Creating Communities of Practice to Improve the Educational and Mental Health Contexts of Bilingual/Bicultural Youth: A Case Study from Colorado
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Fiscal resources are becoming tighter, and school districts are asked to do more with less funding. This is occurring at the same time that school psychologists require increased professional development around effective practices and advocacy for bilingual students. Communities of practice (CoPs) are one potential solution as they aim to bring together various professionals into a working relationship around their common interests. They also bring stakeholders into the work of state education agencies as allies and bring fresh approaches to persistent problems by uniting decision makers, practitioners, and consumers around a common goal (IDEA Partnership, 2014). This article describes the creation and progress of the Colorado Bilingual School Mental Health CoP. The history, challenges, strategies, and outcomes are shared with an effort to encourage others to create CoPs to influence educational reform, particularly with traditionally underserved populations such as bilingual/bicultural populations.
KeywordsCommunity of practice Bilingual Bicultural
The author would also like to thank Drs. Mary Beth Klotz and Stacy Skalski from the National Association of School Psychologists for providing feedback on the earlier versions of this article.
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