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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
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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