Q&A with APTT's Jordan Gibson

Q&A with APTT's Jordan Gibson
Posted on 11/11/2022
APTT program facilitator visits with community members

Academic Parent and Teacher Teams, otherwise known as APTT, is a program that maximizes student learning inside and outside of school. LKSD uses the APTT model to support Yugtun language acquisition efforts. 

The APTT model conducts meetings three times per year with students and their families. APTT facilitators discuss student progress data and model activities that families can practice at home with their children. 

How long has the program operated? 

APPT visitJG: APTT was developed by Dr. Maria Paredes in 2010 in response to families expressing a need to know how to support their childrens’ learning. Through her experience as a teacher and administrator in public education, Paredes realized that teachers and families needed more consistent opportunities for working together to advance learning.

APTT is currently implemented in over 2,000 schools across the country to advance any academic core subject by leveraging families as partners. 

Can you give an overview of the program at LKSD? 

Dance performanceJG: JoAnn Alexie Memorial & Nelson Island Schools’ DLE administrators have reviewed Yup’ik/Yugtun vocabulary testing data and identified areas for improvement within the curriculum.

The APTT model supplements and elevates the efforts of traditional parent conferences by expanding opportunities for families and teachers to collaborate. The format creates a way for teachers to share grade-level information, tools, and strategies that families can apply at home and in the community to accelerate student learning.

This model can be useful for other Alaska Native tribes and tribes in the U.S. that are interested in connecting home and school through language and culture revitalization.

What types of programs did you do at each school? 

APTT eventJG: We are implementing Academic Parent and Teacher Teams. We had a community event for teachers and families to come together and build deeper relationships. In Toksook Bay, there was Yuraq dancing along with traditional food. After the dance and enjoying the food in the community, we went into classrooms and conducted APTT meetings. In Atmautluak, we gathered together and talked about Yugtun language initiatives, then we separated into our different APTT groups for our meetings. 

The parent/community turnout allowed for community fun and for relationships to grow stronger, and families were happy to cheer their children on as they were dancing.

What are the home activities students will participate in? 

JG: In both schools, the lower elementary took home a very fun treasure hunt board game designed for practicing Yugtun vocabulary words. In Toksook Bay, one of the activities for the older students was identifying and mapping town landmarks in the Yugtun language. In Atmautluak, an activity for older students was a counting game called skunk, where the students worked on how high they can count as well as spelling in Yugtun. The idea behind the games is to practice the language and increase parent-child bonding while having fun.

The programming was well received. Toksook Bay had about 100 families in attendance, and Atmautluak about 60 families. This was the first APTT cycle of the year, everyone is getting acquainted with this new way of connecting and learning together. 

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