Last fall Thoreau Elementary School received an Innovation Grant to implement the Academic Parent-Teacher Team (APTT) model, which replaces traditional parent-teacher conferences with three group meetings throughout the year.
In 2015-16, several MMSD schools – some school-wide, others specific grade levels only – will be piloting Madison Parent Teacher Teams, modeled after APTT.
Using MPTT, each "classroom team” – made up of the classroom teacher and all parents in the class – meet as a group three times each year. At these meetings, the teacher reviews and explains class-level academic data. The teacher then provides parents with data about their own child's performance and helps them set 60-day SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound) academic goals.
Teachers also model and provide materials for activities that parents can do with their children at home, giving them time to practice with each other in a small-group setting and share tips with each other.
The model also includes one 30-minute in-depth individual conference involving the teacher, student and parents. At these meetings, they review performance data, create an action plan for continuous improvement, discuss how to support student learning at home and strengthen relationships. Additional individual conferences are scheduled as needed.
Family, Youth & Community Engagement (FYCE) Coordinators are supporting schools in their transition to Parent Teacher Team conferences through coaching and visits. They’ll help teachers prepare, observe as many meetings as possible, help manage two-way communication, strengthen the FYCE toolkit and analyze the results of family surveys.