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The School-Home Connection
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The School-Home Connection
Forging Positive Relationships With Parents



March 2010 | 152 pages | Corwin

"A useful resource for all educators with practical suggestions to help close the gap between school and home. Through analogies and shared reflections on real-life examples, the authors provide guidance for dealing effectively with parents, understanding the importance of family dynamics, and considering the effects of personality types on relationships."
—Annette Speach, Director of Human Resources
North Syracuse Central School District, NY

"Becoming skilled in relationships is the foundation for successful home-school collaboration, and these authors provide the why's and how-to's in a very readable form."
—Bonnie Dunn, Retired School Social Worker
The Collaborative School, New Gloucester, ME

The keys to bridging the gap between school and home!

Research has consistently shown that student success is directly related to the strength of the relationships between parents and schools. This book provides teachers and administrators with tools to build a foundation for student success based on positive relationships with students and their families.

Drawing on original research and their professional experiences, the authors identify the common sources of both negative and positive school-home relationships. The book presents a comprehensive approach to building closer connections and includes:

  • Tools to help educators develop a deeper understanding of the communities they serve
  • Strategies for improving interpersonal skills and communication skills
  • A chapter on the importance of documenting and celebrating school events
  • Guidelines for creating three distinct levels of parental participation in schools

With suggestions for cultivating a community network of support services and a summary of lessons for forging constructive relationships, The School-Home Connection is an essential tool for educators looking to strengthen the learning community and increase student achievement.

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Committing to the Relationship
Benefits to the Student  
Benefits to the Teacher  
Benefits to the Parent  
Benefits to the Class  
Benefits to the School  
Benefits to the School District  
Summary  
 
2. Recognizing Different Personalities
Determining Personality  
Effects of Personalities on Your Relationships  
Implications  
Dealing With Difficult Parents  
Summary  
 
3. Identifying Potential Red Flags
Recognizing Red Flags  
The Likelihood Rating Scale  
Parent and Family Conditions  
Teacher Conditions  
Administrator Conditions  
Summary  
 
4. Honing Solid Communication Skills
Verbal Communication Obstacles  
Nonverbal Communication Obstacles  
Summary  
 
5. Adopting Key Rules
Rule 1: Be Respectful  
Rule 2: Be Proactive  
Rule 3: No Surprises  
Rule 4: 24 Hours  
Rule 5: No Dump Trucks Allowed  
Rule 6: Document  
Rule 7: Be Prepared  
Rule 8: "I Don't Know"  
Rule 9: Never Say Never  
Rule 10: Never Lie  
Summary  
 
6. Using Flexibility to Enhance Relationships
Common Family Issues Needing Accommodation  
Failing Students  
Students With Disabilities  
Families of Divorce or Separation  
Illness or Death of a Close Family Member  
Non-English-Speaking and Low-Literacy Families  
Counterproductive Family Dynamics  
Summary  
 
7. Documenting and Celebrating School Events
What Do We Need to Document?  
Quick, Easy, and Routine Daily Documentation Methods  
Weekly or Monthly Newsletters  
Specialized Daily Contacts  
Conferences  
DVDs/CDs  
Back-to-School Nights and Open Houses  
Summary  
 
8. Connecting Home and School
Levels of Parent Participation  
Level 1: General Parental Support of School Activities  
Level 2: Parental Involvement in Daily School Events  
Level 3: Parental Involvement in Decision-Making Processes  
Summary  
 
9. Cultivating Resources
Where Do You Start?  
Compiling a List of Family Resources  
What Should Your Resource List Look Like?  
One Step Further  
Summary  
 
10. Summarizing Global Lessons Learned
Lesson 1: Keep the Student Front and Center  
Lesson 2: Be the Best Communicator You Can Be  
Lesson 3: Become User-Friendly  
Lesson 4: Be Proactive  
Lesson 5: View Parents and Families as Opportunities to Bring Diversity, Interests, and Talents into the Classroom and School  
Lesson 6: Above All, Keep and Use a Sense of Humor  
Summary  
 
Resource A: Discover Your Personality
 
Resource B: The Animal Test
 
Resource C: Personality Types
 
References and Recommended Readings
 
Index

"When parents and school get together, all kids can win. Every teacher and administrator should read this book. The detailed table of contents directs you to a solution for your problem."

NZ Carol, Development Officer
Dominican Hospital Foundation

"After enduring a 16-day due process hearing with Rosemary Olender, in which the district prevailed but nobody 'won,' especially the student, Rosemary said to me, 'There has to be a better way.' I agreed. The research conducted by the authors, combined with their years of special education experience, has found a better solution. This book provides sound, practical, readily implemented advice regarding communication and relationships—the keys to successful outcomes for special education students, their families, and their school districts."

Donald E. Budmen, School Attorney
Ferrara, Fiorenza, Larrison, Barrett & Reitz, P.C.

“A useful resource for all educators with practical suggestions to help close the gap between school and home. Through analogies and shared reflections on real-life examples, the authors provide guidance in dealing effectively with parents, appreciating the importance of family dynamics, and understanding the effects of personality types on relationships.”

Annette Speach, Director of Human Resources
North Syracuse Central School District, NY

"A resource that every school district should use for staff development. It provides excellent strategies with effective examples to use in various situations that occur in our schools. Effective strategies are offered to deal with parents who are insecure, feel threatened, or are very anxious. The book also offers insight on how school staff should act to develop a climate of respect."

Nellie A. Bush, Retired Assistant Superintendent
Amsterdam School District, NY

"These authors understand the basic and important concepts to working successfully with even the most challenging students and families. In clear language, they provide concrete steps to guide readers in developing the relationships that are the basis of all successful collaboration between school and home. Becoming skilled in these relationships is the foundation for successful home-school collaboration, and these authors provide the why's and how-to's in very readable form."

Bonnie Dunn, Retired School Social Worker
The Collaborative School, New Gloucester, ME

"This commonsense and practical approach to improving relationships contains a storehouse of solid resources and tools that will assist both neophytes as well as the experienced practitioner. The book serves as a strong wake-up call, as the research clearly indicates that student achievement improves when parents are involved in a child's education."

Jerome F. Melvin, Superintendent of Schools
North Syracuse Central School District, NY

Sample Materials & Chapters

Olender_School-Home_Preface

Olender_School-Home_Ch1


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ISBN: 9781412968645

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