Parental Involvement in Minnesota Online Schools

Publication Year:
Usage 153
Downloads 107
Abstract Views 46
Repository URL:
DeWitt, William S
Parental Involvement; Online Schools; Truancy; Communicating; Learning at Home
thesis / dissertation description
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine the existence of parental involvement practices and successes or difficulties experienced with those practices–as reported by directors–in selected Minnesota online schools. The study was undertaken because, in a review of the research and related literature, it was clear that the resources and knowledge to implement quality parental involvement practices existed, but this may not have meant they were being implemented. Student achievement in Minnesota Online Schools appeared lower than traditional schools. However, no studies existed that documented the parental involvement practices that were in place or the successes and difficulties experienced with parental involvement in Minnesota’s Online Schools.The study utilized Epstein’s (1995; Epstein et al., 2008) framework of six types of involvement to classify and examine collected data. The study was designed as a comparative case study, which examined a total of seven online school sites in Minnesota that served students in grades K-12. Data was collected through the use of case study and interview protocols, and included document collection and examination. The study was designed and conducted with a joint researcher to form a case study team.Some of the study findings included; the prevalence of Communication and Learning at Home parental involvement types–taken from Epstein’s (1995; Epstein et al., 2008) framework, numerous newly documented practices and also common shared practices–such as required numbers of teacher-parent contacts and conferences, and reported successful involvement practices for online schools–such as in person meetings or orientation sessions, as well as reported difficulties. Notably, a major difficulty across the study’s school sites was revealed in the area of county truancy support. Recommendations for future research and current practice are made in the final chapter of the study.