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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Building Trust and Strong Family-community Ties in the Face of Poverty and Homelessness
by Winston-Prosper, Ozella, Ed.D., Sage Graduate School, 2018, 193; 10791299
Abstract (Summary)

In 2014 the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) adopted the Framework for Great Schools to act as a gauge for measuring and monitoring school improvement. The amalgamation of this framework entails six components- two of which are the foci of this study: trust and strong family-community ties as it relates to the engagement of families. Educational research (Mapp & Kuttner, 2013) has revealed the direct correlation of school improvement and student achievement with purposeful-intentional parent engagement. Therefore, this qualitative- comparative study explored school leaders’ capacity to address issues of impoverished and homeless families, their ability to foster trust and strong family-community ties with families and their protocol for progress monitoring and refinement. Participants in this study include six principals, four parents, four Students in Temporary Housing Liaisons (STHL) and two Community-based Organization representatives. All of these principals are affiliated with Title 1 elementary schools in NYC and Long Island which have a temporary housing population of 10% or greater. Data was collected using interview questions designed by the researcher, 3.4 indicator of NYC’s 2015-2016 Quality Review Rubric and NYC’s 2015-2016 Learning Environment (LE) survey.

This study focused on identifying leadership ability and embedded school cultures to answer three research questions: 1. How are school leaders addressing issues of poverty and homelessness faced by families of their student population? 2. What structures or partnerships have schools established to address the needs of this population of families? 3. How is or to what extent is the school building trust in creating strong family-community ties?

The findings of this study revealed that issues of poverty and homelessness hamper the building of trust and strong family- community ties. The contributing factors that are barriers to building trust and strong family-community ties are poor student attendance and parent involvement, immigration status, language/culture, negative experiences with schools, lack of communication and the disregard of parents as stakeholders. The barriers school leaders encountered vary from school to school thus their approaches to addressing the needs of families differed. Schools were most effective in meeting the needs of students and their families when they worked collaboratively with CBO partnerships and other agencies. This collaborative effort provided additional resources both human and financial to support addressing the needs of homeless and impoverished families. Lastly, protocols and methods used at the school level did not specifically measure trust and community-ties but success of activities or events that were geared toward families.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Steele, Jerome D.
Commitee: Ianniello, Peter, Zakierski, Marlene
School: Sage Graduate School
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership
Keywords: Cycle of learning, Framework for great schools, Mobility plan, Situational poverty
Publication Number: 10791299
ISBN: 978-0-355-98153-7
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