Supporting and Fostering Parental Engagement in Northern Alberta Rural Elementary Schools

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • For many years, educational researchers have attempted to answer the questions, how do effective school leaders involve parents in education and what effects, if any, does this increased involvement have on student academic success. Building on the works of Jeynes (2018), Goodall and Montgomery (2014), Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler (1997), and Stelmach and Herrera-Farfan (2019), this article will attempt to analyse and review effective means to foster and support parental engagement in northern Alberta rural elementary schools. This study was conducted in Peace River School Division using three principals as the study group. I begin by first examining the confusion between parental school involvement and parental engagement in student academics and the assumptions around the effects of parental engagement. A literature review around the topic of parental engagement was conducted and used to analyse the responses from the study with particular focus on identifying barriers to parental engagement and effective strategies to increase engagement in local communities. The paper concludes with a discussion of the results of the study including: (a) an understanding of involvement and engagement, (b) strategies for establishing relationships and trust, (c) understanding and sensitivity to barriers
    and, (d) the importance of planning for implementation. Finally, I postulate a series of recommendations to the Peace River School Division outlining: (a) a professional development plan, (b) revisions to current policies and administrative procedures, (c) benefits of future research and collaboration to the division and other surrounding districts, (d) the need to examine parental engagement through the lens of a potential shift in the education paradigm, and (e) the need for the profession to establish causality so a direct connection between increased parental engagement and improved academic results can be determined.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International