Date of Award

8-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

Research in academic success and communication demonstrates a direct link between student achievement and parental involvement. Keeping parents informed of routines, fieldtrips, assignments, and the like, in addition to performance expectations, can present a challenge to educators and schools. Typically school districts use generic strategies in the form of phone calls, paper newsletters, calendars, and oral presentations to keep parents informed. Unfortunately these strategies are not always practical as this type of documentation and presentation has a limited lifespan. This research study explores parent perspective on necessary classroom and school information and communication in order to assess the efficacy and efficiency of a classroom based website. The project examines parent-teacher communication. It highlights information that parents deem valuable, identifies effective means of parent-teacher communication, and expands the exploration of online tools that can be used to communicate through a classroom website. The literature section discusses current scholarly perspectives on parent involvement and its effect on student achievement, parent-teacher communication, and possible improvements to their conversation. The project was conducted in a suburban school district in Western New York. The research included a parent survey of the following questions: Is a classroom website a convenient tool for parents use? What information do kindergarten parents feel knowledgeable about regarding a kindergarten program? What information is important? What do parents want more information about? There were 24 kindergarten-parent survey participants. The results of the parent survey demonstrate that parents are eager to know more about kindergarten programs, curriculum, and behavioral and academic expectations. Results of the survey offer valuable insight in improving communication between parents and educators.

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