Date of Award

Spring 3-21-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Ainsworth

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Larick

Third Advisor

Dr. Martinrex Kedziora


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand and explain how teachers and principals perceive how parent engagement affects high school academic achievement within county operated community schools in Riverside County California. An additional purpose of the study was to understand and explain actions that teachers and principals believe are necessary to increase parent engagement within county operated community schools in Riverside County.

Methodology: This qualitative phenomenological study explored the perspectives of 13 teachers and seven principals in county community schools on parent engagement and the actions necessary to involve parents in their children’s education. The researcher in conjunction with a thematic dissertation partner created an in depth semi-structured interview consisting of eight interview questions that emerged from the literature review.

Findings: This study found that parent involvement in the county community schools is important to the success of students. Parent disinterest and their lack of knowledge keeps parents from supporting their children’s education. Further, the lack of communication creates an unwelcoming environment, and the frequency of parent involvement affects student motivation to stay engaged in school.

Conclusions: Student academic performance is minimized when parents show minimal interest in their children’s education, and parent involvement is lower when parents are not educated on the purpose of alternative education. Additionally, when parents face transportation, time, and language barriers their involvement in school events is diminished.

Recommendations: Creating activities, events, or programs that encourage parent involvement, and building a collaborative line of communication helps to increase student academic performance. Parents need help to overcome obstacles that hinder their involvement in the schools. In addition, the schools need to promote all activities and make sure to send reminders to ensure parent attendance. Lastly, the schools can offer a sequence of trainings for parents that educates them on their rights and responsibilities specific to alternative education, and basic skills classes’ necessary for parents to be able to support their children’s education.

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