Dissertation

Increasing and Sustaining Parent Engagement in Two Low Socioeconomic Elementary Schools: Key Practices and Processes

A parent’s involvement in their child’s education is one the more important contributing factors that increases the efficacy and quality of education in a child’s home and school environment that affects a child’s development (Kuru Cetin & Taskin, 2016). A considerable amount of research supports the notion that increased parental engagement leads to increased academic achievement in school-age children (Kuru Cetin & Taskin, 2016). Ingram, Wolfe, and Lieberman (2007) suggested that parent engagement is positively correlated with academic success for most students, and the more parents are involved in a child’s education, the more academically successful the child will be. The purpose of this case study was to identify successful practices of low socioeconomic elementary schools that have increased and sustained parental engagement at two elementary school sites. The case study was conducted in a southern California school district at two different elementary sites. Data were collected through interviews and focus groups. The data were coded and sorted to reveal 10 themes. The themes pertaining to research question one were: forging and developing relationships, improving communication to enhance relationships, and updating practices and beliefs. Creating a sense of community through relationships, improving communication and empowering families, and improving communication to enhance relationships were themes to answer research question two. The themes concerning to research question three were: fear of the system, time restrictions, misconception of school engagement, and reaching all families. The identified themes were then analyzed to provide conclusions, implications, and recommendations for future research.

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