The Perceptions of Principals and Assistant Principals on Their Role in Parental Involvement
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This study examines the beliefs of school principals and assistant principals regarding the role of parents in the educational process of their children. Henderson and Berla (1994) indicated that parental involvement was linked to higher student achievement. The purpose of the study was to determine the perceptions of principals and assistant principals in regard to their role in parental involvement. The study analyzed archival data of two surveys collected from 310 principal participants and 374 assistant principal participants from the Gulf Coast Region of Southeast Texas. The data was collected through cognitive interviewing and traditional survey techniques. The study analyzed survey responses of three open-ended questions and one Likert-type response. Sixty-four percent of principals and sixty-six percent of assistant principals reported that a high level of parental involvement is appropriate and necessary. These strong beliefs held constant across school levels, school geographic areas, and TEA school accountability ratings. Elementary principals (47.0%) and assistant principals (35.2%) of the “High Level of Parental Involvement” category tended to place more value on the importance of parental involvement. Principals (51.0%) in the suburban school geographic area and assistant principals (53.8%) in the urban school geographic area of the “High Level of Parental Involvement” category placed more value on the importance of parental involvement. Principals (47.0%) and assistant principals (50.0%) at campuses with an Acceptable TEA Accountability Rating of the “High Level of Parental Involvement” category placed more value on the importance of parental involvement. Principals revealed 18 strategies and assistant principals revealed 21 strategies they utilize to encourage parental involvement on campus. The most frequent strategies used by principals and assistant principals included the following: Events (62.3%), (46.8%) Communication (55.0%), (58.6%), PTA or PTO (19.4%), (9.6%), and Volunteering (11.3%), (8.0%), respectively. The results of this study are relevant to current administrators, aspiring administrators, and administrator preparation programs. In addition, this study provides a more comprehensive profile of the perceptions of principals and assistant principals in relation to their role in parental involvement. Access to and understanding of such factors may greatly impact the professional development and training of educational leaders, principals, and assistant principals.