School Climate: #ConnectTheDots Brief –School Collaboration The Role of Home

School Climate: #ConnectTheDots Brief
The Role of Home–School Collaboration
Home–school collaboration is an essential component of a positive school climate. Genuinely
collaborative partnerships between families and educators are based on mutual trust, respect, shared
goal-setting and problem-solving, common access to critical information, and a focus on the needs of
the child. Home–school partnerships benefit students, families, and school employees. Students’
behavior and achievement are improved, while educators report benefits such as increased job
satisfaction, and families report benefits such as enhanced self-efficacy (Christenson & Reschly, 2009;
Henderson & Mapp, 2002).
A Few Brief Research Facts
 Successful home–school collaboration is unlikely to occur without systematic planning by school
personnel (Raffaele & Knoff, 1999).
 Research suggests that school-based mental and behavioral health interventions are more effective
when caregivers are engaged in implementation (Shucksmith, Jones, & Summerbell, 2010).
 Students benefit from home–school partnerships in a variety of ways, including improved attitudes
toward school/learning, higher achievement/test scores, improved behavior, increased homework
completion, improved school attendance, and a reduced need for intensive interventions and
special education services. These positive outcomes have been documented across families from
diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds (Christenson & Reschly, 2009;
Henderson & Mapp, 2002).
 School–family partnerships can be particularly important when supporting the needs of students
from diverse backgrounds. When families and schools make the effort to understand each other’s
unique cultures, they are better able to work together and affirm for children that their important
adults are supporting their success (Lines, Miller, & Arthur-Stanley, 2010).
What Can Be Done to Enhance Home–School Collaboration
 Engage parents as active and equal partners in their child’s education by initiating dialogue
regularly, making communication two-way, and being consistent and open to input.
 Ensure that communication and other interactions are culturally and linguistically responsive.
 Involve parents in problem solving, data collection, and goal-setting.
 Develop a clear sense of shared responsibility for and commitment to supporting the student’s
 Create school environments that foster trust and convey a genuine sense of caring amongst the
faculty, staff, students, and families.
 Provide multiple opportunities for engagement that account for busy family schedules,
transportation challenges, and the potential need for child care.
 Empower families to be actively involved in their children’s academic and school lives by training
parents to act as tutors and collect data.
 Provide teachers and staff with the necessary resources required to maintain collaborative efforts.
The Role of the School Psychologist
School psychologists are vital members of the school community. They provide services that improve
the effectiveness of home–school collaboration, and they contribute expertise in building and enhancing
school–family relationships. School psychologists lead by example by intentionally communicating
regularly with parents, using their input to inform mental health services and evaluation methods.
Related Resources
Harvard Family Research Project:
National Association of School Psychologists. (2012). School-family partnering to enhance learning:
Essential elements and responsibilities [Position statement]. Bethesda, MD: Author.
RTI Action Network:
Christenson, S. L., & Reschly, A. L. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of school-family partnerships. New York,
NY: Routledge, Taylor, and Francis.
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.
Lines, C., Miller, G., & Arthur-Stanley, A. (2010). The power of family-school partnering (FSP): A
practical guide for school mental health professionals and educators. New York, NY: Routledge.
Raffaele, L. M., & Knoff, H. M. (1999). Improving Home-School Collaboration with Disadvantaged
Families: Organizational Principles, Perspectives, and Approaches. School Psychology Review,
28(3), 448–466.
Shucksmith, J., Jones, S., & Summerbell, C. (2010). The role of parental involvement in school-based
mental health interventions at primary (elementary) school level. Advances in School Mental
Health Promotion, 3(1), 18–29.
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