Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Mark J. Staszkiewicz, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Roger L. Briscoe, Ph.D.

Abstract

The present study investigated the impact of having access to a school-based Parent Resource Center (PRC) on parents’ perceptions of school climate and students’ academic achievement at two Title I elementary schools in a suburban school district in Georgia. Parents completed Yale University Comer School Development Program’s School Climate Survey, Parent-Version Revised and provided input concerning their awareness of the PRCs and usage of the centers. Students’ English/Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics achievement data from the Georgia Milestones Assessment System were also ascertained.

The sample included 52 parents of fourth and fifth grade students. Archival achievement data were obtained for the students. Participants’ data were used to determine if there were differences in school climate perceptions based on parents’ use or nonuse of the PRC, differences in students’ achievement based on their parents’ PRC use or nonuse; and any relationships among students’ academic achievement, parents’ perceptions of school climate as measured by eight school climate domains, and parents’ use or nonuse of the PRC. An Independent Samples t-test found that PRC activity did not significantly impact parents’ perceptions of school climate. A Chi-Square analysis found that there was no difference in students’ academic achievement based on their parents’ PRC use or nonuse. A Spearman’s Rho analysis revealed weak, positive correlations between PRC use and parental perceptions of students’ achievement motivation, principal’s caring and sensitivity and students’ ELA performance, and school building characteristics and students’ mathematics performance. A moderate, positive correlation was found between students’ ELA performance and mathematics performance. A weak, negative correlation was found between parents’ involvement in collaborative decision making at their child’s school and PRC use. A weak, negative correlation was also found between collaborative decision-making and students’ ELA performance.

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