Improving School-Family Collaboration with Latino/a Families: A Resource Guide for School Personnel

Family involvement plays an important role in a student's education. A large body of research suggests that school-family connections positively influence various aspects of a student's education (Delgado Gaitan 2012; Chadwick, 2004; Epstein et al., 2002). Building and fostering a working relationship with families of all backgrounds becomes the responsibility of various educationally related professionals (i.e., school psychologists, service providers, teachers, administrators). Families are diverse systems, and while some educationally related personnel receive some training in cultural diversity, it can be challenging to recognize many cultural nuances. The Latino/a population is the largest ethnic or racial minority, totaling about 57.5 million people. As such, student enrolment is high among the Latino/a population and trends indicate the population continues to grow, with an increased percentage of Latino/a students increasing from 16% to 26% between 2000 and 2015 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). Educators working with Latino/a families can face various practical and cultural barriers when attempting to build strong school-family connections. The purpose of this graduate project is to develop a resource guide for educationally related professionals seeking to create a stronger school-family relationship when working with Latino/a students and families, which can result in a positive effect on a student's education.