Special consideration must be given to communicating with parents who are not fluent in English. Title I schools report that 55 percent of the parents they serve have limited English skills (Funkhouser & Gonzales, 1997). These language barriers must be overcome before the successes and benefits of a partnership program can be seen. Having translators available and sending written material home in the parents' native language are solutions some schools have used. Changes in family structures and community life may require the school to develop other strategies for outreach (Funkhouser & Gonzales, 1997).
Educators also need to be aware of families' diverse cultures and the effects of those cultures on communication. For cultures that rely heavily on verbal communication, schools may find that parent conferences, home visits, and telephone calls are more effective than written communication. Acknowledging the different cultures of school families through the classroom activities also makes families feel valued and welcome.