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ERIC Number: EJ976861
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
Communities of Practice: Creating the Bilingual School Mental Health Network in Colorado
Harris, Bryn; Steensen, Becky; Klotz, Mary Beth; Skalski, Anastasia Kalamaros; Bieber, Barb
Communique, v40 n6 p22-23 Mar-Apr 2012
A growing strategy in the world of educational reform is the use of "communities of practice" (CoP) as a tool for promoting sustainable systems change. There are three basic characteristics of a CoP that distinguish it from other types of communities: (1) the domain; (2) the community; and (3) the practice. A community of practice model offers an opportunity to systematically examine issues that are increasingly important. A bilingual school mental health CoP is especially relevant for the state of Colorado. Currently, 40% of students enrolled in the Colorado school system are from racially and/or ethnically diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, the total Colorado K-12 growth rate over the last 10 years was 15.6%, while the English language learner (ELL) growth rate during the same time period was 260%. The growth of ELLs alone, especially in the preschool and early elementary grades, indicates the increased demand for bilingual services and culturally and linguistically responsive practices. In addition, the Colorado Department of Education recognizes the need to focus on disproportionality issues in relation to special education, gifted education, discipline practices, high ELL dropout rates, and lower academic achievement of ELLs. CoPs are an innovative strategy for advancing educational practice around an issue or problem. They represent a way of working that is collaborative and allows cross-stakeholder groups to address a particular challenge. CoPs benefit school psychologists in many ways and they represent a unique and powerful way to share resources and knowledge, especially in this era of budget cuts. Furthermore, the creation of CoPs that focus on culturally and linguistically responsive practices is especially relevant to current demographics, the need for resource sharing and increased knowledge in this area, and the mentorship that professionals may desire.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado