Teacher Tips: Using the Platform to Help Your Child Succeed

“How was your day at school?” 

“What did you do today?” 

These are common questions parents ask their children at the end of the school day. Often times, they’re met with a classic shrug or response like, “I don’t know” or “nothing”. 

If you’re a parent, you know what we’re talking about. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. This was the scenario I often heard from parents and families during parent-teacher conferences…until my school, Royal Spring Middle School, implemented Summit Learning. 

Finally, parents were able to get a comprehensive understanding of their student’s progress. All they had to do was log in to Summit Learning’s online platform, where they could get a real-time view of what their student was working on at school, upcoming projects, and more.  

I’ve been a teacher for 13 years. I spent three of those years teaching with the Summit Learning approach. And I immediately saw a difference in parents and families unlike any I’d seen in my career as an educator. With the help of Summit Learning, I watched parents become active members in their child’s learning experience. They knew exactly what to ask to keep their child engaged — and even better — how to help them succeed in the classroom. Here’s how they did it:

Using the Platform to your advantage

As a parent, you can easily get a glimpse into your child’s day by logging in to the Platform to get an update on your student’s academic progress. There are three main tabs that help parents access this information: Progress, Weekly, and Yearly. 

The “Progress” tab acts like a daily newsfeed for all of your child’s classes. You can see if your child took a test that day and how they scored. You can see if your child submitted a checkpoint for a project, if they received feedback from a teacher, if a final product has been submitted or graded, and if they had a mentor check-in, too. 

All of the information in the “Progress” tab enables you to have more meaningful conversations with your child about what they’re learning at school, as well as what they accomplished.

Gina Preston, a parent at Royal Spring Middle School, says she was pleasantly surprised to find  that she no longer had to initiate end-of-the-day conversations with her daughter. Preston told me, “She would get in the car at the end of every day and pull up her screen to show me where she stood in reference to the line.” Preston went on to tell me that these conversations helped her daughter gain confidence in her ability to succeed. 

To get a comprehensive view of what your child is working on this week, check out the “Weekly” tab. I encourage parents to not only have daily conversations using the “Progress” view but to also set aside at least one night a week to ask your child to talk about the goals they set for the week. 

You can also use the same tactics mentors use with your child during weekly 1:1 check-ins by helping them learn about prioritization and setting S.M.A.R.T. goals

Tia Brumley, another parent from Royal Spring Middle School told me how different her three children were after the implementation of Summit Learning. She said she’d help her youngest daughter write down important Focus Area dates. Brumley said, “This helped her plan for when she was going to take them and not waiting ‘til the last minute.”  

The “Yearly” tab, which houses most of the curriculum for the year in a linear-type fashion, gives you access to the curriculum and resources for the entire year. This is the tab you can use to help your child map out the year and create a calendar like Brumley did with her daughter. The “Yearly” tab also allows you to see any subject areas or assignments your child might be struggling with. As a parent, this helps you truly understand how to help your child according to their specific needs. 

Using the Summit Learning Platform, you have direct access to the same resources students are using in class. It also gives you the opportunity to help your child study and prepare for upcoming content assessments or projects. 

Parent engagement matters

According to the National Education Association, “Ongoing research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, and restores parents’ confidence in their children’s education. Students with involved parents or other caregivers earn higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and show improved behavior.”  

Summit Learning gives parents like you the tools to be as involved and engaged with your child’s learning as you want to be. I encourage all parents to check out the Help Center for Parents. There, you can access tons of resources and information to help you in guiding your child to a successful Summit Learning experience.

Learn how the Summit Learning approach to teaching and learning helps students succeed in the classroom and beyond it. See Summit in action.

About the author

Sarah White
Sarah White joined the team at Gradient Learning as a Success Manager for Summit Learning. She was a Summit Learning Fellow for three summers and taught Middle Grades Science for 13 years. The last three years she played an active role at Royal Spring Middle School in Georgetown, Kentucky in implementing Summit Learning into their school and her classroom. She has also worked with other local schools in their area sharing strategies for successful Summit Learning implementation.