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Parental Involvement in Culturally Responsive Classrooms

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Lindsey Conn

on 2 February 2014

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Transcript of Parental Involvement in Culturally Responsive Classrooms

Child’s Name:_____________ Date:________________

Parent’s Name:_________________

1. Does your child receive outside occupational therapy services (home care, sensory gym, etc)?
2. Does your child have any allergies, history of seizures, or other medical problems to note during occupational therapy?
3. Is your child on a special or limited diet?
4. Current Medications:
5. Please describe your goals for your child’s occupational therapy:
6. What does your child like/ dislike?
7. Does your child use splints, orthotics, or other medical equipment?
8. What is the best way to reach you? (Please provide phone number and/or email address)
Parental Involvement in Culturally Responsive Classrooms
Culturally Responsive:
Classrooms in which teachers are prepared to create a classroom community that respects the differences among students in regard to race, ethnicity, SES-status, ability level, gender, religious practice, and sexual orientation.
Hindrances to parental involvement:
Our responsibility as educators:
Special Education and Parental Empowerment
Case Studies:
Limitations of the teaching position:
Multicultural Classrooms and Cultural Capital
What it means to work WITH parents
partnership vs. power struggle
creating “win-win” situations when working with parents
Teach parents that they are essential to their child’s educational success (parent questionnaires)
The teacher role, stepping over boundaries
Telling parents how to parent with assumption that they don't know how to do it, or aren't doing it correctly

How do we avoid this?
Resources to give parents to consult:
Good Resources for Teachers:

Works Cited

By Lindsey Conn & Janel Marshall
Partnerships-a strengths-based approach
Encouraging child-centered learning environments at home and at school
Educating parents on ways to be involved in 3 areas of involvement:
School-based involvement, Home-based involvement, and Home-School Conferencing
Informing parents about how the school system operates, yearly school events, due process, etc.
Gross Motor Development /Physical Therapy Questionnaire
Child’s Name:________________________ Date:____________________________
Parent/Guardian’s Name:_______________ Email: ____________________________

1) Does your child have a significant medical condition/history, relevant to physical activity and participation in school activities (i.e. asthma, seizures, heart condition, specific allergies)?
2) What types of physical activities does your child enjoy (i.e. playground, balls, jump rope, sports, swimming, bike riding, dance)?
3) What type of physical activity did your child engage in over the summer?
4) Is your child enrolled (or will be) in any after school/weekend programs or activities?
5) Does your child have difficulty with balance, strength, endurance, tightness, coordination (circle any that apply and explain if possible).
6) If your child is mandated to receive Physical Therapy, do you have any particular areas of concern or goals that you would like addressed this year?
7) Is there anything else that would be helpful to know about your child?

Thank You!

Attitudes of Staff and families
Logistics issues: child care, transportation, and time of day for meetings
Lack of skills and information about how to encourage or be involved
Disconnect between parents and schools
Occupational Therapy Screening Form: Parent Questionnaire
Adaptive Behavior/ Emotional Skills
c Disorganized
c Hyperactive
c Short attention span
c Difficulty with changes in routine
c Easily frustrated
c Shy with peers or adults
c Impulsive
Motor Skills
c Poor posture (leans when standing, hunches at desk, etc.)
c Poor body awareness (clumsy, bumps into people/objects, etc.)
c Appears stiff and awkward
c Difficulty with right/left discrimination
c Difficulty with running, hopping, skipping, two-footed jumping, etc.
c Avoids activities that challenge balance
c Appears weaker than peers; fatigues easily
c Difficulty with coloring, drawing, writing, cutting, etc.
c Avoids above fine motor activities
c Difficulty holding a pencil; grasp may be too tight or very loose
c Does not have hand dominance
Sensory Skills
c Tactile defensive (dislikes tags, different textures, dislikes bathing/ grooming routines)
c Touches everything; trouble keeping hands to self
c Avoids being close to others
c Picky eater; sensitive to certain textures and temperatures
c Mouths or licks non-food items
c Hypersensitivity to certain sounds
c Seeks movement; purposely crashes; enjoys horseplay
c Displays evidence of gravitational insecurity (avoids playground equipment or having feet off the ground, etc.)
Visual Perceptual Skills
c Frequently confuses letters and shapes (b vs. d, p vs. 9, etc.)
c Difficulty copying shapes and forms
c Cannot complete puzzles appropriate for age
c Loses place when reading
c Difficulty maintaining visual attention
c Difficulty with hidden pictures; word searches; seeing an object in a cluttered environment
Self Care Skills
c Difficulty with snaps, zippers, and/or buttons
c Difficulty or unable to tie shoes
c Difficulty dressing independently (directionality, organization, management of clothing, etc.)
c Difficulty brushing teeth independently
c Difficulty with daily face care and hair care ( combing, grooming, and hygiene)
c Difficulty with daily showering/bathing
c Difficulty washing and drying hands independently
c Difficulty with toileting (clothing management and hygiene)

Barbarin, O., Downer, J., Odom, E., Head, D. (2010). Home-school differences in beliefs, support, and control during public pre-kindergarten and their link to children’s kindergarten readiness. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 358-372.
Lareau, A., & Horvat, E. M. (1999). Moments of social inclusion and exclusion: Race, class, and cultural capital in family-school relationships. Sociology of Education, 72, 37-53.
Lee, J. S., & Bowen, N. K. (2006). Parent involvement, cultural capital, and the achievement gap among elementary school children. American Educational Research Journal, 43, 193-218.
Fantuzzo, J. Tighe, E., & Childs, S. (2000). Family involvement questionnaire: A multivariate assessment of family participation in early childhood education. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92 (2), 367-376.
Heath, S. B. (1982). Defining family engagement among Latino Head Start parents: A mixed-methods measurement development study. Language in Society, 11(1), 49-76.
Jeynes, W. H. (2012). A Meta-Analysis of the efficacy of different types of parental involvement programs for urban students. Urban Education, 47(4), 706-742.
Simpkins, S. D., Weiss, H. B., McCartney, K., Kreider, H. M., & Dearing, E. (2006). Mother-child relationship as a moderator of the relations between family educational involvement and child achievement. Parenting: Science and Practice, 6(1), 49-57.
Zellman, G. L., & Waterman, J. M. (1998). Understanding the impact of parent school involvement on children’s educational outcomes. The Journal of Educational Research, 91, 370-380.

Negotiating The Special Education Maze by Deidre Hayden, Cherie Takemoto, Winifred Anderson, and Stephen Chitwood
Demystifying the IEP Process for Diverse Parents of Children with Disabilities
By Lusa Lo

Ideas to Encourage Involvement
Epstein's Framework
Learning at Home
Decision Making
Collaborating with Community
Encourage positive parenting
Parent Enthusiasm toward school
Parental Expectations
Monthly Meetings for parents-topics chosen by parents to include discipline, communicating with children, reading to them, etc.
Parental Support Groups
Make sure parents are comfortable asking questions and communicating concerns with not just you, but all of the service providers within the school building
Provide parents with information about school events, community resources, and how your particular classroom operates
Welcoming parents into the classroom, through home visits, written, verbal, and telephone communication: Start with open communication from day 1.
Promote communication among parents: parents club
Progress reports without educator jargon
Request feedback/suggestions from parents
Provide opportunities for parents to volunteer in the classroom and behind the scenes.
Different times of day and in a variety of capacities
Be specific about details: how long it will take, what the volunteer’s role will be, and if it is a one-time opportunity
Actively recruit and train volunteers from a variety of backgrounds

Parent supervision of homework with accountability
Home packets that teach parents how to read with their children (book, questions to ask after reading, and suggested continued activities to support learning)
Tips for community learning (Booklet of community resources for school breaks)
Give parents a list of suggested educational websites or TV shows for their children
Encourage holistic development (sports, social skills, house responsibilities, discussions about the future, etc.)
Parents as planning leaders and decision makers in the school
IEP Goal Selection
Parents can disagree with special education program or services without negative consequences for the child or for the parent
Treating Parent at equal partner
Work with organizations to support school fundraisers or events
Identify agencies to help families with areas of need (support groups, bilingual hotlines, food pantries, etc.)
Utilize different community locations for meetings
Parental self-efficacy: see themselves as competent as parents

Increase self-efficacy, and that will positively affect parental involvement

Your job: Work to make parents feel like they are good parents.
“Interventions designed to support parent involvement must begin by
building on each family’s unique strengths
. When schools understand, acknowledge, and reward all involvement efforts, their partnerships with parents are likely to become more productive.” (Lee and Bowen, 2006)
Parents as contributors and child's primary educator
Student Questionnaire- "In one million words or less..."
Weekly newsletter
Monthly toolkits w/ homework routines, healthy living tips, behavior management, and activities/crafts
Parent selection of IEP goals
Transition planning information ahead of time with numerous options
Preventative Strategies
Reactive Strategies
Helping them through the Special Education process
Daily communication log for behavior and academic progress
Educating parents on their rights
Trainings about special education issues
RTI and Progress Monitoring

Translate all school to home correspondence
Experience a day as their child
Create a checklist and tip sheets for effective parent-teacher conferences.
Plan workshops on how to ask the right questions about children's progress and placement.
Home involvement to also include set bed schedules, well-balanced meals, and the mental and physical health of children
Activating Cultural Capital: using the strengths that parents bring to support the success of their children
Other Strategies
Establish trust and relationships
Creating environment of acceptance of diversity
Hold "listening sessions" where parents voice concerns or questions
Parents train staff about their culture, customs, norms, or language
Develop multicultural classroom library with help of parents
Foster an atmosphere of cultural inclusion
Encourage participation from all types of family members
Approach families with learning about the community as your primary goal.
Ask parents to tell you the best ways to communicate and work with them. Ask them what their expectations are.
Show that you appreciate all parental involvement efforts
Case Study Considerations:
Lily is an 8 year old girl who is the child of immigrant parents from the country of Georgia. She has autism and has difficulty adjusting to new situations. This is her first year at this new school. Her mother and father are divorced and the father does not have visitation rights. The mother is not in frequent communication with the school, while the father visits the school frequently so that he can see Lily (which he is not supposed to do). He will wait outside of the fenced yard and will call to Lily as she plays during recess as well as intercept Lily when she walks with the class from school to the local library branch. After seeing her father at these times, Lily will report to teachers how much she does not like school and needs to leave with her dad. Her father speaks primarily Georgian.

As an individual working with Lily, how do you address this situation?
What steps need to be taken to comfort Lily, address the issues with her father, and increase communication and involvement with both parents if possible? Take into account Lily's disability as well as her cultural identities.
Lily's transition to the new school
Lily's relationship with her different family members
How her family's involvement in school in various ways can affect her relationships with both home and school (mesosystem)

Javier is a Hispanic 12 year old boy with Autism in a 7th grade math class. He loves trains. He is always drawing them and talking about them. He lives with his mother and his sister. He does not socialize much with others. In loud environments, like the cafeteria, he will cover his ears and rock back and forth to help self-regulate. He has a tendency to think that he is always right and that the teacher is wrong if they have different opinions about math answers. He becomes easily frustrated with himself if he doesn't do well, but is experiencing autonomy in the classroom now. Last year he had a paraprofessional to help support him as he learned, but now he is learning independently.

As an individual working with Javier, how do we engage his parent in order to obtain successful outcomes for him?
What can we do to ensure that he is successful without a paraprofessional to provide additional support?
How do we address his behavioral concerns?
Take into account Javier's disability as well as his cultural identities.

Javier's independent learning (w/o a para)
His mother is a single parent with another child
Potential language barriers and other cultural differences
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