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Family Involvement

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The vision of the SSTIC Family Involvement Subcommittee is to increase parents’ active involvement in the secondary transition planning process, including the development and implementation of the IEP.

The subcommittee gained multiple new members in April 2013, and the following new goals were developed:

1. Add “Discuss the transfer of rights and responsibilities which occur at age 18, including the options that are available, to assist with decision making.” as a best practice on the Transition Checklist for ages 14-16. (The link to the Transition Checklist as it is currently written is http://www.project10.info/DetailPage.php?MainPageID=164.)

2. Develop and facilitate webinars to address topics related to transition planning. The subcommittee is in the process of creating a priority list of webinar topics, including self-determination, diploma options, postsecondary opportunities for all students with disabilities, and family engagement.

3. Create and maintain an SSTIC Family Involvement Subcommittee web page on the Project 10 website. The web address is http://www.project10.info/DetailPage.php?MainPageID=260&PageCategory=SSTIC&PageSubCategory=Family%20Involvement.

4. Develop and maintain a web-based resource which highlights successful strategies for increasing/improving family involvement. Family Network on Disabilities (FND) has agreed to host the online resource, which is still in the development stage.

5. Provide information to school administrators, teachers, and other staff regarding transition planning and family involvement. Goal #2 will impact Goal #5; however, this goal may include information and resources beyond the webinars.


Research Findings

These are just a few research findings which validate the importance of family involvement in schools

  • The family is critical to success in school…curriculum of the home is twice as predictive of academic learning as socioeconomic status…parent influence is no less important in the high school years. U.S. DOE (1986). What works: Research about teaching and learning.  Washington, D.C.
  • Parent participation is a critical factor in determining the overall effectiveness of schools, regardless of the economic level of parents. Brookover, W.B., & Gigliotto, R.J. (1988). First teachers: Parental involvement in the public schools. Alexandria, VA: National School Boards Association. 
  • There are positive changes in student achievement, attitude, and behavior when teachers include parent involvement as part of their regular teaching practices.
    Epstein, J.L. (1983). Effects on parents of teacher practices in parental involvement. 
  • The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing that families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and throughout life. Henderson, A.T., & Mapp, K.L. (2002). A new wave of evidence. Austin, TX: SEDL. Available at http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/evidence.pdf
  • Programs designed with strong parental involvement components produce students who performed better than otherwise identical programs that did not strongly involve parents…Schools in which children are failing improve dramatically when parents are called in to help. Henderson, A. (1987). The evidence continues to grow. Columbia, MD. National Committee for Citizens in Education. 

Resources

Parent Involvement: Exceptional Student Education
http://forparents.florida-ese.org/
The parent involvement website from the Bureau of Exceptional Student Education and Student Services (BEESS) features information for parents of students receiving exceptional student education services in Florida, including related contacts, success stories and a glossary of terms. 

The SSTIC Family Involvement Subcommittee developed a presentation titled Transition Basics: A Guide for Families. The PowerPoint was delivered as a webinar in September 2012. It provides an overview of secondary transition including a look at the various roles and ways that families can be supportive of their child’s transition to adulthood. The archived webinar is posted on the FND website at http://www.fndfl.org/resources/archived-webinar.aspx.

Additional resources are available at http://www.project10.info/DetailPage.php?MainPageID=266&PageCategory=SSTIC&PageSubCategory=Family or by clicking on the Additional Family Resources link at the above right.


Evidence-Based Strategies

The Project 10 website has a number of web pages and downloadable resources related to Family Involvement:

· Entries on Family Involvement and Parent-Professional Collaboration are included in the A-Z library at http://www.project10.info/DetailPage.php?MainPageID=156 and http://www.project10.info/DetailPage.php?MainPageID=108, respectively.

· Resources for families can also be found in the District Resources section of the website at http://www.project10.info/DistrictFlorida.php.

· Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Families is available for download in English and Spanish on the Project 10 website, under “Publications” at http://www.project10.info/Publications.php

· Family Involvement is one of the five areas identified in Paula Kohler’s Taxonomy for Transition Planning, which can be found on the Project 10 website under “Effective Practices in Transition” at http://www.project10.info/Taxonomy.php. The webpage includes the following information regarding evidence-based practices:

The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center has identified one evidence-based practice in family involvement. It is "eaching parents and families about transition." (Test, Fowler, Kohler, & Kortering, 2010; Test, Fowler, Richter, White, Mazzotti, Walker, Kohler, & Kortering, 2009).

Through a collaborative partnership between the Florida Department of Education and the State Personnel Development Grant at Florida Gulf Coast University, with input from parents at the Central Florida Parent Center, the four-part series, Encouraging the Involvement of Parents of Children with Disabilities, was created. The third module focuses on Evidence-Based Based Practices and is available at http://www.cflparents.org/fgcu/loginmodule3.htm.


SSTIC Subcommittee on Family Involvement—Contact Information


Lisa Friedman-Chavez, Facilitator 
Regional Transition Representative, Region 5
Project 10: Transition Education Network
Cell: (786) 417-3904
lfchavez@usfsp.edu

 

 

The development of this website was funded by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
through a grant by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services,
Florida Department of Education (2010 - 2011, 291-2621A-1C008).

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