Parent Perceptions of Connectedness in a Full Service Community School Project

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Quality partnerships between parents and schools are widely considered necessary components of effective educational approaches for improving student academic performance. Nevertheless, there is a paucity of research that has examined the effect of school-community collaboration on parent–teacher relationships or parent involvement. The Providence Full Service Community Schools (PFSCS) model, created to connect schools, families, and communities, provided comprehensive services, including family literacy, out-of-school time, wraparound case management, health outreach, and a focus on family engagement. To understand how community service integration, the key component of PFSCS, can improve parent involvement as social capital, the Parent–Teacher Involvement Questionnaire was used to measure perceptions of the amount and type of contact that occur between parents and teachers; parent interest and comfort in talking with teachers; parent satisfaction with their children’s school; and the extent of parental involvement in their child’s education. The PTIQ was administered during the fall of each participating school’s first year of PFSCS implementation and then again during each subsequent fall. Descriptive analyses and one-way ANOVAs were conducted for each subscale of the PTIQ and then for each subscale by school. Overall, findings were mixed and, perhaps most notably, three of the four subscales showed an initial score decrease followed by longer term improvements. While some caution in interpretation is warranted due to design limitations, our primary recommendation is for schools to focus on building trusting relationships with parents and also that data collection, such as was used in this study, can facilitate these efforts. Likewise, the importance of documenting school and intervention contexts is reiterated.

Original Citation

Chen, M-E, Anderson, J.A., & Watkins, L. (2016). Parent Perceptions of Connectedness in a Full Service Community School Project. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(7), 2268-2278. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0398-5.