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Family and Community Liaisons Savannah Chatham County Public School System Department for Exceptional Children.

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Presentation on theme: "Family and Community Liaisons Savannah Chatham County Public School System Department for Exceptional Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 Family and Community Liaisons Savannah Chatham County Public School System Department for Exceptional Children

2 Who are the Family and Community Liaisons? Who: The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System participates in this parent driven program, headed by the Georgia Department of Education. Parents of children with disabilities are employed on a part- time basis by their local school systems as mentors to other parents who have children with disabilities attending the local public schools. In Chatham County we are called Family and Community Liaisons

3 What does Family and Community Liaison Do? What we do: As a liaison we advise, educate and support families of children with disabilities regarding special education. We produce parent oriented publications and resource guides. We help parents of newly identified students negotiate the special education process, developing a network of parent resources, and Respond to phone calls and correspondences from parents. Bridge the gap between home,school and community.

4 Family and Community Liaison How: Provides information to parents on the special education process of referral, evaluation, and placement. Provides accurate information through system educators and programs about rights and responsibilities under the IDEA Act. Assists parents in preparing for Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings to enable them to be active members of the team. Directs parents to resources available within and outside the school system.

5 Family and Community Liaison How: Provides training for parents, educators, and community members on requested topics. Parent training can be individually or through workshops in the community or schools. Provides feedback to the school system regarding areas that are of concern to parents. Serve as a liaison between the Department for Exceptional Children and the families.

6 Parent Mentor Program When and Where: Five local school systems in Georgia piloted this program beginning in January There are 96 mentors in 86 systems. Savannah-Chatham County has been part of the program since 2003.

7 Family and Community Liaison Why: To build effective family, school and community partnerships which leads to greater student achievement for all students with focus on those with disabilities.

8 Who is all involved

9 Family and Community Liaison Communication tips Be proactive in your communication, not reactive Meet each individual parent on his or her level Always strive to start each parent/teacher or IEP meeting on a positive note Understand the significance of the 9 steps of grieving (denial, anger, grief, fear, guilt, confusion, powerlessness, rejection and isolation) Be aware of your body language

10 Family and Community Liaison Communication tips Parents want to have regular two-way communication with teachers so they can know specifically how to support their child's learning. Do Not assume that because a parent is not involved at school, he or she does not care. Parents are teachers too! Look at what the child knows, not the deficits.

11 Tips for school staff Listen carefully to parents - they are experts on their own children. Families can provide important information on a child's behavior outside the program or classroom. Communicate with parents about children's assignments or activities ahead of time. Never make judgments on parenting styles; always make an effort to respect the family's values and beliefs.

12 Family and Community Liaison Students Gain awareness Understand expectations Self confidence grow Parents Become Involved Believe in their ability to influence Confidence in teachers grow

13 Family and Community Liaisons Jane Newman Tameka Tribble Department for Exceptional Children 2 Laura Street Room /


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