Parent-School Collaboration

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Video | A Tale of Two Conversations

A Tale of Two Conversations is a two-part video showing actors playing a parent of a child with a disability and a school administrator. The meeting was requested by the parent and takes place in the administrator’s office. Take One shows the parent and administrator talking about the child’s special education program. They are talking, but not listening. Their communication is unproductive. Take Two shows each person using more effective communication skills.

Both video conversations are available for viewing online at CADRE, as is a companion Study Guidethat looks more deeply into the effective communication skills shown in the second video. Read more about and access the resources here.

8 Steps to Kicking Off Your Child’s IEP The Right Way

(2019, July) | Available in English and Spanish | Useful for sharing with families of children with disabilities. Whether the child is starting a new school year or has a new Individualized Education Program (IEP), this Great Schools article will help parents how to get things started on the right foot. https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/8-steps-to-kicking-off-your-childs-iep-the-right-way/ In Spanish | […]

Back-to-School Introduction Letters

For parents of children with disabilities, writing a back-to-school introduction letter to their child’s teacher can help get the school year off to a good start. Parents can use such a letter to share important facts about their son or daughter, what accommodations the child is to receive, and any specifics of his or her IEP. Understood.org provides two model letters to guide parents (one to introduce grade-schoolers and another to introduce middle-schoolers). Both are available in English and Spanish. View or download the letters here.

Using Data to Make Parents Partners in School Improvement Efforts

ESSA requires states and districts to rate schools based on multiple data points (measures) that collectively comprise a state’s “accountability system.” What does it mean when a school is rated as “low performing”?

This short blog emphasizes the importance of parents being informed about and understanding the data measures used to rate schools, so that they can be partners in school improvement activities. The blog also connects you with a 2019 report, which takes a look at how many schools were identified as “struggling” based on ESSA’s requirements. Read the blog and access multiple related resources on school data, report cards, and the value of parent involvement.

Engaging Parents in Productive Partnerships

(2015) | Available in English and Spanish | Useful to educators and others seeking to increase collaboration and effective partnering with parents Engaging Parents in Productive Partnerships is an easy-to-read presentation of suggestions on how educators and service providers can effectively collaborate with parents. The 4-page brief concludes with specific recommendations for IEP meetings, organized […]

Parents 2018: Going Beyond Good Grades

(2019, February) | Useful to Parent Centers, parents, and educators in their efforts to work together to better understand the academic achievement of students. Why do 9 out of 10 parents of children in grades K-8 believe their child is on grade level, despite the fact that teachers report less than a third of their […]

Partners in Education | Online Module

(2014) | Available in English and Spanish | Useful to parents of children with developmental disabilities. This 3-hour self-directed course was created to help parents of children with developmental disabilities understand and maximize the special education system. The course focuses on: a child’s right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE), the laws that protect […]

Video | 8 Insider Tips on Navigating IEP Meetings

“Are you getting ready for an IEP meeting? Are you nervous or wondering what to expect? You’re not alone.”

This 13-minute video from understood.org is directed at parents who are getting ready for an IEP meeting or who are new to the process. The video captures the conversation between two parents (one a former teacher), both of whom are “veterans” of many IEP team meetings. They candidly talk about what they wish they’d known before the meetings. Eight nuggets of guidance emerge during their conversation.

The video is available in English and, using subtitles, in Spanish. Read more here, and learn about accompanying resources, including the podcast Why We Cry at IEP Meetings.

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