Latino Student Success: The Power of Parent Engagement



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Purpose: Relatively little is known about how rural schools with high Latino populations effectively engage parents in their children’s education. This article uses mixed methods to examine the attitudes, beliefs, and expectations of administrators, teachers, and parents, looking for commonalities as well as dissimilarities in their perceptions. Research Methods: Data were gathered using a mixed method approach, including both a Likert type scale and open-ended questions on a survey with a representative sample of seven principals, 54 teachers, and 169 parents in a rural school district of Oklahoma. Data analysis techniques included qualitative analysis by coding, looking for patterns and themes and quantitative analysis using Observation Oriented Modeling and descriptive statistics to examine variations between the elementary and secondary levels as well as between teacher and parent responses. Findings: Results indicate that this rural school district can improve on successful strategies to engage Latino parents, particularly by utilizing culturally relevant techniques and social network theory as Latino parents, in particular, look for ways to engage on a more personal level. Implications: The findings of this study validate the importance of increasing Latino parent engagement in schools to better address student achievement levels. As the Latino population continues to grow and as more rural schools undergo these demographic shifts, this research will give current and future administrators and teachers better information to help shape parental engagement practices to ensure success for all students.



instructional leadership, cultural relevance, parent engagement, Latino student success


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