The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore site administrators perspectives of barriers and enablers to parent involvement in urban Title I charter middle schools, specifically related to communication, volunteering, and decision making. The study design allowed for in depth analysis of participants interview responses. A total of ten charter school site administrators participated in the semi-structured interviews that informed this study. The semi-structured interviews consisted of six interview questions and nine probing questions. The participant interview responses to the interview protocol were coded to highlight key words and statements to extract themes that informed the study findings. The findings of this study support the following six conclusions. Site administrators view middle school as an important developmental phase for involving parents. Study results also found that site administrators perceive language as a barrier in parent involvement. Further, responses from participants resulted in the need for site administrators to create meaningful structures for parent volunteering and shared decision making. In addition to these findings, it also surfaced that meaningful parent relationships increase parent involvement outcomes. Furthermore, results of this study found that parent education is a tool for empowerment. Lastly, study results established that technology based communication supports parent involvement. Based on the findings of this study, it is suggested that the following four policy and practice recommendations are implemented. It is recommended that local districts incentivize foreign language training to support communication between site administrators and parents. It is also recommended that site administrators create meaningful opportunities for parent volunteering. Further, based on the responses from study participants, site administrators must develop additional structures for parent decision making. Finally, as a result of the findings of this research study, it is recommended that site administrators utilize technology to maintain two-way communication with parents and families.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; Education, Elementary -- Parent participation; Charter schools -- United States; Academic achievement -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Barner, Robert R.;