The School-Home Connection: Forging Positive Relationships With Parents

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Overview

Drawing on original research and the authors’ professional experiences, this resource presents a comprehensive approach to developing more positive relationships with students and their families.

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Editorial Reviews

NZ Carol
"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. "
Donald E. Budmen
"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. "
Annette Speach
“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.”
Nellie A. Bush
"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. "
Bonnie Dunn
"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. "
Jerome F. Melvin
"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. "
NZ Carol
"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."
Donald E. Budmen
"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."
Nellie A. Bush
"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."
Bonnie Dunn
"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."
Jerome F. Melvin
"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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412968645
  • Publisher: Corwin Press
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 1,109,364
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosemary Olender is a retired school administrator who is currently providing consulting and staff development services for school districts across a broad range of educational issues. She has focused her work on the development of educational practices that lead to higher standards for all students and increased public relations between schools and communities. Olender received her bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from the State University of New York at Albany, her master's degree in speech and language pathology from Syracuse University, and her CAS in educational administration from Syracuse University.

Prior to becoming an administrator, Olender taught for 17 years as a teacher (Grades 1-2; 7-9; 10-12) of profoundly deaf children in inclusive settings. She then became a general education administrator as associate principal for a junior high school (Grades 8-9) and principal of an elementary school (Grades K-4) before becoming director of special education (K-12) for the North Syracuse Central School District in upstate New York. She now focuses her consulting and staff development training for school districts and state organizations on a variety of topics centered on effective parent relations, inclusive practices, special education laws and practices, behavior management, and school-related personnel.

Olender is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association, the Council of Exceptional Children, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Additionally, she is a part-time administrator for the supervision of speech therapists providing Medicaid services in several upstate New York school districts.

Jacquelyn Elias is a retired speech therapist and school administrator residing in upstate New York. She received a bachelor of arts degree in speech pathology and audiology from the State University of NY at Geneseo and a masters and educational administrative degree from Oswego State University. Elias spent 19 years in the public schools as a speech therapist and special educator. Her primary interest was working with students with emotional disabilities and the very young child with language disabilities.

Elias was a school administrator for 10 years. She spent 3 years as an intermediate school principal and 7 years in the capacities of assistant director and director of special education programs in three different school districts.

Elias was active in the NYSWA (New York State Women in Administration) organization and SANNYS, a NYS organization for all administrators.

Rosemary Mastroleo is a retired school teacher and supervisor now living in Southwest Florida. Throughout her career, Mastroleo was responsible for the set up and design of special education programs in public school settings. She focused her efforts on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each child in order to build a successful academic program both at home and at school. Mastroleo’s consistent efforts to build cooperative relationships with families enhanced the success of her students and her programs.

Prior to becoming an administrator, Mastroleo taught for 17 years in the North Syracuse Central School District in central New York. During that time, she was a first grade teacher, an elementary counselor, a resource teacher, and then an itinerant junior and senior high school teacher. Following her tenure as a teacher,Mastroleo became a program monitor for the special education department in the North Syracuse District. Her duties included overseeing self-contained special education classes, sitting as a permanent member of the Committee on Special Education and providing consultant services for special education and regular education teachers regarding students with special needs. In addition to her supervisory and consultant duties, Mastroleo became a hearing officer for the North Syracuse District during her last five years of service.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Authors xv

1 Committing to the Relationship 1

Benefits to the Student 3

Benefits to the Teacher 4

Benefits to the Parent 5

Benefits to the Class 5

Benefits to the School 6

Benefits to the School District 7

Summary 8

2 Recognizing Different Personalities 9

Determining Personality 10

Effects of Personalities on Your Relationships 12

Implications 13

Dealing With Difficult Parents 15

Summary 18

3 Identifying Potential Red Flags 21

Recognizing Red Flags 21

The Likelihood Rating Scale 22

Parent and Family Conditions 23

Teacher Conditions 30

Administrator Conditions 38

Summary 45

4 Honing Solid Communication Skills 47

Verbal Communication Obstacles 48

Nonverbal Communication Obstacles 53

Summary 57

5 Adopting Key Rules 59

Rule 1 Be Respectful 59

Rule 2 Be Proactive 60

Rule 3 No Surprises 62

Rule 4 24 Hours 63

Rule 5 No Dump Trucks Allowed 64

Rule 6 Document 65

Rule 7 Be Prepared 66

Rule 8 "I Don't Know" 67

Rule 9 Never Say Never 67

Rule 10 Never Lie 69

Summary 70

6 Using Flexibility to Enhance Relationships 71

Common Family Issues Needing Accommodation 72

Failing Students 76

Students With Disabilities 76

Families of Divorce or Separation 77

Illness or Death of a Close Family Member 78

Non-English-Speaking and Low-Literacy Families 78

Counterproductive Family Dynamics 79

Summary 80

7 Documenting and Celebrating School Events 81

What Do We Need to Document? 82

Quick, Easy, and Routine Daily Documentation Methods 83

Weekly or Monthly Newsletters 87

Specialized Daily Contacts 87

Conferences 89

DVDs/CDs 89

Back-to-School Nights and Open Houses 90

Summary 91

8 Connecting Home and School 93

Levels of Parent Participation 94

Level 1 General Parental Support of School Activities 94

Level 2 Parental Involvement in Daily School Events 95

Level 3 Parental Involvement in Decision-Making Processes 97

Summary 99

9 Cultivating Resources 101

Where Do You Start? 102

Compiling a List of Family Resources 103

What Should Your Resource List Look Like? 104

One Step Further 105

Summary 106

10 Summarizing Global Lessons Learned 107

Lesson 1 Keep the Student Front and Center 107

Lesson 2 Be the Best Communicator You Can Be 109

Lesson 3 Become User-Friendly 110

Lesson 4 Be Proactive 113

Lesson 5 View Parents and Families as Opportunities to Bring Diversity, Interests, and Talents Into the Classroom and School 115

Lesson 6 Above All, Keep and Use a Sense of Humor 116

Summary 118

Resource A Discover Your Personality 119

Resource B The Animal Test 121

Resource C Personality Types 123

References and Recommended Readings 125

Index 127

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