Parents: Why Summit Learning Works for My Child


Parents at Towne Meadows Elementary in Gilbert, Arizona are speaking out about why Summit Learning works as a learning and teaching approach for their children.

“The best part of Summit Learning is…you’re teaching a child how to be independent, to evaluate themselves and what they need to work on, and it gives them confidence; I see it in my son.”

James Schumacher, parent at Towne Meadows Elementary

This video is one of a two-part series highlighting the experiences and perspectives of parents, students, and teachers at two Summit Learning schools in Gilbert, Arizona: Towne Meadows Elementary and Playa Del Rey Elementary.

Each film was created by Summit Learning Teacher, Beth Duncan, who teaches videography at Rancho Minerva, a middle school in California’s Vista Unified School District that has used the Summit Learning Program since 2016. Beth saw an opportunity to capture the parent perspective in two schools using Summit Learning for the first time in the 2017-18 school year.

The Towne Meadows parents featured in “Parents on Summit” share a common sentiment: they appreciate the Summit Learning approach because it offers supports and learning opportunities for their children.

“One time we were on a drive and [my daughter] talked about Egypt nonstop for almost 45 minutes, and it was awesome to see how excited she was to learn, what she was retaining, what she was interested in, and how she could focus on it all on her own.”

Kelli McDowell, parent at Towne Meadows Elementary

In the video, Towne Meadows Elementary Principal Chip Pettit gives voice the unique role of being both a Summit Learning school leader and parent:

“My oldest child is in third grade, and I’m already talking with my wife about how he can come here in sixth grade and be a part of [Summit Learning]…in the six years I’ve been here, it’s probably the best thing that I’ve brought to this school.”

Chip Pettit, principal at Towne Meadows Elementary

In the coming weeks, we’ll post the remaining video in this series — a portrait of the mentoring experience. Stay tuned!

Listen to one Summit Learning parent discuss how Summit Learning helped his daughter, who has a 504 plan, become a more excited and self-directed learner.

About the author

Lauren Faggella
A storyteller and former educator, Lauren Faggella is dedicated to turning the Summit Learning community's stories and ideas into great content that informs and inspires a range of audiences. Prior to joining Summit Public Schools, Lauren was a professional freelance writer and third-grade teacher in Rhode Island. She earned her MEd from the University of Rhode Island and BA in English from Elon University.