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BUILDING EFFECTIVE AND POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH PARENTS AND PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS Linda C. Knicker Assistant Superintendent Special Education CUSD 200-

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Presentation on theme: "BUILDING EFFECTIVE AND POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH PARENTS AND PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS Linda C. Knicker Assistant Superintendent Special Education CUSD 200-"— Presentation transcript:

1 BUILDING EFFECTIVE AND POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH PARENTS AND PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS Linda C. Knicker Assistant Superintendent Special Education CUSD 200- Wheaton IL And Deb Durrbeck Parent Mentor

2 OUTLINE OF SESSION INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION BRIEF HISTORY PARENT MENTOR AND PARENT MENTOR PROJECT BRIEF HISTORY PARENT MENTOR AND PARENT MENTOR PROJECT CHALLENGES – DISTRICT-PARENTS CHALLENGES – DISTRICT-PARENTS WHY COLLABORATE WHY COLLABORATE STRATEGIES AND TOOLS STRATEGIES AND TOOLS IS IT WORKING – HOW DO YOU KNOW IS IT WORKING – HOW DO YOU KNOW PERSONAL REFLECTIONS PERSONAL REFLECTIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

3 INTRODUCTIONS Deb Durrbeck – parent and mentor DISTRICT 200 PARENT MENTOR DISTRICT 200 PARENT MENTOR Wheaton-Warrenville Public Schools Linda Knicker – Assistant Superintendent Special Education –District 200

4 SEA200 and THE PARENT MENTOR PROJECT Special Education Alliance 200 (SEA200) Special Education Alliance 200 (SEA200) –Summer of 2002; A different kind of parent group! –First meeting of SEA200 and new CUSD200 leadership

5 Parent Mentor Project Parent Mentor Project –Initiated by the ISBE in 2004 –Modeled after the Ohio Parent Mentor Project Taking a traditionally adversarial relationship and creating a collaborative partnership with one mutual goal= focusing on the needs of the student. Taking a traditionally adversarial relationship and creating a collaborative partnership with one mutual goal= focusing on the needs of the student. –CUSD200 and SEA200

6 PERSONAL REFLECTIONS Every Parent has a story to tell; let them tell their story. Every Parent has a story to tell; let them tell their story. There are many stress factors raising a child/children with special needsthese take a toll on family relationships. There are many stress factors raising a child/children with special needsthese take a toll on family relationships. Dont be afraid to say I dont know. Dont be afraid to say I dont know. Parents are proactive, protective and preventative in nature. Parents are proactive, protective and preventative in nature. Meet parents where they are in their special education journey and bring them along. Meet parents where they are in their special education journey and bring them along.

7 PERSONAL REFLECTION CONT. Parents pick up on turmoil within the team. Parents pick up on turmoil within the team. Many parents try to make decisions in the present for the future. (i.e. preschool IEP meeting….thinking about middle school…) Many parents try to make decisions in the present for the future. (i.e. preschool IEP meeting….thinking about middle school…) Many parents feel that self-contained classrooms are a life sentence. Many parents feel that self-contained classrooms are a life sentence. Sharing information about the vision, challenges and successes within your district is priceless!!! Sharing information about the vision, challenges and successes within your district is priceless!!!

8 CHALLENGES Demand for services threaten available resources Demand for services threaten available resources What is mandated is often inadequately funded – sets up a conflict situation What is mandated is often inadequately funded – sets up a conflict situation Traditional tug of war experiences cause parties not to listen, check for understanding and problem solve together Traditional tug of war experiences cause parties not to listen, check for understanding and problem solve together Expectations for student performance are not met with data and collaborative goal setting Expectations for student performance are not met with data and collaborative goal setting

9 CHALLENGES CONT. Old rules cause parents and teams to be limited in their thinking out of the box re. services and placement Old rules cause parents and teams to be limited in their thinking out of the box re. services and placement Differentiation in regular education classrooms can be mandated but understanding and flexibility about differentiation take collaborative partnership with specialists and parents Differentiation in regular education classrooms can be mandated but understanding and flexibility about differentiation take collaborative partnership with specialists and parents

10 WHY COLLABORATE? ITS THE LAW COLLABORATE OR DUE PROCESS ITS YOUR CHOICE

11 When schools and families work together, a partnership of support for children develops. Education becomes a shared venture, characterized by mutual respect and trust in which the importance and influence of each partner is recognized. Although children, families, teachers, and schools benefit individually, their partnerships enhance the entire process of education. - Rebecca Crawford Burns, author of: When schools and families work together, a partnership of support for children develops. Education becomes a shared venture, characterized by mutual respect and trust in which the importance and influence of each partner is recognized. Although children, families, teachers, and schools benefit individually, their partnerships enhance the entire process of education. - Rebecca Crawford Burns, author of: Parents and Schools: From Visitors to Partners Parents and Schools: From Visitors to Partners

12 TOOLS AND STRATEGIES ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FORMAL OR INFORMAL LEADERS OF PARENT GROUPS ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FORMAL OR INFORMAL LEADERS OF PARENT GROUPS LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THEIR CONCERNS LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THEIR CONCERNS BECOME TRANSPARENT BECOME TRANSPARENT BUILD A SHARED VISION BUILD A SHARED VISION ESTABLISH GOALS FOR THE YEAR ESTABLISH GOALS FOR THE YEAR MEET REGULARY-CHECKING THE CLIMATE MEET REGULARY-CHECKING THE CLIMATE DONT SAY NO DONT SAY NO STAY PROFESSIONAL – THIS IS NOT PERSONAL STAY PROFESSIONAL – THIS IS NOT PERSONAL

13 WHAT DOES IT MEAN WORKING TOWARD A COMMON GOAL WORKING TOWARD A COMMON GOAL ARRIVING AT A WIN-WIN OUTCOME ARRIVING AT A WIN-WIN OUTCOME EACH PERSON HAS THEIR NEEDS MET EACH PERSON HAS THEIR NEEDS MET CREATES A DESIRE TO IMPROVE AND NOT POINT BLAME CREATES A DESIRE TO IMPROVE AND NOT POINT BLAME MORE IS ACCOMPLISHED TOGETHER MORE IS ACCOMPLISHED TOGETHER STUDENTS WIN STUDENTS WIN

14 WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? Administration and Parent Groups meet regularly to share information and resources Administration and Parent Groups meet regularly to share information and resources Parent Mentors (formal or informal) are available to meet with parents to navigate the system and problem solve Parent Mentors (formal or informal) are available to meet with parents to navigate the system and problem solve Parent Groups sponsor speakers to address critical parent issues Parent Groups sponsor speakers to address critical parent issues

15 WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? Administration and Parent Groups seek Grants and Funding sources to enhance District programs Administration and Parent Groups seek Grants and Funding sources to enhance District programs Trust is developed by open, honest and respectful dialogue and interactions Trust is developed by open, honest and respectful dialogue and interactions Student achievement guides all we do together Student achievement guides all we do together

16 PERSONAL REFLECTIONS Commitment to collaboration Commitment to collaboration Listen before speak Listen before speak Seek to understand before expecting to be understood Seek to understand before expecting to be understood Show up Show up Eat breakfast Eat breakfast Be open to new things Be open to new things

17 Resources For more information about having a parent liaison in your district: Parent and Educator Partnership website: www.pepartnership.org Parent and Educator Partnership website: www.pepartnership.org Other Resources: Special Education Alliance 200 (SEA200) website: www.sea200.org Parents and Schools: From Visitors to Partners by: Rebecca Crawford BurnsParents and Schools: From Visitors to Partners by: Rebecca Crawford Burns


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