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Family and Community. (MTSS/RTI). MTSS/RTI Eight Essential Elements. - Evidence Based Curriculum & Instruction

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Family and community

Family and Community


Mtss rti eight essential elements

MTSS/RTI Eight Essential Elements

- Evidence Based Curriculum & Instruction

- Ongoing Assessment

- Collaborative Teaming

- Data Based Decision Making

- Fidelity of Implementation

- Ongoing Training and Professional Development

- Community and Family Involvement

- Strong Leadership

Family and community


Why . . .

is it important that we involve parents in the MTSS/ RTI process?

How . . .

do you involve parents when academics, attendance or behavior impact a student's success?

What . . .

should parents in your district expect from the MTSS/RTI process?

Family and community

Why Family-School-Community Partnering?

It's all about our STUDENTS!

“With frequent interactions among schools, families, and communities, more students are more likely to receive common messages from various people about the importance of school, working hard, thinking creatively, helping one another and staying in school…the more school and home are perceived to be similar, the more students achieve.”

(Epstein et al, 2002)

Adapted from

Family and community


Factors Influencing Achievement

1. Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum 2. Challenging Goals/Effective Feedback

3. Parent and Community Involvement4. Safe and Orderly Environment 5. Collegiality and Professionalism


6. Instructional Strategies

7. Classroom Management

8. Classroom Curricula Design


9. Home Environment

10. Learned Intelligence/ Background Knowledge

11. Motivation


Marzano, 2003

Family and community

30-Year Research Summary: Benefits of Family-School Collaboration

  • For Students:

    • ►Higher achievement, more homework completion, come to school more and stay in school longer, observing more similarities between home and school

  • For Families:

    • ►Becoming more supportive of child and teachers, becoming more confident in how to help child learn, learning more about education programs

  • For Teachers and Schools:

    • ►Improved teacher morale, higher ratings of teachers by parents, parents support schools and bond issues

    • (Christenson& Sheridan, 2001; Epstein et al, 2002)

Adapted from

Family and community

School Partnering Strategies That Work At All Levels…

  • ►The quality of school-family interactions and the degree to which parents perceive teacher outreach efforts as welcoming were important determinants in how, when and if families became involved with schools. In urban settings, parents were more engaged the more they perceived teachers as:

    • -valuing their contributions

    • -keeping them informed of child’s strengths and weaknesses

    • -providing suggestions

    • (Patrikakou &Weissberg, 2000)

Adapted from

Family and community

New for many…

►Because it may be a new experience for most families and community resources to be significantly involved … special care must be taken to inform them of the steps in the process.

(CDE, 2008b)

►Having families and community resources directly involved may also be new for school staff … assigning a “liaison role” to assist in linking all partners may be helpful.

(CDE, 2008a)

►The RtI problem-solving process is a more transparent, fluid, and open process than most previous systems for supporting struggling students - all partners may need support and education.

Adapted from

Family and community

What is the Shift?

Traditional Parent Involvement

-Parents only

-Schools have the primary responsibility for educating students

-School initiated, formal activities and meetings

Family Partnering

-Family = student, parents and/or other caregivers in a child’s life

-Families and schools share responsibility for a child’s education; each has unique knowledge and skills

-Flexible hours and meeting venues; ongoing sustainable relationship-building

Adapted from

Family and community

What is the Shift?

Traditional Parent Involvement

-School initiated, one-way information sharing, often about problems

-Educational plans developed and implemented by school and shared with parents; parents give consent

-Structured volunteering at school (usually fundraisers or sporting events) with a small group of parents

Family Partnering

-Ongoing, two-way communication about successes, concerns, information

-Educational plans developed and delivered conjointly by schools and families including RtI/MTSS, FBA, PBS/MBI, IEP

-Supporting learning at home and school for all families

Adapted from

Family and community

What is the Shift?

Traditional Parent Involvement

-When a student struggles, teachers tend to “go it alone”, then refer to child study group/special education if continuing problems; families “sign consent” and the special education team tests for eligibility.

Family Partnering

-When a student struggles, families and teachers work together, then refer to the RtI problem-solving team if concerns continue; the team, including families and teachers, prescribes interventions and monitors progress.

Adapted from

Family and community

Family-School Partnering Continuum

Where are you and your school staff members, families, and community resources on the partnering continuum ? Give it a number!

Home and school are separate, very different worlds. It is the school’s responsibility to educate children,

and the family’s responsibility to see that the children are dressed, fed, and prepared for school.

Adapted from Henderson et al., 2007

Schools share the responsibility for

education with families. The partnership

with families is flexible: on some issues the parents will be the more active partner and on others, the school will be.


Adapted from

It s all about building family school community partnerships

It's All About Building Family, School & Community Partnerships . . .

By providing a variety of roles and activities for families and communities to support student learning

By involving families in data-based decision making for student level & systemic change

By ensuring reciprocal relationships

What do you have in place thus far

What do you have in place thus far?

-Do you have a multi-tiered system of supports?

-How is data shared? Is it shared differently at different tiers?

-How do you educate parents about the process? How do you ensure that common vocabulary is introduced to parents?

-How are home and school learning coordinated?

-Do parents have a valued role in the problem-solving process?

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Purpose of Tier Framework

  • To provide high quality instruction and interventions that fit the needs of all students.

  • To ensure that the conditions for learning are optimal for every student.

  • To incorporate intervention (“help”) as a natural, ongoing part of education that doesn’t wait until the student is struggling. 

Developed April, 2010 by FDOE State Transformation Team for RtI

Family and community

This is an example of how we can describe the tiers to parents:

  • High quality academic instruction and behavior supports through general education (Tier 1)

  • Targeted, supplemental intervention in addition to and aligned with general education, as needed (Tier 2)

  • Intensive, individualized interventions in addition to and aligned with general education, as needed (Tier 3)

Adapted from

FDOE State Transformation

Team for RtI

Family and community

Tiered RtI Family & Community Partnering:Respecting Time and Resources

( CDE, 2008b; Epstein et al, 2002)

Adapted from

Benchmark all families staff

Benchmark – All Families & Staff


-Communicate beliefs:

(1) Education is a shared responsibility between home and school;

(2) Families are equal partners;

(3) Students achieve more when families and schools work together;

(4) Community participation supports school success.

Adapted from

Benchmark all families staff1

Benchmark – All Families & Staff

SCHOOL LEVEL - Continued

- Share RtI process with all staff, family, and community resources.

- Create caring, culturally responsive climate for all families; provide culture and language liaisons. (Example: family volunteers)

- Provide parenting education, “learning at home”, and volunteer opportunities; contact families personally whenever possible. (Example: family to family)

- Make school and classroom visiting available.

- Involve families in school decision-making.

Adapted from

Benchmark families staff

Benchmark – Families/Staff


___Contact every family to create ongoing, two-way communication.

___Ensure each family, including students, understands school/class rules

and homework expectations.

___Plan and explain how families and teachers will partner if a student


___Tell students that school and home are working together to support their


Adapted from

Strategic some families staff


- Designate people and process to reach out individually to encourage families and staff who may be hesitant or uncomfortable.

-Include families as equal partners throughout the MTSS/RTI Problem-Solving Process; provide support and information.

-Support teachers and families in mutually developing and implementing individual student plans; coordinate interventions between home and family. (Examples: IEP, BIP)

-Provide support/education groups and targeted resources for families and/or teachers.

-Link with community resources.

Adapted from

Intensive few families staff

Intensive- FEWFamilies/Staff

-Individualize family-school partnering plans when needed.

(Examples: home visits, daily communication)

-Provide school, family, and community wrap around when


-Provide conflict resolution support and process when needed.

Adapted from

Family and community

Home Environment Components That Work At All Levels

-Supporting School at Home-

  • 1. Communication About School

    • -Frequent and systematic discussions with child about school

    • -Parents encourage their children regarding schoolwork

    • -Parents providing resources to help child do schoolwork

  • 2. Supervision of homework, TV viewing, after-school activities

  • (Marzano, 2003)

Adapted from

Family and community

Why Might A Teacher or Family or Community Resource Convene the Team or Suggest Moving to a Targeted or Intensive Tier?

*Student is struggling

*Teacher is struggling

*Family is struggling

*Communication or partnering needs more support

Adapted from

Family role in the problem solving process

Family role in the problem solving process

Collaborate & communicate with the school about the student

Share information about child & family as appropriate

Support student learning at home

Attend problem solving team meetings; if possible, it is important to communicate before and after a meeting. Partners in intervention, planning & monitoring.

Participate in any decisions for any assessment/ and or referrals for special education.

Adapted from

Family and community

Encourage parents to ask these critical questions:

  • Is my child successful? How do I know? If not, why and what can we do differently?

  • If needed, how is additional help going to be provided? By whom? How often? For how long?

  • What can I do to help with the interventions for my child?

  • How will I know if interventions are working?

Developed April, 2010 by FDOE State Transformation Team for RtI

Family and community

Additional Questions For Educators, Families, and Community Resources To Ask About the RtI Problem Solving Process

►Do we have all the information we need to prescribe an intervention, including that from the family?

►Are the family, any appropriate community resources “on the team” and “at the table”? Do they have RtI/MTSS information? Are they getting copies of plans and data?

►Do we have a consistent progress monitoring tool?

►How will home and school learning be coordinated?

►How will we know if the intervention is being implemented as intended?

►How will we make a decision of whether to continue intervention, move to another tier, or consider possible referral?

Adapted from

A data based problem solving process

A Data Based Problem Solving Process

Define the Problem

Data used to clarify what the problem is

Evaluate the Plan

Compare data collected to data that defined the problem and decide, did the intervention work?

Analyze the Cause

Develop a hypothesis: Why is the problem happening?

Develop a Plan

Decide on the intervention, timeframe, frequency and intervention provider

Implement the Plan

Carry out the intervention as planned collecting data to make a decision over time

Family and community

Visual Data DisplaysVisual data show the same information to all partners so can equally share in decision-making. This lessons conflicts and biases. Visual data help in creating common understanding.



Base Line

Adapted from

Furthering our understanding of family community involvement

Furthering Our Understanding of Family/ Community Involvement

Building partnerships . . .

Family and community

Activity #2

What is your definition of partnering?

Partnering is ______________________.

Please share with your team.

Family and community

Examining Your Own Attitudes and Assumptions…


Adapted from

Family and community


Perspective taking exercise

Different people have different perspectives. Consider this scenario:

Parents don't show for a meeting to discuss their son David's academic struggles. Why not?

The administrator thinks the parents are probably unwilling to come to the school. He recently had to send one of those threatening letters concerning David's attendance. He wonders how many times the teacher actually called the parents and truthfully feels a bit frustrated about yet another meeting that must be rescheduled.

The teacher has tried to call the parents numerous times and has left lengthy messages. While David says he gave his parents the note, she questions whether his parents even got the information about the meeting. She wonders whether those parents even care about their son as much as she does!

David is worried about his grades but he's even more worried about what will be said at the meeting.

David's parents think the school is very rigid about everything from reading groups to attendance to meeting times. They are concerned about David's school performance. They wonder if the school really cares about their son.

Whose perceptions are accurate?

Perspective-Taking Exercise

A different perspective

A different perspective:

David brought home a note last week about the meeting at the school. His parents feel self-conscious about their own lack of education but they both want to attend the meeting; both for moral support and to hear what is going on with David. They love their son very much. Despite working two jobs, David's parents recently gave up their home phone due to financial constraints. David's parents sent a note with David expecting to change the meeting time but instead, David brought home a reminder card the very next day with the same date/meeting time listed. Mean-while, David is afraid he'll be in trouble because he doesn't always do his best in school and he forgot to give his teacher the note from his parents asking to change the meeting time!

What do you know about both the teacher and the parents in terms of how they feel about David?

What else do you know about the parents and how can that be used to build a better partnership?

Are there things that we say or do that tear down positive relationships with parents?

Family and community

Challenges and Solutions

“Hurdlers know there will be several obstacles…they plan ahead as to how to overcome. With a little foresight…there can be successful navigation”.

(adapted from Ellis and Hughes, 2002)

Adapted from

Family and community

What Are Your Challenges? Prioritize Your “Big 3”.

Adapted from

Research summary of challenges for educators and families

Research Summary of Challenges for Educators AND Families

Limited time to build trust, relationships, ongoing two-way communication

Limited skills and knowledge in how to partner

Fear of inadequacy, conflict, “reliving” negative experiences

Cultural and linguistic differences between families and schools

Lack of clearly stated partnering beliefs, expectations of shared responsibility, and role descriptions

(Esler, Godber, & Christenson, 2008)

Adapted from

Family and community

What Are Your Solutions? Prioritize Your “Big 3”.

Adapted from

Thinking about solutions

Thinking About Solutions…

Flexible Hours: Come in early or stay late once a week with “comp time”

Stated Beliefs and Expectations: Partnering plan, shared responsibility, equal partners, homework, behavior

Creative Communication: Texting, emailing, list serves copied to students, voice mailing, websites, breakfasts, lunches, meeting at school day cares

Joint “Professional Development”: Families, educators, and community resources learning together, online opportunities

Small Gatherings with Families and Students: Class open houses at various times, drop-in centers

Interactive Homework: Families participate and provide feedback

Student Ambassadors: Assigning home and school communication tasks, teaching parents, calling all parents to invite to school

Cultural and Language Liaisons: Family to family, home and community visits

(Suggestions from the field)

Family and community

Getting Parents To Come To School –

20 Strategies That Sometimes Work:

1. Tell parents why their contribution is important.

2. Have students invite their parents or other parents to your school.

3. Send parents “caught in the act” info to reinforce both.

4. Motivate by providing a raffle or drawing.

5. Offer a snack or meal (add cookies, spaghetti, or a barbecue to the open house or parent/teacher conference).

6. Provide alternative mtg. times & work around parent schedules.

7. Utilize student performances (drama, art show, athletics, science writing activities) to bring parents to school.

8. Utilize award activities/assemblies.

9. Ask parents to demonstrate a skill, share information with students, or teach other parents.

Family and community

10. Provide transportation if necessary.

11. Provide classes/activities that are of high interest (fly tying, hunting, computer, sports, quilting, cooking, etc.)

12. Provide lists with a variety of volunteer activities that can participate in.

13. Assign a liaison or “buddy” who understand the parent's situation or language to help connect the parent/family to the school

14. Provide information to help parents secure health information or social services they need for themselves/their families (community heath clinics, food banks, thrift stores, health department, food stamps, child care options, etc.)

15. Utilize creative ways for parents to learn about RTI (stamps at each station with prize for filling the card with stamps).

16. Provide family-oriented recreation (carnival, Crazy competitions, cake walks, movie nights, etc.)

17. Offer a career night, inviting community and parents to share info with students.

18. Provide child care for parents who need it.

19. Offer a parents-only open gym night.

20. Offer a class on how parents can support their child's education.

Strategies Continued . . .

Evidence of family school partnerships

Evidence of Family-School Partnerships


-Documentation of school-wide beliefs: 1.) Education is a shared responsibility between home and school; 2) Families are equal partners; 3) Students achieve more when families and schools work together; 4) Community participation supports school success

-Provide parents copies of school/classroom expectations, routines/schedules, individual student expectations

-Documentation that MTSS/RtI process has been shared with all staff/family/community/resources

-Progress monitoring data is shared with parents regularly

-Leadership team has identified goals for community/family involvement

-Community/parent education statement is included in school handbook

-General MTSS/RTI pamphlet

-Pamphlet for parents outlining MTSS/RTI provisions for all students

-Job description for parent participation on the leadership team

-School board has been informed regarding MTSS/RTI & RTI/MTSS is included in district policy

-Parent permission/sign-off sheet explaining their child's participation in the MTSS/RTI process

-Provide parenting education, “learning at home”, & volunteer opportunities

-Other possibilities: parent survey, newsletter, family center, family-to-family visits, business of the month

Informing parents about mtss rti

Informing Parents About MTSS/RtI

In summary, parents need to know:

MTSS/RtI is a set of ideas focused on how to help all children to be successful in school.

They can expect information and involvement in planning and providing interventions to help their child succeed.

The levels of support increase or decrease over time depending on their child’s needs.

Progress monitoring information is about how their child responds to intervention.

Adapted from

Family and community

Clarify for Parents MTSS/RTI and Special Education

  • Every student in the school, from Kindergarten to graduation, is involved in RtI.

  • Interventions are provided through general education resources so that all students can be successful.

  • For students who need ongoing intensive or individualized help to maintain progress, special education resources may be accessed by the school.

Developed April, 2010 by FDOE State Transformation Team for RtI

Family and community

Special Education is a resource, not a place, intervention, or a tier; RtI is a school wide framework not a resource.

The information gained through ongoing problem solving about what a student needs helps the school make decisions about the child’s need for special resources. This problem solving process and RtI continues even if a student receives help in special education.

Sharing rti data with parents

Sharing RtI Data with Parents

  • All parent contact should be documented

  • Parents are important partners in the problem solving process.

Goals when involving parents families in the mtss rti process

-Classroom teachers and families work together to intervene when concerns first become apparent.

-Teachers and parents jointly refer to the team problem solving process when needed.

-Student and family strengths are emphasized.

-Families are given copies of student data, intervention plans, etc.

-The student is involved when possible.

Goals When Involving Parents/Families in the MTSS/RTI Process

Parent involvement


What It Looks Like

Parents are:


Knowledgeable, &


in their children's educational process!

Forms of Evidence

Documentation that parents are included and involved in the RtI process.

Procedures are in place for parent permission, notification, & rights to due process if appropriate.



Some of the slides in this presentation were copied or adapted from:

-Colorado Department of Education

-Florida Department of Education

You can learn more about RTI/MTSS in Montana by


-Accessing the MTSS/RTI Brochure and Parent Brochure in your school district

-Talking to the principal at your school


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