The factors that affect parent involvement at a rural elementary school in the central valley of California

Despite a shift in recent years towards more parent involvement in children’s education, some schools indicate a continued lack of parent presence. Teachers at the school in this study stated that certain parents do not contact them regarding their child’s academic and/or behavioral progress. There is also an expressed desire from staff to see more parents attend school events such as Back to School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences. For this study, a survey was distributed to all families at the elementary school to determine the factors that affect parent participation. Survey statements addressed many different issues that could potentially affect parent involvement, such as the school environment, the quality of communication from teachers and staff, opportunities to be involved in decision making, volunteering opportunities, and the scheduling of school events. The potential issues of childcare and transportation were also addressed by the survey statements. Seventy-one surveys were returned, and Chi Square analyses were used to determine if there was a significant difference in the distribution of responses to each survey statement that required a Likert type response. The results of the analyses indicated that a significant majority of parent respondents indicated an overall satisfaction with their children’s school. No survey statements indicated a significant concern in any one area, thus not identifying any issues that would prevent parents from participating more often at school.