Family & Community Engagement: Academic Parent-Teacher Teams

Who Should Participate

  • Teachers
  • District Administrators
  • Pre-Service Teachers
  • Family Engagement Specialists
  • Title I Facilitators

Goals of the Service

In these Academic Parent-Teacher Team (APTT) workshops, participants gain expertise in:

  • Using family engagement as an instructional strategy
  • Implementing a systemic approach to family engagement focused on student academic goals
  • Using the essential elements of the APTT system
  • Developing foundational grade-level skills for parent meetings
  • Effectively sharing data with families to establish academic goals
  • Developing tools and strategies for measuring and evaluating system effectiveness
  • Enlisting parents as classroom leaders
  • Creating effective classroom networks focused on student success

Setting Higher Standards For The Nation

Academic Parent-Teacher Teams very clearly demonstrates that family-school-community partnerships with a central focus on advancing student learning can have a powerful impact. Anne Henderson, in association with the NEA Priority School Campaign, identified APTT as a national model for engaging families effectively in education.

What Makes APTT Unique

APTT is a research and evidence-based system that is unique and authentic; it emerged from a grass-roots effort to connect families and teachers to drive student learning and performance.

APTT is an intentional, systematic means of increasing student academic achievement by improving the quality and quantity of parent-teacher communication and interaction. Teachers coach parents to become engaged, knowledgeable members of the academic team in three classroom APTT meetings and one in-depth individual conference each year.

APTT provides teachers and families a time and place to share student performance data and set achievable and measurable, student-centered academic goals.

Since 2010, multiple districts from around the country have started implementation of APTTs as a means to boost student performance and exceed Title I family engagement requirements. (Read about APPT’s work with the Creighton Elementary School District.)

“This is my first year using the APTT system, I have parents coming in before and after school, they are asking questions about homework…the projects we are doing, the vocabulary…it is fascinating to see how much more interested they are.” — First-year APTT teacher

Format of the Service

Academic Parent-Teacher Teams Professional Development (K-12)

Training and coaching services are tailored to each client based on a thorough needs assessment.

Services include:

  • School orientation to APTT
  • Developing foundational grade-level skills
  • Learning meaningful ways to share student performance data with families
  • Setting data-driven academic goals with families
  • Coaching families on learning activities to meet their academic goals
  • Developing tools and strategies for measuring and evaluating system effectiveness
  • Establishing successful strategies for high family attendance and engagement
  • Creating effective classroom networks focused on student success
  • Continued coaching and technical support to staff and school leadership team

Preparing Educators to Engage Families in Education (College Course/Workshop)

This is a four-day course that prepares educators and preservice teachers to create intentional and successful partnerships with families. Course content includes background on research, successful practices, and mastery of the APTT system of engagement.

Parent-Child Kinder Readiness (Kinder Readiness Instructor)

This family engagement training series provides:

  • School and family orientation to family engagement
  • A systemic approach to engaging families as partners for school readiness
  • Strategies for sharing data with families to establish academic goals
  • Coaching on instruction, curriculum development, classroom setup, assessments, and tools for program evaluation

Additional Services

  • Ongoing coaching and training
  • Parent orientation to APTTs
  • Action planning
  • Classroom observations of APTT meetings for feedback
  • Implementation analysis for system refinement

What You Learn

This professional development will provide your district/school staff with a new vision for family engagement and the knowledge, tools, and strategies necessary to collaborate with families to improve student performance.

You will gain expertise to:

  • Maximize student learning through home practice of academic skills
  • Share data with families to drive student performance
  • Create purposeful partnerships with families
  • Share the responsibility for student learning
  • Align school goals of student achievement to family engagement goals
  • Exceed Title I family engagement accountability requirements

“Implementing APTT in my classroom helped to use my time and effort with parents more effectively, all my work is paying off. This approach to parent engagement pushed me professionally to a place I wasn’t always comfortable — working closely with parents.” — First-year APTT teacher

Who Facilitates Your Learning

Professional development will be facilitated by a WestEd expert trainer in the field of family engagement in education.

The lead facilitator is Maria C. Paredes. With 20 years of experience in education, Paredes has been a classroom teacher, a college instructor, a school administrator, and a coach in family engagement.

Paredes is the author of the Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) system. She has conducted extensive research that substantiates the wide-reaching benefits of implementing APTT.

Her knowledge of research, her first-hand experience with minority parents and Title I schools, and her innovative approach have awarded her national recognition as a leading expert.

What Resources Support Your Learning

APTT professional development is a highly participatory process that engages and motivates educators. Facilitators use visual aids, cooperative learning activities, technology, reflection writing, and team assignments that yield products teachers can incorporate into their practice right away.

What Research Supports Family Engagement in Education and the APTT System?

Four decades of research and evidence uphold that family engagement is one of the strongest predictors of students’ academic success. In particular, four strands of scholarly work framed the development of the APTT system:

  • Bourdieu’s work on cultural capital
  • Lareau’s research on concerted cultivation
  • Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s research on parental role construction and efficacy
  • Paredes’ research and practice on the APTT system

Data results on APTT research assert that family engagement boosts:

  • Student engagement, confidence, and learning performance
  • Parent-teacher communication and interaction
  • Parent engagement in student learning
  • Teacher efficacy in leading parent classroom engagement

By using a research-based, proven system of family engagement, the school has the ability to provide families with timely academic information, clear data, coaching, assistance in setting academic goals, and a classroom climate that supports partnerships and networking.

This academically focused approach to family engagement in education gives parents the knowledge and skills necessary to be informed advocates for their children’s education.

What Past Clients Report

“Maria Paredes is the most knowledgeable practitioner in the field of parent engagement for the state of Arizona. She is innovative, highly collaborative and truly understands and is contributing to the current discourse on parent engagement. Her system of engaging families in education, the Academic Parent-Teacher Teams has grown successfully over the past three years and is demonstrating significant gains in student achievement.” — Antonia Franco, Helios Education Foundation

“Dr. Paredes talked extensively with parents, and she heard and felt their frustration as their children struggled academically. Through research, data collection, and a vision of what effective family engagement would involve, she developed the Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) System. APTT is designed to use relevant student data to inform parents of their child’s progress individually and compared to the rest of the class community. Data are used to create the context for teaching and learning for each family and to set high achieving academic goals between teachers and parents for each student. Data create the necessary transparency to motivate families to help their children excel.” — James Bogner, Assistant Superintendent

“I have been in education for over 30 years and consider myself a visionary and global thinker, but when listening to Maria’s concepts about effective family engagement in a school setting and its potential link to student achievement, I wonder why I or someone else in education has not thought of her concepts before. How did we miss it? Her concept of Academic Parent-Teacher Teams will truly be a long needed paradigm shift in the field of education and more specifically family engagement in education. It is revolutionary and Rio Salado College will be integrating this concept into our state approved, worldwide delivered, teacher preparation program.” — Janet Johnson, Chair of Education

What Is the Cost

  • Please contact us for information regarding the cost.