This book provides a comprehensive presentation of the power and promise of collaboration and system coordination connecting students, professionals, parents, schools and community agencies in new ways. Placing students with special needs and families in the center, collaboration and system coordination are viewed from a developmental framework from early childhood through post-high school. The book perspective helps individuals understand the complex interplay between the needs of students and collaborative skill needs of professionals along the developmental path.
Key topics: How school collaboration and system coordination work, current laws that promote it with emphasis on IDEA 2004 and NCLB 2001, research that links collaboration with student and family outcomes, skills for effective collaboration between general and special educators, the role of families in school collaboration, effects of cultural and linguistic diversity, and strategies for effective collaboration and coordination from early childhood through post-secondary education, including alternative educational settings. Case examples are threaded throughout as the book urges change in how professionals think about the way education and human services agencies should respond to students who are special learners.