Most school districts are better at telling parents what children will be having for lunch than they are at explaining what children will be learning the rest of the day. And yet, that is the most important conversation parents should be having: What is my child expected to know, feel, and be able to do by the end of the quarter or semester or school year, and is my child learning those things?
In other words, the curriculum is what parents should be chatting about—with their children, with teachers, with the principal, with central office administrators, and with the school board. Research shows that a goal—like what students are supposed to learn—is much more likely to be reached when everyone is focused on the same goal. How can parents focus on student learning?
How To Do It: A Three-Part Video Series
Many PTAs do not meet often enough about the curriculum—that is, about what their children are learning—and about what exactly parents need to understand about that. CurriculumChat gives PTAs video training material for three sessions about curriculum and a discussion handout for each session—lasting a total of 90 minutes of meeting time. The video training helps PTAs know what to ask for from the principal or from central office administrators. They help parents know how to talk with teachers about what their children are learning.
The ideas here are practical and have been used successfully in school districts from California to Connecticut and from Minnesota to Texas—large and small districts, rich and poor districts. They always work. They will work in your school, too.
Licensing and Price
The license to use CurriculumChat is available only to elementary and secondary schools. The materials must be purchased for each school individually and cannot be shared among schools, even in the same school district.
The price of the video series is $295.
About the Trainer
During more than 35 years at Policy Studies in Education, Regina H. Paul has worked hard to improve K–12 public education. She has developed traditional and innovative PreK–12 curricula in all subjects, developed K–12 student examinations for school districts and states, and evaluated new programs in over 400 school districts nationwide. She has served as a consultant to federal and state education agencies and has written books and articles on curriculum and evaluation. She has trained tens of thousands of parents, school board members, teachers, and administrators. Currently, she co-hosts USACollegeChat, a free weekly podcast for parents, which is designed to help parents understand the world of college options available to their own high schoolers (episodes are available at http://usacollegechat.org and on iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn).