Family Engagement at Coastal Academy

See the original YouTube video on The Summit Experience page (length: 3 minutes 14 seconds)

[girl playing tuba with parent watching]


Tamar Gale, Parent of Coastal Academy student using Summit Learning:
Amalia was born with, like, a lot of sunshine, that’s kind of how she’s always been. And so I thought school will be no problem for her. But as she started school, she just fell back. The teachers couldn’t really give me a reason that she wasn’t successful, other than it seemed like she was just afraid.

[scenes of high school children going to class from school hallway]


Samantha Bartrom, Principal of Coastal Academy High School:
Traditional teaching can be sometimes very teacher-driven and teacher-focused. Summit Learning really puts students in the driver’s seat of their education and places teachers more in a facilitator role. It’s definitely a learning curve for everyone, but I feel like Summit really recognizes that.

Tamar to Amalia:
So how many assessments do you have to do before the 8th?

At Coastal High School having our parents support our students learning and be active partners in education allows us to work as a team. So we actually refer to it as our Coastal High School Stool, if you will. And every stool has three legs. In order for the stool to stand and stay strong, all three legs must be intact, the three legs being the student, the parent and the teacher.

This struggle is perfectly normal. The best way for parents to receive accurate information is to have a conversation with them, and so that’s how the Principal’s Parent Learning Institute was launched.

I think they’re learning what they really need, versus what we’ve always done in school.

Samantha: I think the reason most parents struggle with Summit learning initially is because it is different from what they experienced, it’s different from what I experienced growing up.

We’re able to sit down together, address, okay, what are our concerns, what are our questions, what are our wonders? And then how can we move forward and problem solve together?

To me, that was really important, and I saw that with Summit you could know when your student was having a hard time.

I don’t wonder. I never wonder what she’s writing. I know. I can go in and look. I can look at her teacher’s comments.

Amalia Gale, Coastal Academy student using Summit Learning:
And it’s helpful for me to know that my mom knows what I’m doing. Your parents hold you accountable for the things you do, whereas some people may not, but your parents will and that helps you.

It’s a new age. Are we going to invite our kids into it? Or we going to keep them on paper and pen and hope that at the end, when they get to college or out in the real world, they’re going to adapt to all this technology? I’d rather be a partner in it early on and help her through that and know that the school is also very involved in navigating that.

[scene of teacher helping Amalia in a classroom]


Parents want to do the best for their kids, and it’s different from what they know. So by taking the time to sit down in a collaborative way and learn together, it’s just such a safe space to learn and ask questions and grow together.

I have grown from like a student who never got their work done, who didn’t really care, to now I am diligently doing it.

I have an independent child who I did not think would be independent.