Cultural Differences Brochure

Zachary S. Ferguson for SPED 500

How Does My School Reach Out To Parents?

My school currently reaches out to parents through a series of different methods of communication. These include weekly updates to our school web page, a smartphone app which allows teachers and administrators to send out reminders to parents and students about upcoming events which parents and students sign up for and can translate to their native language. We also produce a monthly school newsletter which is translated into Spanish with the help of our ESL teachers. Teachers also make regular parent contacts via telephone and email. These conversations help keep parents informed about the progress of their children.

How Does My School Explain Special Education To Families of English Language Learners?

Our school takes maintaining effective communication with all parents as one of our main goals. For parents who are non-English speakers, our ESL teachers make weekly contacts with them to help foster communication between parents and their child's core teachers. Luckily, all of our non-native English speaking population speak Spanish, so our ESL teachers are able to to serve as translators.


Our ESL teachers actively foster communication with parents and update them on the IEP process for students who also qualify for special education modifications. The ESL teacher typically serves as the translator during IEP meetings and seeks to foster a close relationship with the families to help them feel welcome.

How Does My School meet the needs of all learners?

Our school actively utilizes the three-tiered RTI process to monitor student progress and develop effective interventions to help ensure student success. Parents of students who receive additional modifications at Tier 2 or Tier 3 levels are contacted and kept updated on the progress the current methods make with their child.


Our school also utilizes Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) to gauge student progress for students who are English Language Learners and who are Special Education students. We also work diligently to incorporate a wide variety of cultural perspectives and experiences into our lessons. In my own World Literature class, we read about, research, and write about the experiences of people from all over the world who differ in terms of their race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, nationality, and gender but who all share a common humanity. We actively work to foster open conversation about issues which typically divide people into such narrow categories with the aim of fostering mutual understanding and respect.

What are the ways that parents can support their learners at home and at school?

Parents can offer a structured environment to reinforce positive developments at their school. In other words, providing reinforcement for the skills that their children have already begun to develop at school. Providing positive reinforcement for successes, no matter how small, can help students become more engaged while at school.

How are special needs and cultural differences addressed in specific school and classroom activities?

Our school uses a number of different measures to help meet the needs of students with special needs and cultural differences. These include some of the following strategies:


1. Crafting interventions and modifications based on student data and individual needs

- Our school actively works with parents and their students to craft an IEP program or specific interventions to meet the needs of Special Needs students or students who are English Language learners. We believe that parent involvement is a vital part of that process because they have unique experience and knowledge of their children that can help teachers craft interventions to help them.


2. Using Curriculum Based Measurements to monitor progress in a less biased manner

- Our school focuses on creating and utilizing Curriculum Based Measurements for student performance as a means to reduce bias in the IEP process and the general assessment of students who might need interventions due to their being non-native speakers of English or qualifying for Special Education interventions.


3. Fostering Student awareness about different cultural groups to address stereotyping:

- We also incorporate multicultural content into all of our classes to help make students aware of culturally relevant issues which come up in our respective curricula. This comes at the individual classroom level, as teachers are required under Common Core to incorporate global knowledge into their lessons.


From my own experience as an English teacher teaching World Literature, the exploration of a wide variety of cultures from across the world is the hallmark of my course. My content covers literary works from across the globe, and I actively try to challenge students to develop cultural awareness by reading about the experiences of people from other countries. This exposure to other cultural groups has helped my students develop empathy towards people and cultures that would have otherwise remained alien to them.

References

Hallahan, D. P., Kauffman, J. M., & Pullen, P. C. (2016). Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to Special Education (13th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.