Date of Conferral







Linda Crawford


Conventional wisdom suggests effective and timely school communications increase parental involvement. Guided by this wisdom and contemporary parental involvement theory, effective educational institutions have established systems that foster communication and collaboration between school representatives and the local community. Despite such efforts, research has revealed persistent declines in parental involvement within schools. This phenomenological study documented 16 parents' perceptions of communication between teachers and parents at 2 K-8 schools in the American southwest. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore parents' perceptions of the effectiveness of various school-based communication systems and the specific impact these systems had on parental involvement. NVivo software was used to facilitate identification of common themes. Emergent themes addressed (a) communications that elicit parent involvement, (b) effective communications, (c) regular and timely communications, (d) preferred communication mode, and (e) parent communication center. Findings revealed that both schools lacked effective communication tools, inhibiting the ability to reach students' families and negatively impacting participation. Proposed for future consideration was development of a strong foundation for parents' participation in their child's education and enhancement of unrestricted, bidirectional communications. The anticipated social impact of this study is that effective practices could be brought to the forefront, leading to ideas to increase timely communication between home and school and parental involvement.