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The Power of Information, Responsiveness to Parental Need, and Ongoing Support for the Enhanced Competence of All Students National Association of School.

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Presentation on theme: "The Power of Information, Responsiveness to Parental Need, and Ongoing Support for the Enhanced Competence of All Students National Association of School."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Power of Information, Responsiveness to Parental Need, and Ongoing Support for the Enhanced Competence of All Students National Association of School Psychologists 2010 Distinguished Lecture Sandra L. Christenson, Ph.D.

2 Response to Intervention A data driven decision making process for intervention design Evidence-based Interventions and Practices School-Family Partnerships The mesosystemic influence on students learning and developmental outcomes

3 A mentor works with students and partners with families for a minimum of two years, regularly checking on the educational progress of the student, intervening in a timely manner to re-establish and maintain the students connection to school and learning and to enhance the students social and academic competence.

4 Universal 80% Targeted 15% Intensive 5%

5 Treatment-control differences for secondary students with disabilities in longitudinal designs: Improved attendance (absences, tardies, skips) Improved social skills and homework completion Enrolled in school and making progress towards degree (credits earned) Higher graduation rates for five years Check & Connect has met the evidence-based standards of the WWC for staying and progressing in school (

6 Identification of effective programs, e.g., Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (Sheridan) Eco-fit Model (Dishion) Incredible Year (Webster-Stratton) Identification of components of successful family-school collaborative interventions (Carlson & Christenson, 2005) Season effect – power of out of school time (Alexander, Entwisle, & Olson, 2001)

7 School personnel believe: Success in school is multi-determined Children learn everywhere And yet: Assessment and intervention generally tends to focus on understanding the student in the context of the school settings and what educators can do Shared goals + contributions + accountability (Fantuzzo, Tighe, & Childs, 2000)

8 Parent–Child Relationship Teacher– Student Relationship Family–School Relationship

9 A fourth implication of forgetting the power of the family-school relationship piece, described by Pianta and Walsh (1996), relates to how risk is conceptualized. Not status variables (income, ethnicity), but rather discontinuity Students educated in high risk vs. low risk situations

10 Power of the family-school relationship Continuity in goals, expectations, and messages about learning – shared language Extend learning time Across time and development Pay as much attention to the starting line as we do the finish line

11 Process was not easy... Dr. Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated, but we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time. Stranger Honored guest Become family – and we would do anything for family

12 He taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down, and to make relationships as important as building projects. He taught me I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever teach them. Time to build trust, power of co-construction, and role of problem solving

13 Response to Intervention supports engaging with parents First sign of concern for the student Reason for connection is to improve student outcomes Naturally allows for complementary efforts toward common and shared goals (Seeley, 1985) Structured problem solving and joint monitoring of school performance

14 Universal 80% Targeted 15% Intensive 5%

15 Develop a communication system Ensure parents know and understand school policies and practices, effective teaching practices and home support for learning, and recognize their role in supporting their childrens learning Information sharing about course registration for high school students – advancing academic rigor of students course selection

16 To engage with some parents, we must attend to unique needs of family circumstances. Benefit of responding to parents desires and goals Mentors dialogue with parents about personal constraints and engage in problem solving What resources or information do you desire to assist your childrens learning? Distributed learning packets to homes to reinforce classroom reading skills Parent education and Parent-Teacher conferences

17 A very individualized focus – one that provides ongoing support paired with information and attention to family need. Regular, systematic contact: Voic , postcards Home or community visits and ongoing consultation News at nine – systematic monitoring of student performance Mentors have engaged in many problem solving meetings and ongoing dialogue

18 Persistence: There is someone who is not going to give up on the parent or allow the parent to be distracted from the importance of his or her childs learning. Continuity: There is someone who knows the parents needs and desires and is available - preferably across school years. Consistency: The message is that you are very important for the educational and life success of your child. We can find a way that works.

19 The reason for the relationship is to promote positive learning experiences and outcomes for the student. Ensure that parents have the information and resources needed to support their childrens learning. Perspective-taking is modeled and used in all interactions Commitment to the relationships - Recognize that trusting relationships build over time.

20 Maintain a positive, honest orientation to communication. Develop a two-way communication system. Structured problem solving Invited, informed and were informed by, and included families Handle and manage conflict

21 Centrality of the mesosystem Continuity in messages and efforts Enhance and account for out-of-school learning time Focus of the family-school relationship is student success at school Actions to join the two systems Enhance problem solving and conflict resolution Help teachers form relationships with families Support families to be an active partner

22 Operate at a mesosystemic level and create engaged partnerships in RtI The central problem in the development of partnerships is failure to establish collaborative, trusting, empowering relationships between families and educators that support effective service delivery. (Blue-Banning et al., 2004) Provide differentiated supports for parents The power of information, responsiveness to parental need, and ongoing support

23 Engaging with parents is more than a list of 6 ideas to help your teen It is ongoing problem solving or what John Fantuzzo has referred to as: shared goals + contributions + accountability For some families it takes more than Three Cups of Tea

24 If the parent chooses not to participate, school personnel can explain they will do their part at school; however, they can make it clear that they believe this is only part of the equation for student success and they know the child would perform better in school if the school and parents partner to enhance childrens learning and behavior. Parents need to be told explicitly that without a shared effort toward a common goal, the probability the child will perform less well on school tasks is increased.

25 Sandra L. Christenson, Ph.D. Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership University of Minnesota School Psychology Program 56 East River Road, 250 ESB Minneapolis, MN Thank you!

26 Alexander, K.L., Entwisle, D.R., & Olson, L.S. (2001). Schools, achievement, and inequality: A seasonal perspective. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23, Barton, P.E., & Coley, R.J. (2007). The family: Americas smallest school. Policy Evaluation and Research Center, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ. Blue-Banning, M., Summers, J.A., Frankland, H.C., Nelson, L.L., & Beegle, G. (2004). Dimensions of family and professional partnerships: Constructive guidelines for collaboration. Exceptional Children, 70, Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

27 Buerkle, K., Whitehouse, E.M., & Christenson, S.L. (2009). Partnering with families for educational success. In C.R. Reynolds & T.B. Gutkin (Eds.), Handbook of school psychology (4 th Ed.) (pp ). New York: Wiley & Sons. Carlson, C., & Christenson, S.L. (Eds.). (2005). Evidence-based parent and family interventions in school psychology [Special issue]. School Psychology Quarterly, 20(4). Christenson, S.L., & Reschly, A.L. (Eds). (2010). Handbook of school-family partnerships. New York: Routledge – Taylor and Francis. Christenson, S. L., & Sheridan, S. M. (2001). Schools and families: Creating essential connections for childrens learning. Guilford Press.

28 Edwards, P.A. (2004). Childrens literacy development: Making it happen through school, family, and community involvement. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. Fantuzzo, J., Tighe, E., & Childs, S. (2000). Family involvement questionnaire: A multivariate assessment of family participation in early childhood education. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(2), Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful difference in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (1997). Why do parents become involved in their childrens education? Review of Educational Research, 67(1), 3-42.

29 Mortenson, Greg, & Relin, D. O. (2006). Three cups of tea. Viking Publications. Pianta, R., & Walsh, D. B. (1996). High-risk children in schools: Constructing sustaining relationships. NY: Routledge. Reschly, A. L., & Christenson, S. L. (2009). Parents as essential partners for fostering students learning outcomes. In R. Gilman, E. S. Huebner, & J. M. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology (pp ). NY: Routledge. Seeley, D. S. (1985). Education through partnership. Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Sheridan, S.M., & Kratochwill, T.R. (2007). Conjoint behavioral consultation: A procedural manual. NY: Plenum.

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