School personnel’s perceptions of their schools’ involvement in culturally and linguistically diverse school-family-community partnerships
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Submission date: 2014-03-18
Final revision date: 2014-04-02
Acceptance date: 2014-04-02
Online publication date: 2014-05-16
Publication date: 2014-05-15
Health Psychology Report 2014;2(1):19-26
The achievement gap between White and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students is a chronic issue in many U.S. schools that stakeholders endeavor to eliminate through best practices involving curriculum, instruction, and early interventions; however, disparities often persist. In addition to all educational efforts provided by schools and implementation of best practices when students begin to struggle academically or behaviorally in schools, family involvement cannot be disregarded.
School personnel from one Midwestern school district in the United States educating over 8,000 students was surveyed to obtain their perceptions about school-family-community partnerships. A total of 117 informants, including teachers, student support personnel, and administrators, provided their opinions through an online survey measuring responses to questions related to current best practices in their schools with regard to culturally and linguistically diverse students, their families and their communities.
In a research study focused on school practices relating to parent involvement, it was found that strategies intended to encourage and incorporate parent involvement were implemented in just one-third to one-half of the schools surveyed, indicating the need for increased and concerted effort on the part of school professionals to recognize and address obstacles to a pivotal school-parent-community relationship.
Although schools can be credited with endeavoring to provide best practices for their CLD students, in keeping with state and federal mandates and assumedly in keeping with best intentions, there is in fact much work to be done to better facilitate the success of these students. School psychologists can provide the impetus for this effort by formally recommending parent involvement and participation in their assessments of CLD students in particular. This recommendation should inherently include awareness and consideration of cultural preconceptions that may hinder parent involvement.
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