An investigation of the impact of parent and community involvement in middle schools in North Carolina that successfully serve Latino English Language Learners (ELLs) Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Fuga, Michael
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • English Language Learners (ELLs) are students that speak a primary language other than English. The number of ELLs continues to grow in the United States with the current majority having Spanish as their base language (Ortiz & Pagan, 2009). Since the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2001, schools are held accountable for student performance, primarily in Language Arts and Mathematics. End of Grade (EOG) assessments are utilized to evaluate student achievement. Based on NCLB, schools accountability for student development is broken down into various subgroups. One of the subgroups that are used to evaluate student and school progress is the ELL population. The purpose of this study was to examine parent, family and community involvement practices and their impact on student achievement of English Language Learners in North Carolina middle schools. The goal was to identify statistically significant and recognized practices in schools where ELLs were exhibiting higher assessment data. The intent was to help principals develop criteria for a comprehensive plan to implement in their schools that will best engage the parents, families and community partners to assist the development of English Language Learners and their academic progress. The researcher used previously existing research from Joyce Epstein, a recognized expert in the field, on high-yield practices for parent, family and community involvement. This study modified survey questions to align with the research goals, English Language Learners. Data were collected through surveys of middle school principals and analyzed using quantitative statistics and the SPSS software along with qualitative analysis for open ended questions and the Atlasti software. The survey was emailed through Qualtrics to middle school principals in North Carolina that served a minimum of 25 English Language Learners according to the North Carolina Department of Instruction data during the 2013-2014 school year. There were 172 middle schools that qualified to participate in the study based on the established criteria. Of the 172 possible schools, 67 responded to the survey and produced data utilized in the study. The survey consisted of background questions regarding parent involvement in their schools, but the majority of the questions focused on the parent, family and community involvement practices of English Language Learners. The schools were separated into tiers of performance; high, average and low as identified by End-of-Grade assessment data for English Language Learners. The data included practices that were recognized as statistically significant comparing the tier 1, high performing schools, with the tier 2 and tier 3 performing schools. The two statistically significant findings of the study were: (1) teachers need to view parents as important partners; and (2) make sure that teachers are communicating regularly with ELL families regarding academic progress. There were strategies identified in this study that were implemented by the majority of tier 1 schools. Those practices were: (1) schools felt parent involvement impacted student achievement; (2) schools communicated with their parents at least 3 times/year; (3) schools tried to involve ELL families in PTA meetings; (4) schools provided information to ELL families in their primary language on developing home conditions/environments that support student learning, schools used phone calls; (5) written letters and translators to communicate with ELL families; (6) schools had a point of contact person; (7) schools communicated with the majority of ELL families regarding academic and social/behavioral progress; (8) teachers communicated with majority of ELL families regarding academic and social/behavioral progress; (9) and schools felt teachers assigned interactive homework/schoolwork that required families to engage with students regarding what they were learning at school. These parent involvement strategies can serve as foundational strategies to develop criteria for a comprehensive plan for parent, family and community involvement of English Language Learners.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Veitch, James
  • English, Fenwick
  • Schainker, Stanley
  • Brown, Kathleen
  • Doctor of Education
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education
Graduation year
  • 2016

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