Communicating assessment results with multicultural sensitivity

Home-school communication is essential to academic success, but for minority parents, cultural and linguistic barriers prevent effective home-school collaboration by discouraging parent input into their child’s educational decisions. Effective home-school collaboration has been found to positively influence academic, behavioral, and social-emotional student outcomes (Epstein, 2001; Park & Holloway, 2013). As such, it is vital for school staff to learn and apply multiculturally sensitive practices when communicating with parents, especially when highly sensitive and critical decisions such as special education eligibility and educational placement are being discussed. This project will integrate the body of research that supports effective home-school communication, cultural biases in special education, and the strategies to present assessment results with multicultural sensitivity. The information will be used to develop a half-day training for members of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team on how to address their own cultural biases, engage in more effective home-school communication, and best communicate assessment results with multicultural sensitivity to Hispanic and Asian families.