Hispanic parent engagement : how urban high school principals address the National Parent Teacher Association parent engagement standards
This study examined the description principals of Hispanic-serving urban high schools had of their parent engagement activities through a nationally recognized parent engagement framework, including their understanding and perceptions of Hispanic parents. An exploratory qualitative case study approach was used to provide an in-depth analysis of how aligned urban high school principals' parent engagement activities are with the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Data were provided from in-depth interviews of 7 high school principals in a predominantly Hispanic-serving urban school district in the south-central United States. The findings suggest that principals lack understanding of the various parent-engagement standards and generally operate from a deficit lens model with Hispanic parents and rarely consider Hispanic parents' funds of knowledge or community cultural wealth. Principals value and emphasize that all families feel welcome into the school community and prioritize parent-engagement activities to primarily target social services and community resources for Hispanic parents. Principals value communication but are varied in the way they view, interpret, and implement communication with Hispanic parents. Further, principals generally do not consider parent empowerment as a component of parent involvement programming. When principals described their understanding of Hispanic parents when developing parent involvement programs, they view language as the most important tool for accommodating parents. They generally emphasize low socioeconomic status over ethnicity. Principals also attribute Hispanic parents' distrust and hesitancy to participate in parent-engagement activities to a general lack of information regarding their children's schools and the overall American school system. Implications in practice are presented for principals as well as district officials and leadership preparation programs supporting principals in parent engagement efforts.