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ERIC Number: EJ794797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
School Liaisons: Bridging the Gap between Home and School
Howland, Allison; Anderson, Jeffrey A.; Smiley, Azure Dee; Abbott, Daniel J.
School Community Journal, v16 n2 p47-68 Fall-Win 2006
Involving families in their children's education is not only a legal requirement in special education, it also predicts academic achievement, social and emotional development, and a variety of other positive school outcomes for all children. Unfortunately, school-home relationships often have been ignored or underdeveloped. Disconnections between home and school may be especially acute in urban areas where school personnel may not understand the culture of the students and families with whom they work. In the Indianapolis Public Schools, a large urban school district in the Midwest, efforts to better connect families and schools are occurring through the implementation of a school liaison program. The school district set out to deliberately create this program in order to bridge the gap between schools and families, with particular attention given to parents from diverse backgrounds with children who are receiving special education services. The initial intent was to allow participating families to drive the design of the program, and it appears that the district has been successful in achieving this objective. Program services and activities include conflict resolution, cultural brokering, direct support, and referral. The design of the school liaison program is described and the activities and skills of the liaisons are presented through the voices of the families that this program has served during its first year of operation.
Descriptors: Urban Schools, School Districts, Urban Areas, Conflict Resolution, School Personnel, Emotional Development, Special Education, Social Development, Parent School Relationship, Parents, Family Involvement, Parent Participation, Parent Attitudes, Student Diversity, School Community Relationship
Academic Development Institute. 121 N. Kickapoo Street, Lincoln, IL 62656. Tel: 217-732-6462; Fax: 217-732-3696; Web site: http://www.adi.org/journal
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana