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Enhanced Family-School Partnerships and Parental Involvement in Schools
Outcome Goal and School Psychology
Potential for goal to become effective role. In order for benefits to materialize throughout the school system, attention should be focused on the process and the overall mindset needed to enact change. School psychologists are able to take a leadership position in facilitating relationships among stakeholders and implementing plans that lead to lasting school-family partnerships. School attitudes and practices can be modified though training provided by the school psychologist. Parents may feel uncomfortable within the school culture and school psychologists can change the climate through initiatives to provide support during the most convenient hours for the parent, provide school readiness training shortly after birth, and involve parents in fun activities (Harrison & Cummings, 2006). Christenson (2004) explains that school psychologists should advocate for parent's rights to equally contribute to decisions and that they should provide individualized parent information based on the type of support needed to maintain involvement.
School psychologists are needed in this role to reach out to the growing number of families that are at-risk and underserved. They can lead programs that train and utilize the services of parent liaisons with families that face barriers due to class and ethnicity. Sanders (2008) conducted a longitudinal study with four districts and found that parents with liaisons were more involved in their child's education, had more positive feelings about school personnel, and received essential material resources. By encouraging the use of liaisons, teaching school personnel to welcome parent involvement, and valuing parent contributions in meetings, school psychologists can be influential in promoting this goal.
Educational, mental health, and community issues addressed by goal. There are a number of significant issues facing students and families in the 21st century that can be remediated by enhanced collaboration and involvement. The focus on educational standards and increased accountability to ensure that all students are performing at a level that will make them competitive in a globalized economy can be influenced by this goal. Family involvement in academics leads to improved grades, higher rates of homework completion, and higher rates of college enrollment (Hansen & Callender, 2005). An extensive study on math achievement and parent involvement conducted by Sheldon and Epstein (2005) found that schools that implemented homework activities that required parent participation and provided math resources to use at home reported improved math achievement. A pervasive community issue is the poor economy and the resulting increase of families living in poverty. Families with economic hardships are typically less involved with their children's education and have children with lower academic and social success than their peers. School psychology practices should address this by developing programs that make schools accessible to these families. Dearing, Simpkins, Kreider, and Weiss (2006) found that from kindergarten to fifth grade, high family involvement was a factor that closed the achievement gap between low income and high income children. The economic crisis is also exacerbating mental health issues in schools. Fritz (2009) commented that family stress can cause previously well-adjusted children to exhibit serious psychiatric symptoms and can lead to child abuse. School psychologists can partner with families to deliver basic resources and information to respond to children's anxiety or depression.
School psychologist contributions to this goal. In addition to having the skills necessary to serve as an ambassador between families and schools, encourage family contributions during meetings, and facilitate collaboration of ideas, school psychologists are trained in research methods. This includes disseminating educational information and evaluating current parent involvement programs. Sheridan, Taylor, and Woods (2008) explain that school psychologists are in the position to work with families to make them knowledgeable about resources that can improve educational outcomes and bring them in contact with community supports. With regards to program evaluation, school psychologists should determine effectiveness of strategies through surveys and other continual outcome measures. Law et al. (2003), state that a variety of published surveys can be used to evaluate important factors in family-centered services and found that strong leadership and personnel training improve family satisfaction. School psychologists have the tools to engage in this type of evaluation and advocate for change.
Research Article Addressed by this Goal
Purpose. Spoth, Shin, and Randall (2008) summarized evidence demonstrating that interventions with a family focus reduce problem behaviors and improve school engagement, which have a long term positive effect on academics. The purpose of this study was to implement family skills training in sixth grade and observe direct effects in successful parenting behaviors and reduced substance use risk. It was also hypothesized that, over time, parenting competency would foster more school engagement and that there is a direct, positive association between engagement and academic success. The long term purpose of this study was to show that family involvement reduces problem behaviors and improves academics.
Method. The families of sixth graders in 33 rural schools participated. Almost all of the parents completed high school and were White. Eighty-six percent of the families were dual-parent. The schools were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: the 7-session Iowa Strengthening Families Program (ISFP), the 5-session Preparing for the Drug Free Years, or the control condition. The ISFP required seven consecutive weeks of sessions. Parents and children were trained at the same time in different rooms for 1 hour, followed by a parent-child combined session that also lasted 1 hour. Child and parent sessions involved learning how to engage in or support appropriate responses to peer pressure, stress, and positive family interactions. Family sessions involved exercises in communication, problem solving, and planning fun activities. Questionnaires on parenting competency and student substance-related risk were administered twice in grade 6, a questionnaire on school engagement was administered to the student in grades 6 and 8, and academic success was measured by multiple reports of grades in grades 6 and 12.
Results. Significant direct effects were found between ISFP and increased parenting competency and between ISFP and decreased student substance-related risk. Four indirect effects were found to be significant: a significant effect of parenting competency and engagement on academic success, a significant effect of substance-related risk and engagement on academic success, a significant effect of parenting competency on engagement, and a significant effect of substance-related risk on engagement.
Conclusions. Overall, the study supported the hypothesis that family competency training improves parent's abilities to model, support, and reward positive behavior and improves family interactions. Family training also decreased substance-related risks. Students with appropriate social-emotional functioning were more engaged in school and had more academic success. The longitudinal results show the importance of early interventions that target families for long term academic growth.
Limitations. Given the demographics, it is unknown if results will generalize to culturally diverse populations, urban areas, and diverse family structures. The study did not directly evaluate parent involvement, but it can be suggested that family competency addresses involvement. The intervention was only seven weeks long and it would be beneficial to evaluate a multi-year prevention program.
Evidence that goal is an effective service of school psychologists. Given that the seven week intervention in grade 6 led to significant effects in grade 12 academic successes, there is evidence that preventative interventions that train families on how to support children's behaviors will lead to significant school results. School psychologists can use these longitudinal results to lead comprehensive family-based campaigns in all grades. It is likely that family interventions that involve every student in a school will positively alter the school climate and exponentially increase positive results.
National Association of School Psychologists Ethical Principles
III-C Relationships with parents. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Professional Conduct Manual (2000) outlines several ethical principles that involve working with parents. School psychologists should always explain evaluation procedures, eligibility requirements, and services. It is also vital for school psychologists to seek parental support and involvement when beginning to provide services on a regular basis. Other major ethical requirements include seeking out parental input when creating interventions, encouraging the implementation of home interventions, and accommodating parent skills when designing interventions. Nelson, Summers, and Turnbull (2004) found through focus groups that parents prefer personnel that are able to have frequent contact with them and be flexible with meeting times. This suggests that the principle of actively bringing in parents will result in this outcome goal because they ultimately want to be involved if certain conditions are met.
III-A-3 Maintain professional relationships and inform families of services in advance. The NASP Professional Conduct Manual (2000) states that it is required to explain services to parents and children in a way that is appropriate given language and cultural differences, cognitive capacity, or age. In order to forge lasting relationships and motivate involvement, parents must feel that they are being respected during conversations. If school psychologists do not follow this principle, families will be discouraged and they will not have the capacity to provide meaningful input during meetings.
American Psychological Association Ethical Principles
4.02 Discussing limits of confidentiality. The American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002) states that psychologists must explain limits of confidentiality and the way in which information gathered through psychological services will be used. For example, a child that asks whether their parent will know what occurs during their interactions with the school psychologist should be made aware that the parent has a right to know and that it is in their best interest that the parent is given relevant information. By facilitating the transfer of information on a child's progress and explaining how the information will be used to guide future interventions, parents will become more involved and a partnership will emerge.
Legal Requirements and Legislations
No Child Left Behind. Miller and Kraft (2008) explain that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) states that schools should be active in encouraging participation and should treat parents as equal partners when collaborating to make educational decisions. NCLB also states that parents should be provided with any information regarding educational performance and teacher qualifications. Under Title 1, a school-parent compact will be created to help parents understand standards and provide ways they can be involved. This law creates the opportunity for this outcome goal to be realized at a systems-wide level because school psychologists have the legal foundations to advocate for parent involvement programs.
Due process. Heward (2009) explains that this safeguard requires that schools have parental consent for evaluations and placement decisions. When there is ongoing disagreement between parents and schools regarding placement, schools first offer resolution through mediation and then a due process hearing takes place if necessary. Due process guidelines are in effect from evaluation to the implementation of services and require that parents are informed about each step. In order to achieve an effective family-school partnership, all procedures must be explained to parents early in the process to prevent confusion and disagreement. In addition, giving parents the right to make an argument about their child's placement promotes parent involvement and will likely enhance the child's learning outcome.
Increased Child and Family Services in Schools that Promote Health and Mental Health and are Integrated with Community Services
Outcome Goal and School Psychology
Potential for goal to become effective role. In order to enhance the educational development of all children, schools need to create avenues for delivering health and mental health services to children and families. School psychologists are in the position to promote healthy functioning by initiating and maintaining partnerships with community agencies. According to Eagle, Dowd-Eagle, and Sheridan (2008), school-community partnerships are similar to the RTI model and programs can be universal, targeted, or intensive in nature. School psychologists have the opportunity to be leaders at each level, with a main responsibility being identification and implementation of evidence based programs. Bierman (2003) explains that one of the most challenging roles that require effective school psychology leadership is the integration of scientifically proven methods with community resources that are already in place. School psychologists are needed to maintain the relevance and acceptability of programs to local communities while increasing positive outcomes. By advocating for increased funding for school-based mental health and health services for families, school psychologists have the ability to positively influence a sizeable percentage of the school community. Nastasi (2003) states that it is common to face resistance when attempting to serve needs outside of the academic realm and school psychologists may need to look beyond school based models and link services to community agencies. A strong voice in making agencies more accessible to families is necessary to be effective in this outcome goal.
Educational, mental health, and community issues addressed by goal. Overall, school based models of service delivery tackle several issues related to lack of access by low income populations including lack of transportation, lack of health insurance, inability to understand procedures in health agencies, and inability to obtain services outside of traditional office hours (Eagle et al., 2008). Specifically, this goal addresses the community issues of poverty and the associated exposure to violence, depression, and poor supervision (Atkins et al., 2006). School psychologists are in the position to prevent problems associated with community poverty by creating after-school programs that support healthy socialization. Frazier, Cappella, and Atkins (2007) advocate for the involvement of community mental health services to after-school programs for poor urban youth in order to remove some of the burden on families and schools. School psychologists should be involved in developing program wide interventions through consultation and identifying students in need of more intensive after school services.
A specific issue related to mental health in underserved communities is the likely increase in disruptive classroom behavior. This can be addressed by school psychologists through the increase in school-based mental health programs. Atkins et al. (2006) compared children that were referred to a neighborhood mental health clinic and children that were referred to a school based program and found that families receiving school based services were significantly more likely to maintain long term engagement in services. Participant families in the school-based program also received home services and were found to have improved academic performance, as rated by their teachers. In addition, health education issues such as pregnancy and drug abuse prevention are imperative in the 21st century. Eagle et al. (2008) state that collaborations between schools and institutions like hospitals and police departments can address these issues. School psychologists can act as liaisons between organizations and ensure that the agencies are delivering programs that are relevant to the school population.
School psychologist contributions to this goal. School psychologists can contribute to this goal because they have the knowledge and skills necessary to create the community partnerships needed to maintain continuous family services. Specifically, school psychologists can educate community leaders on research and evaluation methods necessary to determine the effectiveness of programs and they have the ability to address strengths and needs in multidisciplinary teams. Brown and Bolen (2008) explain that school psychologists are able to provide their expertise in student-based health centers by providing in-service training to health professionals and parent training regarding the effect of health disorders on learning and behavior.
Research Article Addressed by this Goal
Purpose. Zenere and Lazarus (2009) reported the effects of a district-wide school-based program on the suicide and suicide attempt rate over 18 years. The authors explain that suicidal behavior is a continuing national problem and that this study is one of the first to evaluate school-based prevention and intervention programs by collecting data on behaviors as opposed to attitudes. The services provided through this program increase in intensity so that there are universal, selected, and indicated services, each of which involves some community connection. The overarching purpose of this study was to demonstrate a decrease in these behaviors and to present this model to other districts.
Method. The Youth Suicide Prevention and Intervention Program was implemented in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The universal preventions included curriculum that teaches life management skills, teaches identification of warning signs, extensive training of school staff in how to identify suicide risk factors, and extra training for school based mental health professionals on how to do assessments, involve families in the process, and how to refer the child to community organizations. Selected interventions that are particularly relevant to the NASP outcome goal included the creation of school-based health teams that unite nurses, social workers, and other health professionals from the community. Additional community services were integrated into the school or links were created to bring families to outside agencies. Indicated interventions included immediate assessment of suicide risk. In the occasion of moderate to high risk, community agencies were contacted and families were brought in and asked to approve collaboration between schools and community agencies. Data on suicides was collected before the intervention from 1980-1988 by the district. Data was collected on suicides and suicide attempts during the program implementation from 1989-2006. The intervention data on suicide attempts was collected through a crisis hotline that school mental health professionals were required to report to in the event of a suicide attempt. Data on suicides were confirmed by the medical examiner.
Results. Data from the pre-intervention period showed a rate of 5.5 suicides per 100,000 students. The intervention data was grouped into three 6-year periods and showed a downward trend, with the years 2001-2006 reporting 0.73 suicides per 100,000 students. The mean differences between the pre-intervention period and all three intervention periods were statistically significant. Suicide attempt rates also decreased across the intervention period, with 45.5 suicide attempts per 100,000 students during the 1989-1994 period and 9.0 suicide attempts per 100,000 students during the 2001-2006 period. Conclusions. This study shows that comprehensive programs that have multiple tiers and bring in community resources are effective in maintaining reductions in suicides and suicide attempts. The authors have significantly expanded the knowledge base given that this is one of the only studies that analyzed suicidal behaviors and not attitudes. Other districts can implement this promising prevention and intervention program and likely see similar results after an extended period of time.
Limitations. There are some potential issues with data collection, including the inclination that the number of reported suicide attempts by school professionals to the crisis hotline may be less than the number of actual occurrences. The program was not monitored for treatment integrity, which signifies that the effectiveness of each intervention is not known. Moreover, this study did not have any controlled elements, which indicates that more evidence is needed to determine the true effect of the program.
Evidence that goal is an effective service of school psychologists. Collaborating with community agencies to provide these services to families is an exponentially valuable method to work toward ensuring that students achieve their potential. Even though this was not an experimental study, the longitudinal nature provides evidence that a continuum of school based services leads to positive results in children's health. Utilizing community agencies for selected interventions was a way to overcome limited school resources and provide comprehensive care those in need. This model of bringing additional community professionals within the immediate reach of families can be implemented for mental health and health needs outside of suicide risk, including chronic illness and disruptive behavior.
National Association of School Psychologists Ethical Principles
III-E Working with other professionals. The NASP Professional Conduct Manual (2000) relates several standards involved in working with other professionals. School psychologists need to cooperate with and recognize the important contributions of others in related fields. School psychologists should explain their competencies and work with other professionals to coordinate services with the goal of providing optimal care. It is also expected that expedient referral to outside professionals occurs if the presenting problem is outside of the school psychologist's competencies. In order to achieve increased health and mental health services, effective collaboration and coordination needs to be prioritized.
American Psychological Association Ethical Principles
3.05 Multiple relationships. The APA's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002) explains that multiple relationships occur when a psychologist is simultaneously in a professional role and another role with a person or a person closely affiliated with that person. Multiple relationships can skew objectivity and reduce service effectiveness. When working with parents and collaborating with community agencies and individuals, it is possible that previous personal relationships may be encountered. Campbell and Gordon (2003) explain that multiple relationships are a reality in small towns, but suggest that professionals should terminate relationships that are not in a client's best interest and evaluate potential conflicts before taking leadership roles in collaborative decision making.
Legal Requirements and Legislations
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The U.S. Department of Education (2008) states that the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives parents the right to review their child's records and the right to request that schools change records that they think are incorrect. Written parental consent must be attained in order for any information to be released to outside agencies that will be coordinating with the school to provide comprehensive care. According to Shaw and Woo (2008), FERPA also allows parents to reject to collaboration between school and health agencies. When advocating for family comprehensive health and mental health services, it is necessary to recognize parent's rights to abstain from receiving school services.
Improved Social-Emotional Functioning for all Children
Outcome Goal and School Psychology
Potential for goal to become effective role. Social-emotional maladjustment significantly impedes a child's ability to learn, affects entire classrooms, and can be a pervasive school problem. School psychologists are valuable members of teams that implement Positive Behavior Support (PBS) systems, which are needed for wide scale prevention, early intervention, and intensive supports. Sugai and Horner (2006) explain that a team approach is imperative when implementing each tier and school psychologists can encourage stakeholders from general education, special education, mental health, administration, and juvenile justice to sustain their efforts. They can also exert influence by regularly educating large-scale stakeholders, such as school boards and parent groups, on the overall reduction in problems achieved by PBS, which leads to continued funding and support (Sugai & Homer, 2006).
In addition to communicating with stakeholders, they are also effective in implementing supports in each tier. School psychologists can enhance their visibility by conducting class-wide lessons on social skills, bullying, and behavioral expectations. McKevitt and Braaksma (2008) state that they are also in the position to influence school climate by evaluating and selecting curricula that are appropriate for the school's characteristics and identifying students that are in need of group and individual interventions. Change should also be influenced by responding to barriers that may be plaguing appropriate execution of universal prevention. Lohrmann, Forman, Martin, Palmieri (2008) conducted qualitative research with 14 PBS providers and found that two barriers were lack of administrative support and skepticism about the need for the universal intervention. In these situations, school psychologists can influence administrators to make prevention a priority and build evidence for the need to change.
Educational, mental health, and community issues addressed by goal. The 21st century will witness a dramatic shift in the population of minority groups, which is an important consideration for the education system. For example, by 2050, the Hispanic school-age population is expected to reach 29.2% (Ortiz, Flanagan, & Dynda, 2008). A study by Choi, Meininger, and Roberts (2006) found that Asian Americans, African American, and Hispanic American adolescents were more likely to experience social stress and had fewer resources protecting them from mental distress than European Americans. Social stress began in early adolescence, even though symptoms of distress were not yet present, which asserts the importance of universal social-emotional interventions in early grades. A continuing community issue is the widespread nature of poverty in rural, urban, and suburban neighborhoods and the associated family stress. Poverty is widely seen as a significant factor in children's poor emotional regulation and poor social competence (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Stoolmiller, 2008). Webster-Stratton et al. (2008) evaluated a social-emotional curriculum in Head Start through first grade classes with high poverty and found that bi-weekly lessons and parent communication reduced conduct problems and social-emotional risk factors. A vital educational issue is the need for increased academic standards to foster a competitive work force. In order to increase academic engaged time, teachers must deliver universal interventions that target social and emotional competence and reduce the likelihood of problem behaviors (Osher et al., 2008).
School psychologist contributions to this goal. School psychologists have training allowing them to lead and contribute to implementation of interventions, including the ability to research school-wide programs and conduct action research to determine their effectiveness. They also have the specialized knowledge needed to conduct in-service training and parent training that is vital in getting stakeholders committed to interventions. DeRosier and Gilliom (2007) found through an experimental study that parent social skills training and parallel parent and child social skills training were associated with significant improvement in childrens emotional functioning. This study utilized methods like talking, role-playing, and coaching in highly structured group programs, which are methods well within the realm of school psychology practice. Additionally, at the intensive intervention level, school psychologists have expertise in conducting functional behavior assessments, which can be used to guide individual treatment.
Research Article Addressed by this Goal
Purpose. Wang (2009) reported on the way in which adolescents' perceptions of school climate, combined with social competence, influences psychological and behavioral functioning. This study fills gaps in the research by evaluating which specific aspects of climate support or hinders student behavioral and psychological outcomes. The following factors of perceived climate are analyzed: performance goals, which emphasize ability; mastery goals, which emphasize self-improvement; promotion of autonomy and class discussion, which allow for student decision-making and improved interpersonal skills; and teacher emotional support, which leads to compliance and the ability to cope with problems. Social competence is evaluated as a mediating variable and includes social problem solving skills and demonstrating self-control over negative emotions. It is hypothesized that mastery goals, support for autonomy and discussion, and emotional support lead to less deviant behavior and depressive symptoms.
Method. Participants were 1,042 students from 23 public schools in an ethnically diverse county and were representative of different socioeconomic levels. Data was a part of a larger, longitudinal study and this study examined data when students were in grades 7 and 8. At both points of data collection, interviews and questionnaires were completed in the participant's homes. Parents completed questionnaires on adolescents' deviant behavior in grades 7 and 8. Adolescents completed a social competence measure in grade 7 and self-reported their depressive symptoms in both grades. A school climate measure was administered in grade 7 to evaluate each of the specific school climate constructs.
Results. The author controlled for prior adjustment problems in grade 7, SES, gender, and race. The results show that promotion of mastery goals, support of autonomy and discussion, and teacher emotional support in grade 7 were all associated with less deviant behaviors and depression in grade 8. It was also found that teacher emotional support was the most predictive of lower levels of depression and deviant behavior. Student perception of teacher promotion of performance goals was predictive of more deviant behavior and depression. While it was found that promotion of mastery goals and decreased deviant behavior and depression was not mediated by social competence, all other school climate variables in grade 7 and adjustment variables in grade 8 were mediated by social competence.
Conclusions. This study found that student's positive feelings about school climate in grade 7 lead them to feel that they had more social problem solving skills and ability to exercise self-control. These feelings of social competence in grade 7 led to increased levels of positive behavioral and psychological adjustment in grade 8. This study concludes that environments characterized by teacher emotional support, less competition, and simultaneous allowance for student decision making and interaction protects students against adjustment problems.
Limitations. The main limitation in this study is that the majority of the data is student self report information and it is possible that some students responded dishonestly in order to paint themselves in a more favorable light. In addition, this study was nonexperimental, which introduces a variety of other factors that could have played a role in student's grade 8 adjustment. Lastly, 11% of participants from the first data collection period dropped out of the study and they were more likely to have higher levels of deviant behavior, which could signify non-significant outcomes with their continued participation.
Evidence that goal is an effective service of school psychologists. Given the large number of participants and the longitudinal nature in which data was collected, practitioners can be confident that these specific factors of school climate are important in developing social competence and fewer behavioral and psychological problems. This evidence informs the practice of implementing universal interventions for the improvement of school climate. Altering the school setting will improve social-emotional functioning for all children and as this study demonstrates, social competence leads to fewer adjustment problems. Fewer adjustment problems will optimize learning and overall life satisfaction.
National Association of School Psychologists Ethical Principles.
III. B. Professional relationships with students. According to the NASP Professional Conduct Manual (2000), school psychologists should explain services and why they are needed to children in an easily understandable way. Every effort will be made to ensure that students are voluntarily participating in required interventions. If a student initiates services, school psychologists should respect the student's wishes to terminate services. When implementing a continuum of social-emotional supports, school psychologists should extensively explain the need for secondary and tertiary interventions to students.
IV. C. Assessment and intervention. The NASP Professional Conduct Manual (2000) states that when a school psychologist provides services, he or she must consider children's individual differences and backgrounds. Data from a variety of research based assessment methods should be used to make decisions about children. In addition, school psychologists should take care to select current assessment and intervention methods that are tailored to children's needs when addressing mental health. When school psychologists implement targeted and intensive social emotional interventions it is imperative to select procedures that have been shown to be relevant for the intended population in the literature.
American Psychological Association Ethical Principles
A. Beneficence and nonmaleficence. APA (2002) states that psychologists must always ensure the rights and welfare of their clients are being prioritized. Beneficence indicates that psychologists must work to benefit clients and nonmaleficence indicates when conflicts occur, psychologists must work to avoid or minimize potential harm. In addition, it is also important for psychologists to consider the effect that their personal dispositions will have on their ability to help others. This is relevant when organizing and implementing interventions at all tiers of PBS because school psychologists should consider ways in which a student's involvement in a program could harm their well being. For example, it should be considered whether or not a student's participation in targeted interventions is causing peer alienation.
Legal Requirements and Legislations
Duty to protect. According to Merrell, Ervin, and Gimpel (2006), psychologists are required to disclose client information when a client intends to seriously harm a third person. Reasonable steps must be taken to warn the third person or contact police. When a school psychologist is identifying students in need of tier 3 PBS interventions or working with these students, it is imperative that action is taken to alert resource officers if threats are made to carry out violence in school. Glancy and Chaimowitz (2005) propose using a clinical risk assessment when in a counseling setting like a tertiary PBS intervention, and stress that psychologists define future scenarios that may lead to risk of harming another or oneself.
No Child Left Behind and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Gagnon, Rockwell, and Scott (2008) state that both laws contain requirements for the improvement of social and emotional functioning. NCLB requires that schools report information on school violence and allows students attending persistently dangerous schools to choose another school. Schools are required to improve school safety by implementing various levels of behavioral supports that can prevent violence from occurring and mediate initial maladaptive behavior. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) addresses the need to identify students with emotional disorders and provide appropriate supports that will improve their educational outcomes. Comprehensive supports should be provided when a student reaches special education, but this law also brings awareness to prevention.
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