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Family-School Collaboration: Building Positive Parent-Teacher Relationships at the Schoolwide Level . Kansas Association of School Psychologists October 29, 2009 Kathleen Minke, Ph.D., NCSP University of Delaware. Objectives.

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Family school collaboration building positive parent teacher relationships at the schoolwide level l.jpg

Family-School Collaboration: Building Positive Parent-Teacher Relationships at the Schoolwide Level

Kansas Association of School Psychologists

October 29, 2009

Kathleen Minke, Ph.D., NCSP

University of Delaware

Minke, 2009


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Objectives

Review strategies for teaching systems concepts and encouraging a positive approach to families.

Review communication strategies that teachers can use to support development of good working relationships with families.

Review schoolwide strategies that make a school more “family friendly.”

Minke, 2009


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Family Collaboration at all Levels

PCP

Wraparound

FBA/BSP

Problem solving meetings

Communication Skills

Family-School Conferences

Family participation in planning, implementing, and evaluating School-wide program

Information sharing to and from families

Systems Thinking


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Involvement vs. Collaboration

“How can we....”

“We want you to....”

Minke, 2009


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Involvement vs. Collaboration

“Help me understand..”

  • “I will tell you how...”

Minke, 2009


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Involvement vs. Collaboration

“One size fits all.”

“Each child, family, teacher, classroom is unique.”

Minke, 2009


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Main message…

Without first learning FROM families about their strengths, resources, beliefs, and needed supports,

no programs FOR families will be successful.

Minke, 2009


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Overview of Skills/StrategiesThe CORE Model of Collaboration

Connected

Optimistic

Respected

Empowered

Minke, 2009


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Overview of Skills/StrategiesThe CORE Model of Collaboration

THINKING DIFFERENTLY

Ecosystemic approach

CORE beliefs

TALKING DIFFERENTLY

7 Communication Strategies

BEHAVING DIFFERENTLY

Proactive outreach strategies

Conferences and Problem-solving Meetings

Minke, 2009


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Minke, 2009


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Thinking Differently

  • Systems Theory/Principles

    • Wholeness

      • Each member affects, and is affected by, every other member

      • When a member is added, subtracted or changes behavior in some way, the entire system must reorganize to accommodate the change.

      • System as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Minke, 2009


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Thinking Differently

  • Systems Theory/Principles

    • Patterns of Interaction

      • Behavior occurs in circular patterns with each person contributing

      • Circularity = Repetitive cycles in which the same outcomes occur repeatedly a to b to c to a

      • Punctuation = View of reality reflected by arbitrary starting point

Minke, 2009


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Behavior Problem from a Systemic ViewA to B to C to D to A

Teacher criticizes child

Child misbehaves in class

Child complains about teacher to parent

Parent criticizes teacher

Minke, 2009


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Behavioral Patterns of Interaction

Significance:

Intervention possible at any point in the circle

“how” not “why”

No Blame!!!

Minke, 2009


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CORE Model: Talking Differently

7 Communication Strategies

Attend to non-verbal communication

Listen to understand: reflecting and summarizing

Model the collaborative role: avoid labeling, jargon and advice giving!

Search for strengths

Reframing

Delivering/Receiving negative information

Blocking blame

Minke, 2009


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Skill#2 Listen to understand: reflect/clarify/empathize

  • An empathic response:

    • Helps the other feel heard and understood

    • Usually involves both content and affect

    • NEVER involves judgment

    • Does not introduce the speaker’s point of view


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Build Empathic Responses

  • Main content (what the person said or implied): ____________________

  • Affect/Feelings (stated or implied):

    _____________________

  • Combine content and affect into brief response (paraphrase):

    ______________________

  • Add “checkout” (Is that right?), if needed (invite the other to keep talking)


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Empathy Practice

Mom (speaking quickly and in great distress):

My son is driving me crazy. At ten years old you would think he could be responsible for himself at least a little bit! He can’t accomplish a single thing unless I’m standing right there, nagging him all the way through.

Homework is a nightmare! I feel like I’m the one with homework and we struggle for at least two hours before it is done. This can’t go on. He’s not learning and I’m out of patience!

How can I help him?”


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CORE Model: Talking Differently

7 Communication Strategies

Attend to non-verbal communication

Listen to understand: reflecting and summarizing

Model the collaborative role: avoid labeling, jargon and advice giving!

Search for strengths

Reframing

Delivering/Receiving negative information

Blocking blame

Minke, 2009


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CORE MODEL:Behaving Differently

Proactive Outreach Strategies

Conferences and Problem-solving Meetings

Minke, 2009


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Proactive Strategies for Reaching Out to Familiesoverview

The School-wide team

The physical plant

Written communications

(policies and personal)

Activities at school

Minke, 2009


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Proactive Strategies:Getting information FROM families

Family members as participants on the school-wide team?

School climate data from families?

Input from families in planning, implementing, and evaluating the school-wide discipline plan?

Minke, 2009


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Proactive Strategies:The Physical Plant

How welcoming to families does the school appear?

Are visitors a priority?

Minke, 2009


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Proactive Strategies:Written Communications

Forms and policies

Personal communications

Minke, 2009


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Written Communications:Forms and Policies

What reading level is required to interpret the documents?

Is there jargon that can be removed or better explained?

How do we ensure that families with limited written English literacy have access to this information?

To what extent do documents encourage:

Parental choices and options

Two way communication

Minke, 2009


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Written Communications:Personal

“Good news” notes are usually welcome and helpful.

Avoid using notes home or emails to communicate about problems.

Communicate about concerns early and directly.

Concentrate on your main goals.

Consult with others when needed.

Minke, 2009


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Proactive Strategies:Activities at School

Examine Current Activities for Opportunities for Relationship-building

Needs Assessment/Evaluation

Build in Options

Minke, 2009


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Behaving Differently:Routing Conferences and Problem-Solving Meetings

Two types of conferences are discussed

Routine

Problem-solving

Minke, 2009


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Conferences and Meetings

5 ways family-school conferences are different

All parties prepare in advance

Students are active participants

Educator concentrates on receiving rather than giving information.

Educator acknowledges, expands and underscores the strengths of the family.

The conference is a “conversation.” At no time is the educator the “presenter.”

Minke, 2009


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Conferences and Meetings

Outcome goals

A plan is developed collaboratively for supporting the student’s continued success, including plans to remediate identified difficulties

All participants leave feeling hopeful about their participation and future success

Students leave feeling greater ownership of their own learning

Minke, 2009


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Conferences and Meetings

Process goals

Each participant has ample time to share thoughts in the conference

Shared expectations for the child are developed by the group

Each participant is both a teacher and a learner

Minke, 2009


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Family-School Conferences Outcomes

  • Participating parents and teachers agreed that the conferences were beneficial and they wanted to continue using the FSC style.

  • Children were active participants.

  • Parents and teachers valued watching each other interact with the child


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Family-School Conferences Outcomes

  • FSCs took roughly the same amount of time but participants felt more information exchange occurred.

  • Teachers felt they needed lots of practice and feedback to do the process well.


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Evaluation Data

Does participation in collaboration training have a positive effect on teacher:

Beliefs about parent involvement

Practices (e.g., number and type of contact with families)

Minke, 2009


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Required Reflection

Think about the operation of your school-wide team. Describe:

the ways in which your practices have changed as a result of what you learned in the family-school collaboration workshop (if any);

your plans for further development of family-school collaboration in your practice (if any);

barriers that must be overcome in order for change to occur

Minke, 2009


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Reflections Data

Most frequent positive comments concerned communication strategies

Increased positive contacts

More attention to wording of notes home

Increased effort to translate documents and positive notes

Greater attention to seeking information and limiting advice giving

Minke, 2009


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Reflections Data

Meeting changes were discussed frequently

Avoiding jargon

Avoiding advice

Listening more carefully

Including positive information

Minke, 2009


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Reflections Data

Innovative strategies

Welcome back activity for “frequent flyers” and their families

Using email to elicit parent ideas on the School-wide program

Creating a spreadsheet to monitor positive contacts

Using the district’s world languages teachers to help with parent contacts

Minke, 2009


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Reflections Data

Barriers to change

Time (teachers and parents)

Language

Lack of support from administration

Minke, 2009


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Contact Information

Kathleen Minke: minke@udel.edu

Website: www.Delawarepbs.org

Minke, 2009


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