Teen Parent Program (TAPP)
The purpose of the Marana Unified School District’s Teenage Parent Program (TAPP) is to offer services and support to pregnant and parenting students leading to the ultimate goal of graduation. The program is open to all district students and is housed on the Marana High School campus within the Tiger Cub Learning Center.
The Tiger Cub Learning Center
The Learning Center is a full-service childcare center licensed through the Arizona Department of Health Services and is part of the Career and Technical Education/JTED Early Childhood Education program which prepares high school students for higher education and/or immediate employment in the Early Childhood Education field.
The TAPP program is extremely comprehensive in nature, offering many components designed specifically for the teens it benefits. TAPP provides education on prenatal care, parenting, and child development. Case management is provided to meet the specific needs of each student, including well-baby care and additional assistance that may be needed for the student’s external or home situation. WIC is provided monthly and other outside agencies work closely with the teen students.
Marana High School is an open-enrollment school, and therefore the TAPP program is available to students from other schools that may find themselves in need of the program. The Tiger Cub Learning Center can enroll children as young as two weeks old, and ranging up to five years old. The program also includes enrollment for children of Marana High School staff. The childcare staff is trained in providing the most developmentally appropriate environment and activities for all children.
The TAPP program is comprehensive in nature, offering many components designed specifically for the students it serves. There are currently four major components of TAPP:
- Health Care
- Child Care
- Case Management
The education component includes three formal classes:
- Prenatal care
- Child Care Skills
We also offer parenting education through the Parents As Teachers program which includes home visits, developmental screenings and referrals.
- Pre-employment skills
- Job placement
The health care component includes well-baby care through education and referrals for prenatal health care. Groups are also available on campus for mental health support. Mental health assistance is provided by the Arizona Children’s Association and consists of individual, group, and family counseling. WIC is also provided on-site once a month.
Child care is available at Marana High School for the children of TAPP students. Children ages 2 weeks to age 4 are enrolled in the child care center, which provides developmentally appropriate activities and toys and is licensed by the state of Arizona. TAPP parents, as well as other vocational students, work in the center alongside three adults.
Case management is the last component of the comprehensive program. The specific needs of each student are identified, as well as a plan of service. Our TAPP coordinator serves the role of case manager, linking students to the agencies and serving as an advocate for each student.
Pregnancy prevention is also a large part of TAPP. Our teen parents have formed a Teenage Parent Panel which speaks to students and interested community groups. TAPP students are eager to spread the message that completing your education should come before parenting.
We often link a teen parent with a student that has been identified as highly at risk for teen parenting. In addition, approximately 80-100 students per year experience Baby Think It Over, an infant simulator, that gives the student an experience similar to that of a new parent.
History of TAPP
TAPP opened in the fall of 1991 with a grant from the Flinn Foundation. Students are referred to TAPP from school counselors, health care professionals, and by contacting us directly. An effort is made to encourage drop outs to return to school (approximately 75 - 80% of TAPP students were out of school) and to retain students who became pregnant. Efforts are made to assist those students who are behind in credits. Flexible scheduling and alternative education may be available.