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Learning Curve

Community of Practice

Leadership, Peer Support and Building Capacity for the GaPMP

In two decades of coaching, training and supporting families in Georgia Schools, parent mentors have learned

  • Every district is different
  • Every parent mentor approaches their work differently
  • We all have shared experiences to guide each other
  • The core of the work we do is tied to research based interventions

Jennifer Anderson, chairs the GaPMP Leadership Committee’s Education Committee and leads the COP. She said that the group’s focus for FY23 is enhancing the quality of the reports.

“The goal for the COP this year will be to develop more guided instructions for each area of the report to help mentors give more direct and detailed responses. Specifically, we will be looking at helping mentors understand the difference in the data reported on the vital behaviors of parents and the data on student outcomes as a result of the actions parents took. Our goal is for all mentors to be able to show that the work we are doing with families ties directly to improved student outcomes so that the benefit of our work is clearly seen,” Anderson said.

Some of the strategies the group will be using to achieve these goals are:

  • Compiling an Idea Bank of different data collection strategies (using what is currently available)
  • Organizing existing tools and resources in a way to assist mentors in knowing which tools to use for each question on the report
  • Develop tools for reporting areas that may not have an existing tool or resource

We believe with these strategies in place every mentor will be equipped to write a report that not only highlights the great work they are doing but will be able to replicated by other mentors and clearly demonstrate that what we do positively impacts students.

Jennifer Anderson

The Community of Practice (COP) was assembled in 2020 under the leadership of Anne Ladd, Family Engagement Specialist with the Ga Dept of Education, April Lee, data coach for the GaPMP, and the GaPMP Leadership Council. Shortly after a group formed, Jennifer Anderson, who serves Ga. Cyber Academy as Parent Mentor and Chair of the GaPMP Education Committee, stepped up to chair the COP

 After 5 years of development and implementation of the GaPMP framework for measuring the success of family engagement strategies, it was time to move to the next step. In FY21, building on our shared concern for demonstrating the power of family engagement, and, focus on the infrastructure within the GaPMP to provide peer-to-peer encouragement and coaching.  Peer to peer support is the root of the Community of Practice. CoPs are groups of people who share expertise and passion about a topic and interact on an ongoing basis to further learning in a domain (Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002).

 The group typically convenes in August and wraps up in June of 2021 with the intention of ensuring real progress in data collection and reporting. 

Routine tasks for the COP each year

  • An initial virtual meeting in August
  • Additional virtual meetings “as needed” to develop presentations highlighting Best Practices for region meetings
  • Ongoing support (coaching) for each region
  • Participation in presentations during the annual Kickoff conference
  • Review of year end reports in April