UA’s Parent Teacher Leadership Academy Receives National Award for School, Family and Community Partnerships

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Schools participating in at least one PTLA program area:

Alberta School of Performing Arts
Arcadia Elementary
Berry Elementary
Big Sandy Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Brookwood Middle
Buhl Elementary
Central Elementary
Collins-Riverside Middle
Creek View Elementary
Crestmont Elementary
Davis-Emerson Middle
Duncanville Middle
Eastwood Middle
Faucett-Vestavia Elementary
Fayette Elementary
Fayette Middle
Hillcrest Middle
Holt Elementary
Lake View Elementary
Lamar County High/Intermediate
Livingston Junior
Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
Matthews Elementary
Maxwell Elementary
Meadow View Elementary
Myrtlewood Elementary
Northington Elementary
Oakdale Elementary
Rock Quarry Elementary
Rock Quarry Middle
Sipsey Valley Middle
Skyland Elementary
Southview Elementary
Thompson Intermediate
Thompson Middle
Thompson Sixth Grade Center
Tuscaloosa Magnet Elementary
Tuscaloosa Magnet Middle
University Place Elementary
University Place Middle
Vance Elementary
Verner Elementary
Vernon Elementary
Walker Elementary
Westlawn Middle
Westwood Elementary
Woodland Forest Elementary
York West End Junior

TUSCALOOSA — A national network based at Johns Hopkins University has recognized a University of Alabama program for establishing successful community partnerships with area public schools.

The Parent Teacher Leadership Academy (PTLA) earned a national Partnership Organization Award for helping local schools develop “goal-oriented programs of family and community engagement,” according to an announcement from Johns Hopkins University’s National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS).

“PTLA’s research-based approach is helping public schools in Alabama improve student attendance, behavior, achievement, health, graduation rates, and postsecondary plans,” according to Dr. Joyce L. Epstein, director of NNPS.

“This award is further recognition of the success of our ongoing community engagement strategy,” said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president of the Division of Community Affairs. “It provides evidence of the direct impact this program is having on one of the nation’s most important institutions, our public schools.”

Dr. Holly G. Morgan, director of Community Education for the Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP), said, “The University of Alabama is privileged to work with such dedicated teachers and parents. We are seeing outstanding results in our major goals of strengthening student performance and motivation through the effective establishment and ongoing work of school, family, and community partnership teams. Parents and teachers have expressed that the Academy has not only fostered personal leadership growth but has enhanced communication at all levels throughout their schools.”  

Each year, classes prepare and execute special projects designed to improve the overall educational experience within the schools. In 2018, the 10th year of the program, a record 50 PTLA projects were conducted. Projects addressed key areas that parents and teachers developed to promote cooperation among community members, students, parents, teachers and school administration.

Member schools involved in PTLA total 49 from six different school systems — Tuscaloosa City, Tuscaloosa County, Alabaster City, Fayette County, Lamar County and Sumter County.

PTLA is a joint initiative of participating school systems, CCBP and UA’s Colleges of Education and Human Environmental Sciences. It utilizes research-based practices to provide professional development to parent and teacher leaders who use their knowledge to support student achievement through strong school, family and community partnerships. Selected parents and teachers are given opportunities to develop their knowledge and abilities as leaders within their school communities.

The program is divided into six program areas: Elementary Parent Leadership Academy, Elementary Teacher Leadership Academy, Middle School Parent Leadership Academy, Middle School Teacher Leadership Academy, Pre-K Parent Leadership Academy, and Hispanic Parent Leadership Academy.

Dr. Elizabeth K. Wilson, senior associate dean in the College of Education, and Dr. Blake Berryhill, family therapy program director in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, represent their respective colleges as PTLA faculty partners.