Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Sharon K. Patten

Second Advisor

Francine Chakolis, MSW

Third Advisor

Denise Steinberg, MSW


The research reveals that a positive and active partnership between schools and parents is essential in successful learning and student achievement. Despite the comprehensive research in this area, educational practitioners remain ambivalent about parental involvement in schools, and parent participation is weak in many schools even when parents are invited. An exploratory study which addressed the role, needs, and barriers of parent participation was conducted using surveys to parents who have a child or children enrolled at Cambridge Elementary School. Cambridge Elementary School is located approximately 60 miles north of the Twin Cities Metro Area, and has close to 890 students enrolled in the Kindergarten through fourth grade school. The data collected assessed the level of parent-school partnership at Cambridge Elementary and found that both parents and teachers are working to foster the parent-school partnership by engaging in activities that enhance a more active working relationship. The majority of the parent participants conveyed a positive view of the school, its teachers, and their experience within this educational environment. This study provided a basis for implementing change by developing goals and strategies for how a community, school, and family, can facilitate a positive parent-school partnership. Social workers often bring families and schools together in providing adequate information for problem-solving, or in providing appropriate services for children and families. Recognizing and understanding the needs of parents is a significant tool in creating a positive relationship and in building a successful future for families and school.


SC 11.MSW.1999.Jarvis.BJ

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