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Schools and Families in RTI: A Partnership Opportunity. Amy L. Reschly, Ph.D. University of Georgia. Working with Families. The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life…

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    1. Schools and Families in RTI: A Partnership Opportunity Amy L. Reschly, Ph.D. University of Georgia

    2. Working with Families The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life… Henderson & Mapp (2002, p. 7)

    3. Out of school time….. • From birth to the age of 18, students spend more than 90% of their time outside of schools. • Walberg • Recent study from ETS: four variables that are out of the direct control of schools • single parent household, • attendance, • amount of daily reading at home, and • amount of TV watching that predicted student success on state reading standardized tests with impressive accuracy Barton & Coley (2007).

    4. Efforts to improve student achievement, and close the achievement gap among various groups of students (e.g., those in poverty, racial/ethnic groups, English learners), must take into account the power of out-of-school time Weiss, Little, & Bouffard, 2005 Kids start school from platforms of different heights and teachers don’t have a magic wand they can wave to get kids on the same platform. If we’re really interested in raising overall levels of achievement and in closing the achievement gap, we need to pay as much attention to the starting line as we do the finish line. (Coley, quoted in Winerip, 2007)

    5. Families have an enormous impact on student outcomes… but what they do is more important than who they are • Family process variables account for a much greater portion of the variance in achievement (60%) than those related to status (25%) • Kellaghan et al., 1993 • Recent study by Milne & Plourd (2006) low-SES families with high achieving children, highlighted the following: • educational resources and influences: having materials available, a regular time set aside to do academic work and limiting the amount of tv • Relationships: spending time with and talking with their child, and • Causes of Success. When asked about their role in promoting student success, the parents spoke about providing support and guidance, as well as boundaries and expectations for their children, and the consistent message that education is important.

    6. Factors Related to Positive Outcomes…Home Support for Learning ComponentsYsseldyke & Christenson, 2002 • Home Expectations and Attributions: High, realistic expectations about schoolwork are communicated to the child and the value of effort and working hard in school is emphasized. • Discipline Orientation: There is an authoritative, not permissive nor authoritarian, approach to discipline, and the child is monitored and supervised by the parents. • Home-affective Environment: The parent-child relationship is characterized by a healthy connectedness; it is generally positive and supportive. • Parent Participation: There is an educative home environment, and others participate in the child’s schooling and learning, at home and/or at school. • Structure for Learning: Organization and daily routines facilitate the completion of schoolwork and support for the child’s academic learning.

    7. Legislation and initiatives targeting family involvement • No Child Left Behind (Epstein, 2005) • Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act • National Education Goals (Goals 1 & 8; National Education Goals Panel, 1999) • Policy and position statements by numerous organizations • e.g., PTA (1998, 2000), National Association of School Psychologists (2005) • Accrediting bodies such as National Council for Accreditation on Teacher Education (NCATE, 2002) and even state educator licensing guidelines (Radcliffe, Malone, & Nathan, 1994). not only ensuring family rights but a universal goal of encouraging family engagement and involvement in education • Not there yet…. Vision of partnerships among educators and families not reached • And…. we’re unprepared • need for both pre-service and inservice training Reschly & Christenson, 2009

    8. Status of Family Engagement Field ss Reschly, 2008a; Reschly & Christenson, 2009

    9. Carlson & Christenson, (2005) • Areas reviewed: parent training and therapy, consultation, involvement, and family focused early childhood interventions • Moderate to large effect sizes across areas • Most effective interventions were those with a systems orientation: • collaboration interventions w/ two-way communication, monitoring and dialogue • Focused parent education programs (specific behavior or learning outcomes) • Parent involvement programs with parents as tutors in specific subjects • Parent consultation

    10. The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life … When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more. Henderson & Mapp, 2002

    11. Families, Schools, and School-Family Partnerships • Development in context • School-Family Partnerships • Families in RTI

    12. Ecological Systems Theory Bronfenbrenner

    13. Three-Legged Stool: Students, Families, and Schools

    14. Common factors across home-school-community related to student competence • Shared Standards and Expectations: The level of expected performance held by key adults for the student is congruent across home and school, and reflects a belief that the student can learn. • Consistent Structure: The overall routine and monitoring provided by key adults for the student have been discussed and are congruent across home and school. • Cross-setting Opportunity to Learn: The variety of learning options available to the youth during school hours and outside of school time (i.e., home and community) supports the student’s learning. • Mutual Support: The guidance provided by, the communication between, and the interest shown by adults to facilitate student progress in school is effective. It is what adults do on an ongoing basis to help the student learn and achieve. • Positive, Trusting Relationships: The amount of warmth and friendliness; praise and recognition; and the degree to which the adult-youth relationship is positive and respectful. It includes how adults in the home, in the school, and in the community work together to help the student be a learner. • Modeling: Parents and teachers demonstrate desired behaviors and commitment and value toward learning and working hard in their daily lives to the student. Christenson & Peterson, 2006; Ysseldyke & Christenson, 2002

    15. Implications • We cannot understand student competence or difficulties as a function of home or school – must consider the entire system (children, family, school, community, peers) • Schools and homes are the primary socializing and learning contexts for students. Relationships between families and school personnel are important for promoting competence -> Mesosystem • Risk is not located within student, home, or school systems - distributed across systems and represented in interactions. (Pianta & Walsh, 1996) • High risk: lack of congruence, poor relationships between home and school • Low risk: family and school systems are well-functioning, positive relationships promote congruence and shared responsibility Reschly & Christenson, 2009

    16. What does it mean to have a partnership with families? • Purpose: enhance student outcomes • Shared responsibility, shared goals/priorities, shared accountability • Fantuzzo, Tight, & Childs, 2000; Jordan et al., 2000 • With attention to: Quality of connections, preventive-solution-oriented focus, and problem-solving • Christenson & Sheridan, 2001

    17. Response to Intervention Calls for reform over many years to address • Within child conceptualizations of educational difficulties • Too little time for prevention and early intervention • More rhetoric than action in creating meaningful opportunities for parent engagement • Assessment conducted for the purpose of eligibility determination rather than intervention • Reliance on special education placement as a means of addressing student difficulties Reschly, Chaffin, Christenson, & Gutkin, 2007

    18. Promise of RTI • May address many of these criticisms • Focus on all students • contexts essential to success – implications for assessment and intervention • Changes inherent in RTI an opportunity to meaningfully engage families • Prevention, screening, and early intervention • Frequent systematic data collection • Focus on Problem-Solving • Change from whereto teach to how, what and is it working? to produce optimal student learning • Families are necessary, not optional Reschly et al., 2007

    19. Reschly (2008b), RTI Action Network

    20. Parental Roles in Assessment(drawn from Christenson & Sheridan, 2001)

    21. Parents as Policy Makers & Advocates (drawn from Christenson & Sheridan, 2001)

    22. Expectations and Benefits of RTI for students…. Greater opportunities for • Screening and early intervention for academic or behavioral concerns • Congruence in messages between home and school • Participation in their own interventions, including data collection, goal setting, preferences, self-reported conditions surrounding academic and behavioral difficulties Reschly et al., 2007

    23. Expectations and Benefits of RTI for families…. • Opportunity to be involved at the first indication of a problem or concern • Critical source of information about the student • Necessary partner in the assessment and intervention process • Shared responsibility for student outcomes Reschly et al., 2007

    24. Expectations and Benefits of RTI for educators…. • Less time in traditional assessment practices; more time spent in consultation, screening, direct intervention, and program evaluation • Consideration of the broader learning environment • Shared responsibility for student outcomes Reschly et al., 2007

    25. References • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1992). Ecological systems theory. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Annals of child development: Six theories of child development: Revised formulations and current issues (pp. 187-249). London: Jessica Kingsley. • Chall, J. S. (2000). The academic achievement challenge: What really works in the classroom? New York: Guilford Press. • Christenson, S.L., & Anderson, A.R. (2002). Commentary: The centrality of the learning context for students' academic enabler skills. School Psychology Review, 31(3), 378-393. • Christenson, S. L., & Carlson, C. (2005). Evidence-based parent and family interventions in school psychology: State of scientifically based practice. School Psychology Quarterly, 20, 525-528. Christenson, S. L., & Sheridan, S. M. (2001). School and families: Creating essential connections for learning. NY: Guilford Press. • Christenson, S. L., & Peterson, C. J. (2006). Family, school, and community influences on children’s learning: A literature review. All Parents Are Teachers Project. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service. • Christenson, S. L., & Sheridan, S. M. (2001). School and families: Creating essential connections for learning. NY: Guilford Press. • Epstein, J. L., & Sheldon, S. B. (2006). Moving forward: Ideas for research on school, family, and community partnerships. In C. F. Conrad & R. Serlin (Eds.), SAGE handbook for research in education: Engaging ideas and enriching inquiry (pp. 117-137). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    26. Ginsburg-Block, M., Manz, P. H., & McWayne, C. (in press). Partnering to foster achievement in reading and mathematics. In S.L. Christenson and A.L. Reschly (Eds). Handbook of School Family Partnerships. New York: Routledge. • Henderson, A. T., & Mapp, K. L. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school,family, and community connections on student achievement. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. • Jordan, C., Orzco, E., & Averett, A. (2001). Emerging issues in school, family, and community connections. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. • Kellaghan, T., Sloane, K., Alvarez, B., & Bloom, B. S. (1993). The home environment and school learning: Promoting parental involvement in the education of children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. • Moles, O. (1993). Building school-family partnerships for learning: Workshops for urban educators. Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education. • Nye, C., Turner, H., & Schwartz, J. (2007). Approaches to parent involvement for improving the academic performance of elementary school age children. Retrieved April 17, 2008 from • Pianta, R., & Walsh, D. B. (1996). High-risk children in schools: Constructing sustaining relationships. NY: Routledge. • Reschly, A.L. (2008a). Ecological approaches to working with families. Symposium with Gutkin, T.B., Doll, B.J., Reschly, A.L., Stoiber, K.C., Hintze, J.M., & Conoley, J.C. (2008, August). Ecological Approaches to School Psychological Services: Putting Theory Into Action. Held at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Boston, MA. • Reschly, A.L. (2008b). Schools, families and response to intervention. Invited piece for the RTI Action Network, National Center on Learning Disabilities. Available on-line at:

    27. Reschly, A., Coolong, M. A., Christenson, S. L., & Gutkin, T. B. (2007). Contextual influences and RTI: Critical issues and strategies.In S. R. Jimerson, M. K. Burns ,& A. M. VanDerHeyden (Eds.), The handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of assessment and intervention. New York: Springer • Reschly, A. L, & Christenson, S. L. (2009). Parents as essential partners for fostering students’ learning outcomes. In R. Gilman, E. S. Huebner, & M. Furlong (Eds). A handbook of positive psychology in schools (pp. 257-272). New York: Routledge. • Sheridan, S. M. (2005). Commentary on evidence-based parent and family interventions: Will what we know now influence what we do in the future? School Psychology Quarterly, 20, 518-524. • Walberg, H. J. (1984). Families as partners in educational productivity. Phi Delta Kappan, 65, 397-400. • Weiss, H. B., Little, P. M. D., & Bouffard, S. (2005). Participation in youth programs: Enrollment, attendance, and engagement. [Special Issue] New Directions for Youth Development, 105. • Ysseldyke, J. E., & Christenson, S. L. (2002). FAAB: Functional Assessment of Academic Behavior. Longmont, CO: Sopris West.

    28. Resources • All Parents Are Teachers Project. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service. • RTI Action Network, National Center on Learning Disabilities. • Harvard Family Research Project • Conjoint Behavioral Consultation, Dr. Susan Sheridan, University of Nebraska.

    29. Contact Information Amy Reschly, Ph.D. Department of Educational Psychology & IT 325N Aderhold University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 706.583.5503