This essay analyzes issues of race, class, culture, ethnicity, languages, and/or nationality as they affect the connections between families and their students with schools and their teachers. Candidates should not only focus on problems in building home-school connections, but essays should also include an examination of curriculum and instructions that provide positive academic and social experiences for youth, particularly urban youth. In discussing these issues, candidates must show knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of members of different types of teams including, but not limited to, Building Based Student Support Teams. Candidates must analyze the purposes, processes, structures, and potential benefits associated with collaboration and teaming and how teams can be used to provide positive in-and out-of-school experiences for urban youth. The essay should also include an analysis of the role of para-educators and the processes and skills associated with peer coaching and mentoring, particularly as these roles can be applied to the achievement of students in urban schools. 

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