learn / 2016

Los Angeles Family Playlist Program

Los Angeles Family Playlist Program

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by PowerMyLearning, Inc.

PowerMyLearning’s Los Angeles Family Playlist Program improves student achievement in math by forging stronger home-school connections between teachers, students, and families through online and mobil


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

We will be partnering with Dr. Steven B. Sheldon, Director of Research at the Johns Hopkins University Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships, for the implementation of this project.

Please describe your project proposal.

This innovative project directly connects parents in underserved communities with their students’ teachers via a Family Playlists Program that incorporates bilingual support in Spanish. The program takes concepts taught during the school day and delivers them in an interactive “playlist” that students and parents complete together at home and follow up with feedback to the teacher. It connects teachers and parents online and via text messaging to share information on student learning.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Proficiency in English and Language Arts and Math

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

We believe students thrive in school when they are self-directed learners who also receive simultaneous support from their teachers and families. However, this can be challenging in the late elementary and middle school years, when family involvement and teacher-family communication can begin to wane. During the years that students often need to make significant academic gains, teachers and families lack effective tools and systems to communicate about their learning and progress. To address this challenge, we are partnering with Johns Hopkins University to build upon the strong success of their research-backed Teachers Involving Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) program by enhancing it with 21st-century technology to become our Family Playlists Program.

In this innovative program, teachers and students will extend learning into the home environment by completing mathematics-based “Family Playlists” from our free digital learning platform, PowerMyLearning Connect. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge by “teaching” parents what they have learned about math concepts, and parents will complete the process by sending feedback about their student’s performance via guided prompts, including full bilingual support for Spanish-speaking families. From a central dashboard, teachers will be able to assign Family Playlists to an entire class, prompting parents via text messaging in their home language. Following completion of the playlists at home, teachers can easily access parent feedback in one place, or determine which parents they should follow up with. Once students, teachers and families have become accustomed to using the playlists and text messaging, the program will serve as a low-lift, informal way for teachers to remain in constant communication with parents regarding student learning. This process has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on students’ homework completion, engagement with schoolwork, and overall academic performance.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

First and foremost, we will evaluate the impact of the Family Playlist Program on students’ academic outcomes – from homework completion to demonstrated proficiency on state mathematics exams. These positive outcomes have been documented in the research base supporting the TIPS program used by Johns Hopkins University, which we seek to emulate. Additionally, we will work with teachers to set goals around the number of unique points of contact with each student’s family, working to significantly increase the frequency of communication and feedback between teachers and parents.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Publicity/awareness
  • Network/relationship support