Rethinking Open House

Traditionally, Open House night serves as the time when parents get to meet their children’s teacher and view the curriculum they’re supposed to cover for the year. Under this model, this may be the only time parents meet with the teacher for the entire year. Studies have correlated higher academic achievement from students who have parents directly involved in their learning; so following the line of thinking from these results, a pilot program has been launched. WestEd researcher, Maria C. Paredes developed a model known as ‘Academic Parent-Teacher Teams’ or “APTT”. The pilot is currently running in 250 schools across 16 states.

The idea is dynamic: the program aims to educate and directly involve parents in their children’s learning. Parents meet with the teacher to discuss their child’s current academic standing; the teacher will go over the concepts in detail and give the parents packets to take home that cover the material. This helps the parent brush up on the content, themselves. Parents are then asked to set a 60-day goal for their child to reach a certain achievement level. These APTT meetings are typically held every quarter, but may vary depending on the school, or the individual students.

The results have been incredible so far. Educators are reporting back how enthusiastic the parents have become. Students, whose parents participate, are demonstrating increased academic progress. It’s a common utterance from educators, wishing that parents would become more involved; this program seeks to skip past involvement, and engage parents in their child’s education.

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