Our office offers training and support to build the capacity of school site staff and teachers as they work to enhance communication and build relationships with families. Currently, we are focusing our efforts on two areas: Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) and Parent-Teacher Home Visits (PTHV).
Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT)
The APTT is a classroom meeting held twice a year (focused on reading in the fall and math in the spring) between parents and teachers after parents have already met one-on-one with teachers to build trust and rapport. APTTs foster parent engagement in student learning by helping parents to understand their students’ academic progress and commit to strategies to best support them academically.
In practice, teachers guide parents through taking an in-depth look at their children’s assessment data in order to gauge where their students stand. From there, they set a measurable and realistic 60-day goal for their student. Teachers help parents think about how to push their students’ academic achievement towards that goal and offer techniques and strategies to use at home. For example, parents commit to supervising student learning by watching them read an hour a night or practicing multiplication for 20 minutes a night.
August: One-to-One Introduction Conferences
During this first conference, parents "get to know" the student's classroom teacher and discuss goals for the school year.
October: All Parents/Guardians
All parents/guardians from a classroom meet with the teacher to discuss academic progress of students and plan for next steps to continue growth.
December: One-to-One Report Card Conferences
Now that parents are familiar with their child's classroom teacher, they meet to discuss progress and growth plan.
February: All Parents/Guardians
All parents/guardians from a classroom meet with the teacher again to discuss student's academic progress since the last meeting and plan for the rest of the school year.
March: One-to-One Report Card Conferenes
The final conference is to once again meet to discuss progress and growth plan.
For more information, please visit our Family Engagement Toolkit.
Parent-Teacher Home Visits (PTHV)
Parent Teacher Home Visits connect the expertise of the family on their child with the classroom expertise of the teachers. The visit is not a “drop-in,” but rather an appointment set between two willing colleagues in a setting outside of the school. The student’s home provides the most opportunity for learning and sharing, but teachers also may meet families at the library, a park or a coffee shop if needed.
- Visits are always voluntary for educators and families, and arranged in advance.
- Teachers are trained, and compensated for visits outside their school day.
- Focus of the first visit is relationship-building; we discuss hopes and dreams.
- No targeting – visit all or a cross-section of students so there is no stigma.
- Educators conduct visits in pairs, and after the visit, reflect with their partner.
Summer or Fall: 1st Home Visit
Educators focus on getting to know the student and the family. The educators and the family members share their experiences, their hopes and dreams for their child, and their expectations of each other. The conversation naturally leads to the educator and the family identifying how they will help the child with their goals.
Fall or Winter: Follow-up
Now that there is an ongoing relationship, Family members and educators may share resources and continue their communication. Teachers may use what they learned from the family to improve the child’s experience in the classroom, and enjoy a stronger relationship with the child. Families may find new or additional ways to be involved with the school.
Winter or Spring: 2nd Home Visit
Educators meet with the family again, with the focus on how to support their child academically. Sometimes schools offer Academic Parent Teacher Teams or other ways parents can get up to speed on grade-level standards and specific strategies to help their child learn.
For more information, please visit the official PTHV website.