Parent-led Academics Thrive in Albuquerque

Launched in 2015, Parent Led Academic Network Team (PLANT) brings together members of the community who are passionate about a subject or have a special expertise with parents who want to customize their children’s education. Teachers, tutors, coaches, and mentors gather with students in Albuquerque, New Mexico for independent, unique learning opportunities facilitated by PLANT, a network of teachers that share marketing, registration, and facilities costs. PLANT, Inc. assists the network through administrative services to teachers.

New Mexico is ranked last in the country for preK-12 education, so Dr. Mona K. Koerner, a mom and PLANT’s founder, is trying to forge an alternative way forward – what she calls a network model of education. In the network model, community members come forward with expertise and experience to invest in the next generation of learners from pre-K through 12th-grade, and parents choose those resources they like for their children. Classes take place during the day, so most students are home educated, but all students are welcome and students who attend public and private schools have also attended classes through PLANT. In fact, the program’s popularity soared during the pandemic, when class registrations increased nearly 400 percent to 1,600 total class sign-ups. 

 “We believe parents are the primary decision-makers in their children’s education,” said Koerner, “but we also believe parents do not have to do it all and should make use of the resources available in the community.”

Over the years, PLANT has supported teachers who have hosted classes on subjects like science, civics, history, math, English, geography, sports, art, Spanish, and drama. The group also offers an extensive resource directory on its website, with dozens of community resources and coaches listed. PLANT is about partnerships and many participating teachers have worked with mainstream educational programs to make those programs more accessible including: First Lego League, Toastmasters, Civil Air Patrol, and the Air Force Research Lab’s Mission to Mars and Robotics programs.

This year, PLANT has more than 68 classes listed for student registration, including 18 brand-new options not offered through the network before. Ten new teachers are joining the network, too. In other words, PLANT is ready to grow!

Learn more about Parent Led Academic Network Team, Inc.: Website

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