Belonging at School: Strategies for Home and School Collaboration

This attractive and accessible new guide is perfect for welcome packages for new parents and families! Order copies from our eBoutique.

The project is part of COPA’S We All Belong initiative for parents and schools and was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Enjoy this little taste of the Guide!


Our active participation is required to shape a school culture where all students, parents and school staff feel safe and accepted. COPA calls this the cycle of positive change. Initiating this cycle begins with recognizing and celebrating our differences while underscoring our connections.

We’re All Different, We’re All the Same
An inclusive school culture is rooted in an understanding that we can all have pride and confidence in our identities without needing to exclude or be superior to other groups.

Sifting through our differences, we can separate out those that are part of our identity from those that are common to us all. We can embrace those basic beliefs that we share as human beings, such as kindness, compassion and the value of each person. At the same time, differences can be acknowledged and celebrated.

Such universal values are at the heart of a school environment where all our young people have an equal opportunity to learn and flourish. They help define the right for all of us to be safe, strong and free, a fundamental right of each and every person, accompanied (and limited) by the responsibility to respect that right in others.

When schools promote positive universal human values, they are laying the groundwork for a safe, equitable and inclusive school culture. The Ontario Ministry of Education’s Accepting Schools Act (2012) was developed in accordance with this vision.

As young people learn to expect respect and compassion from adults, they are more likely to behave in kind to their peers. They will also be more likely to seek guidance from adults in times of difficulty, such as bullying.

In the same way, when all parents feel welcomed and included at school, we are more likely to develop a positive and constructive rapport built on trust.

Parents and children not only benefit from this type of school setting, but they are also key players in its creation. As people with influence in our children’s lives, our input and support for the school’s efforts can have a positive impact.