, called the Academic Parent Teacher Team (APTT), replaces the traditional parent-teacher conference with three group meetings throughout the year, where teachers meet at once with all parents in their classroom. Each parent is provided with a folder of their child’s performance indicators. Teachers then provide an in-depth coaching session on how to interpret this data based on overall classroom performance, school benchmarks, and state standards. Parents are provided with strategies and tools to help support learning at home. And together, parents and teachers set goals for their students, individually and as a class.
Paredes began the model as a pilot with 12 participating teachers. Today, 79 classrooms in all nine schools in the Creighton district use the model. Parent attendance for APTT meetings averages 92 percent.
The Department interviewed Paredes to find out more about how APTT can be used as part of a school turnaround strategy.