"School psychologists should be prepared to help design and operate programs to promote school-family interactions. School psychologists need to share in leadership roles in coordinating with other agencies and in forming linkages within the community." - NASP, 1997.

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Home, school, and community collaboration involves teachers, parents, school psychologists and other education professionals engaging in collaborative planning and decision making to support students' educational and mental health needs. It extends beyond the traditional idea of "parent involvement" and instead encompasses a wider definition of key players in children's education working together for the benefit of all learners.

Level of Competence in Home, School, and Community Collaboration = novice

Evidence
I have completed coursework in home, school, and community collaboration that has enabled me to gain broad knowledge and understanding in this domain. I have also included two of my assignments as they directly relate to my development of competence in this area. I have also included a letter of reference from my supervisor at a community program for children with special needs, where I volunteered to help run their programs. I have also included a job description of my role as a learning assistance teacher, which highlights some of my abilities in effective home, school, and community collaboration. Finally, a reflection statement written by myself further demonstrates my level of competence in this area and draws on experiences from my professional and student life in recent years.

Course Descriptions

APSY 693.48 - Family and Social Bases of Behavior
This course examines theoretical perspectives and contemporary research on socialization processes in childhood and adolescence, with particular emphasis on family and peer interpersonal relations. This course examines connections between family and the education system including parent involvement in schools. Additional topics include peer group processes, prosocial behavior, and social responsibility. The role of gender, culture and diversity in development are pervasive themes throughout the course. The emphasis throughout this course is on building resilience in children and families to overcome adversity.

APSY 513 - Consultation and Collaboration
This course is primarily concerned with the development of skills, knowledge and practices that are applicable to all people involved with inclusive and special education. The overall aim is to develop professionals who can function effectively as advocates, change agents, and facilitators in schools, providing culturally appropriate problem-solving processes within consultative and collaborative teams.

Assignments

The following two assignments highlight the knowledge I have gained about the importance of home, school, and community collaboration. The first assignment is a final exam that I completed as part of a course on disorders of behavior and learning. The first exam question illustrates the importance of communication between School Psychologists and parents and the need to collaborate to obtain accurate information and make informed decisions, collectively, about what is best for children.

The second assignment is a document that compiles a list of community resources for parents or educators based on the type of services they provide. This document is a necessary part of collaborating with educators and parents about resources that may be available to help their children. This assignment taught me more than simply where to look to find resources. It also taught me the importance of the School Psychologist's role in coordinating with other agencies and forming linkages within the community to promote effective service delivery for all clients.

Letter of Reference

The following letter of reference demonstrates my abilities to work within a community agency providing services for children with disabilities. The letter highlights my skills in effective interpersonal communication, but also my ability to work well with others and take on a leadership role. I believe all of these qualities embody the skills and knowledge necessary to be competent in this domain.

Under the domain of Socialization and Development of Life Competencies, I also include a performance review from my supervisor at the Boys and Girls Club where I worked with youth with special needs. This review also highlights my abilities to effectively collaborate with parents to act as a liaison for community services in order to provide the best care possible for their children.

Job Description

The following document is an excerpt from the British Columbia Ministry of Education (July 2006) Special Education Services: A Manual Of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines. The excerpt described the roles and responsibilities of a learning assistance teacher, which is a role I used to hold as a teacher. These roles and responsibilities directly reflect knowledge and experience I have gained as a result of being a learning assistance teacher that translate into my current competencies in this domain of School Psychology.

Also, the British Columbia Teacher's Federation Learning Assistance Teachers' Association describes the role of a learning assistance teacher as:
"All students must be given opportunities to be successful in school. To that end, Learning Assistance Teachers are committed advocates for children who have learning differences. Learning Assistance Teachers play a vital role by providing a coordinated and integrated set of support services that include: school-based consultation; collaborative planning; assessment/evaluation; reporting; and direct instruction."

Reflection Statement

I have fairly extensive knowledge, background, and experience in home/school/community collaboration as evidenced by the artifacts provided on this webpage. However, aside from the coursework and assignments, this evidence comes from being a teacher, not a School Psychologist. To that end, I feel I have attained a novice level of competency in this domain but will seek to further my development in this area by capitalizing on opportunities for collaboration within my internship experience.

I would also like to read the book, "Home, School, and Community Collaboration: Culturally Responsive Family Involvement" by Kathy Grant and Julie Ray (2010, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications). It seems pertinent to this domain and may help to further develop my competence in this area.