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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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Education Week logoEducation Week brings a fresh look to an autumn classic: parent-teacher conferences. Traditional parent-teacher conferences are, “short, the info a parent receives is hard to interpret, and it’s unclear what actions a parent or the teacher should take to maximize the student’s strengths,” says Harvard Family Research Project’s director, Heather Weiss. This article discusses a conference makeover that involves two-way communication throughout the year about student’s strengths and progress to meet learning goals through a practice called Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT). The model, developed by WestEd researcher Maria C. Paredes, has spread to 250 schools in the past five years and is reimagining communication between teachers and parents. The benefits of the APTT model, particularly for families facing economic disadvantages. The benefits of APTT include:

  • Greater parent turn-out (nearly 9 in 10) than traditional models
  • Established space for parent learning and skill-building
  • Opportunities for families to network with each other
  • Data-driven discussions on individual students’ growth
  • Development of 60-day skills-based goal setting
  • Take-home resources to support parents
  • More group meetings per year than traditional conferences

Read Parent-Teacher Conferences Get a Makeover on the Education Week website.

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Published by Harvard Family Research Project