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Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project*
Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project*
APPLE Project Purpose
APPLE Project Purpose
About the APPLE Institute
About the APPLE Institute
APPLE Institute cont
APPLE Institute cont
Training Modules
Training Modules
Research design
Research design
Study sample
Study sample
Data collection methods
Data collection methods
Instrumentation
Instrumentation
Preliminary Findings
Preliminary Findings
Participant Demographics
Participant Demographics
Participant Demographics cont
Participant Demographics cont
Survey findings: Within-group comparison
Survey findings: Within-group comparison
Comments from intervention parents 6-8 months after the APPLE
Comments from intervention parents 6-8 months after the APPLE
Survey findings: Cross-group comparison
Survey findings: Cross-group comparison
Interview findings
Interview findings
1. Parent leadership
1. Parent leadership
A good leader, I think, would be someone who has great listening
A good leader, I think, would be someone who has great listening
2. Challenges to PAC leadership
2. Challenges to PAC leadership
Separating the personal from the public
Separating the personal from the public
Confidentiality/ self-identification
Confidentiality/ self-identification
Working with the school district
Working with the school district
So I'm working on this for the PAC
So I'm working on this for the PAC
PAC specific issues
PAC specific issues
3. APPLE Project Impact: Parent Level
3. APPLE Project Impact: Parent Level
APPLE Project Impact: PAC level
APPLE Project Impact: PAC level

: Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project*. : ICI. : Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project*.ppt. zip-: 159 .

Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project*

Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project*.ppt
1 Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project*

Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project*

Richard Robison and Barbara Popper Federation for Children with Special Needs www.fcsn.org, (voice) 617-236-7210 Heike Boeltzig, Matthew Kusminsky, Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI)/UMass Boston, www.communityinclusion.org (voice) 617-287-4300 *Funded by the U.S. DOE, OSEP (#H324C04Q145)

1

2 APPLE Project Purpose

APPLE Project Purpose

To test and further develop a model of training to promote partnership between parents of children in special education and their schools

2

3 About the APPLE Institute

About the APPLE Institute

3 day parent leadership development seminar for parents and SPED administrators in district teams intended to: Improve parent-professional collaboration Build parent leadership skills Build functional capacity of Parent Advisory Committees Required by MA State Law to exist in every school district. The purpose of PACs is to advise the special education program

3

4 APPLE Institute cont

APPLE Institute cont

Teams, consisting of 1 special education (SPED) staff and 4-5 parents who are PAC members Districts have daily Team Action Plan Process- (TAPP)- to develop next steps to develop further leadership opportunities for families back in the district in the next 6-8 months- Researchers conducted confidential surveys pre and post the Institute, and interview SPED Administrators (see poster handout)

4

5 Training Modules

Training Modules

Focus on awareness of community demographics,diversity,reciprocal outreach, Communication methods-Respectful Conversations,usefull for teams, and parent/professional relationships Personal leadership styles- Using True-Colors to recognize and utilize strengths of team members

5

6 Research design

Research design

Research questions: Does the APPLE Institute improve leadership skills of PAC parents? Do parents who participated in the APPLE Institute perceive a change in effectiveness of their PAC in working with the local school district? Design components: Quasi-experimental design with an untreated control group APPLE Institute = Intervention Comparison of intervention (n=40) with control groups (N=61) Comparison of baseline with follow up data Time delay component- control become intervention group

6

7 Study sample

Study sample

Parent-professional teams Target sample of 50 parents per Institute 5 teams participate in the Institute (intervention group), the remaining 5 teams comprise the control group. The control group becomes the intervention group in the following year (time delay).

7

8 Data collection methods

Data collection methods

Sample/ Data collection

Intervention parents

Control parents

Baseline

Survey

Survey

2-4 months after the Institute

Survey

Survey

6-8 months after the Institute

Survey

Survey

8 months after project enrolment

Interview

Interview

8

9 Instrumentation

Instrumentation

Survey questionnaire (baseline, 2-4 and 6-8 months later) Three modules: 1) Child demographics (9 items) 2) Parent leadership and PAC effectiveness (14 items) 3) Parent demographics (16 items) Interview protocol (parents) Questions (15) follow a semi-structured format and address two topic areas: 1) Parent leadership 2) PAC effectiveness incl. PAC-school district collaboration

9

10 Preliminary Findings

Preliminary Findings

Year 1 - 3 aggregated data Participant demographics Survey findings Within-group comparison (intervention group) Cross-group comparison (intervention & control groups) Interview findings

10

11 Participant Demographics

Participant Demographics

A total of 79 parents participated in the project (baseline): PACs parents from 19 local school districts. Participants were predominantly white, non-Hispanic, and female, with an average age of 45. Parents had a generally high level of education. Most parents had medium to high annual household incomes.

Group/Project Year

Intervention parents

Control parents

Year 1

14

23

Year 2

20

22

Year 3

18

20

Total

52

65

11

12 Participant Demographics cont

Participant Demographics cont

The majority of children of participating parents were male. Children ranged in age from 6 to 16. The largest percent of children had developmental disabilities; more than 1/3 (38%) had multiple disabilities. Forty percent were in regular classrooms and 36% were in both regular and separate classrooms; only a few children were in separate classrooms only. Most children were in grades 1 to 6.

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13 Survey findings: Within-group comparison

Survey findings: Within-group comparison

Intervention parents

Baseline (N=52) (in %)

6-8 Months after the Institute (N=40) (in %)

Considered themselves to be active PAC members.*

77

93

Reported feeling really part of their PAC.*

54

73

Considered themselves as leaders.

60

75

Felt that as a parent leader they were making an impact at the school district level.

37

51

Felt that they were reaching out to non-PAC parents.*

63

87

Felt proud to be a PAC member.

72

78

Thought their PAC was effective [ineffective] in getting important things accomplished in their school district.

58 [19]

58 [30]

Thought their PAC and the school district collaborated well* [poorly] on important issues.

37 [29]

48 [38]

13

*The findings are statistically significant at the 10 percent level.

14 Comments from intervention parents 6-8 months after the APPLE

Comments from intervention parents 6-8 months after the APPLE

Institute

We are so much better organized since APPLE! It's my goal to recruit more members, build awareness and let folks know of all the support we have to offer. We have had both some steps forwards and some backwards re: the trust issues with our [school] administration. There are varying degrees of desire to work on the trust issues as opposed to some of the other goals from the [APPLE] meeting. We still need to do more outreach and let people know were here to help. Initiatives raised at the APPLE Institute are not really being executed due to time constraints of PAC leadership and other activities going on administratively within our district. We need to re-focus and come up with timeframes/deliverables before the end of the school year.

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15 Survey findings: Cross-group comparison

Survey findings: Cross-group comparison

6-8 months after the Institute, parents

Intervention parents (n=40) (in %)

Control parents (n=61) (in %)

Considered themselves to be active PAC members.*

93

75

Reported feeling really part of their PAC.*

73

39

Considered themselves as leaders.*

75

53

Felt that as a parent leader they were making an impact at the school district level.

51

38

Felt that they were reaching out to non-PAC parents.*

87

62

Felt proud to be a PAC member.*

78

58

Thought their PAC was effective [ineffective] in getting important things accomplished in their school district.

58 [30]

49 [16]

Thought their PAC and the school district collaborated well [poorly]* on important issues.

48 [38]

38 [28]

15

*The findings are statistically significant at the 10 percent level.

16 Interview findings

Interview findings

1. Parent leadership 2. Challenges to PAC leadership 3. Impact of the APPLE Institute

16

17 1. Parent leadership

1. Parent leadership

Most parents were PAC members and held PAC positions Most parents had some leadership experience and felt that the acquired skills were transferable. Being a parent leader also required a new/ different set of skills and confidence. Parents description of a leader

17

18 A good leader, I think, would be someone who has great listening

A good leader, I think, would be someone who has great listening

skills, someone who can think outside the box, someone who doesn't quit answering a question. [A good leader is] someone who takes the time to process what the concern is, look at different avenues that might help with the concern. A good leader. A great listener. A great communicator. - Year 2 Intervention parent

18

19 2. Challenges to PAC leadership

2. Challenges to PAC leadership

Separating the personal from the public: parents emotions as barriers to leadership. Confidentiality/ self-identification issues Working with school districts and dealing with school politics PAC specific issues

19

20 Separating the personal from the public

Separating the personal from the public

When I go in as an advocate for team meetings, Im fine, but when I go in for my son, my stomach hurts, I have a headache, Im exhausted, its very different. - Year 2 Intervention parent

20

21 Confidentiality/ self-identification

Confidentiality/ self-identification

I think there's this confidentiality piece [which] is pretty big I haven't quite figured it out, but I think that there are a lot of people who do not want to be open in public. And it's just really hard to have a group and advocate for the group as a whole when you have people who are not willing to reveal themselves. so it's hard to lead a group that doesn't want to be led that doesn't want to be identified. - Year 2 Control parent

21

22 Working with the school district

Working with the school district

Misperceptions that PACs and the school districts have of each other. Lack of mutual trust between PACs and school districts. A school philosophy that emphasizes academic excellence and where children with special needs are perceived as holding other children back. Funding issues as a barrier to organizing PAC events and activities. Dealing with school politics.

22

23 So I'm working on this for the PAC

So I'm working on this for the PAC

And it's a lot of politics and I always said I would never be a politician and I'm dealing with politics every day now. I don't want [our PAC] to be a political organization and I think that's what we've become, so we need a political spokesperson. And that's what I think we need our chairperson to be. - Year 2 Intervention parent

23

24 PAC specific issues

PAC specific issues

Not having a clear mission or a vision. Lacking a (formal) structure and consistency. Issues with recruiting and retaining PAC members, and increasing PAC member diversity.

24

25 3. APPLE Project Impact: Parent Level

3. APPLE Project Impact: Parent Level

Became better listeners and more patient in groups meetings. Felt encouraged/ inspired/ empowered to make change. Gained a better understanding of SPED staffs role & responsibilities, SPED staff expectations. Gained a better understanding of diversity. Connected with other parents and shared experiences.

25

26 APPLE Project Impact: PAC level

APPLE Project Impact: PAC level

Created a friendlier/ more supportive atmosphere in PAC meetings. Helped PAC members to better understand each other/ their individual strengths. Helped organize PAC more efficiently. Raised PAC members awareness of diversity. Learned about other PAC, their issues, & effective strategies Improved PAC-SPED staff communication.

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