Primary Subject Area
Education, Early Childhood
This dissertation is a description of a case study of parent and community involvement and the impact of that involvement on education. The study is based upon the observations, interviews, and reflections of the writer in one elementary school as a plan was implemented to increase parent and community involvement in that school. The primary methods of data collection were structured, open-ended interviews, transcribed minutes from various school-based committees, attendance logs, and event participant logs. The writer interviewed the school’s principal, four parents whose children attend the study school, five individual teachers, a focus group of five teachers, the school’s guidance counselor, two business partners, and members of the School Council. Findings from the study identified effective research-based, best practices implemented at the study school. Study results indicate that to increase parent and community involvement, schools need supportive administrators, who are willing to involve parents and community members in the decision-making process and who are willing to welcome parents and community members into the school. Additionally, schools need to provide professional training for staff in how to effectively use volunteers in the classroom, in two-way communication with parents, and in the skills needed by teachers to assist parents and community members in moving to the next level of parent and community involvement. Training programs and initiatives need to be provided by schools to help parents and community members assume a more direct and sustained role in reinforcing and promoting students’ academic achievement. Finally, schools desiring to increase parent and community involvement must possess patience and a willingness to change. Suggestions for further research on this topic are also included in this paper.