Parent, Teacher, and Administrator Perceptions of Effective Family Engagement in a Rural Title I School

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Virginia Tech


Family Engagement is an imperative practice to ensure sustainable success in schools. Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of family engagement practices in schools. Family Engagement's successes have been acknowledged: however, upon deeper examination of the research, it can be concluded that many family engagement practices are not effective in all schools. This is due to the demographic profile of the schools where research was conducted. This basic qualitative study was conducted at a diverse and rural Title I school. The following research questions guided the study: what family engagement practices do parents, teachers, and administrators indicate the school is implementing? What practices are perceived by parents, teachers, and administrators as effective family engagement practices? What else do parents, teachers, and administrators indicate the school should be doing to support family engagement? Parents were stratified into groups based on their declared race, while teachers were stratified by experience. Two administrators were also interviewed. Data from the interviews were coded and reviewed to see what the stratified groups perceive as successful family engagement practices. Findings from this study indicated that one-and-done family engagement events were the most prevalent method of family engagement. School leaders should consider the variety of these events and involve parents in the planning of such events. Parents also identified communication and relationship building as the basis of strong family-school partnerships. Leaders need to ensure that many opportunities for relationship building exist and a proactive approach is taken regarding communication with families. Participants identified that accessibility to family engagement events was necessary. Leaders must consider the scheduling of such events and increase the variety of times they are scheduled. Participants also identified communication as the most significant need from Country Elementary School. Leaders need to ensure multiple methods of communication are used and language barriers are eliminated.



Family Engagement, Parental Involvement