Dissertation

Echándole ganas: an urban school's effort to engage Latino parents

This study examined how the strategies of one start-up charter school influenced the engagement level of the linguistically and culturally diverse Latino parents it served. By analyzing the practices of one school, located in an urban, low-income neighborhood, the study described the instances in which Latino parents were or were not engaged. In addition, this study addressed the variation and discrepancy found in two commonly interchanged terms relating to parents: engagement vs. involvement. The school in this study was observed during its inaugural school year, as a case study using a convenient purposive sample of participants from three different groups: parents, teachers, and administrators. The major research strategy was mixed-methods using a partially mixed sequential dominant status design. Parents completed a survey prior to the start of the study, which provided support to the qualitative aspects of the study by using quantitative information to substantiate and develop the interview questions. Data were collected from surveys, individual interviews, observations, and documents/artifacts. This study discovered that in order to improve the quality and quantity of Latino parent engagement, communication, access, and preventing barriers are vital resources for Latino parents and the school's staff.

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