APPLE Program

The Alternative Parent Participation Learning Experience (APPLE) has been a Spokane Public Schools elementary education program since 1977. It was conceived and developed by Parents for Alternative Education, a parent group pursuing meaningful involvement in the public school education of their children. Learning is enriched by the cooperative participation of parents, teachers, students, administrators, and members of the larger community.  Since its visions and activities are driven by these diverse relationships, the program is dynamic. Each new year brings new faces, new dreams, and new beginnings to an ever-evolving program. Continuity is provided by adherence to the original mission of parent participation, and by long-term tenure of students, parents, and teachers.

Students are the beneficiaries of this participation, as parents form partnerships with teachers to enrich learning.  APPLE seeks to educate the whole child with a balance among academic, intellectual, personal, and social development.  It employs traditional and innovative, research-based educational approaches. 

Families commit to volunteer 90 hours per year (approximately 2.5 hrs. per week) in a variety of ways. Some examples include:

  • Working in the classroom with individuals and small groups

  • Preparing materials and supplies to support teachers and students for ample learning time

  • Attending monthly evening meetings for community collaboration and updates

  • Chaperoning field trips as part of enriching the academic or community experience

  • Serving on a committee that supports and facilitates the goals of APPLE and its students

  • Assisting with the whole school PTG

APPLE program is open to all children in grades K-5 who live within Spokane Public Schools’ boundaries. APPLE families become part of a dynamic, caring community sharing a common goal of enriched learning for children through parent involvement.


Franklin Elementary
Six classrooms
2627 E. 17th Ave., 509-354-2620

Garfield Elementary
Three classrooms
222 W. Knox Ave., 509-354-2700


Annual curricular plans are determined by standard based objectives, themes and goals jointly developed by parents, teachers, students and APPLE teachers’ professional knowledge.

SPS-approved core curriculum and instructional materials are used in APPLE classrooms. Teachers use parent participation and community resources both in the classroom and during field trips to enrich learning and provide students with hands-on, real world experiences and connections.

How to Join

Inevitably, there are more interested families than available spots each year. Families wishing to be placed in the lottery must: 

  1. Complete the online application (available in January 2024)

  2. Attend a parent information session:

Families interested in APPLE may attend either information session. Attending information night sessions offer school tours with school admin and teachers available for Q&A. It is highly recommended families attend the school session of your choice.