Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Belle B. Booker-Zorigian, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Margaret M. Boice, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Meghan M. L. Cavalier, Ed.D.


Parent involvement is a known strategy for school improvement and student success. However, there is a lack of parental involvement in urban schools and among African-American families. The purpose of this qualitative study case study was to explore parent and school personnel voice in an urban school, as it related to their perspectives of parental involvement. Through focus groups and interviews, school personnel and African-American parents shared their lived experiences with parental involvement. Participants discussed their perspectives of their roles, revealing the importance of relationship building, communicating, and the support of students at home and school. In addition, the role of race in parental involvement efforts was discussed, revealing the need for cultural proficiency training to build the capacity of all staff to work effectively with students and families. The study also highlighted the need to challenge colorblindness ideation and incorporate race conversations into capacity-building initiatives for cultural proficiency. Five major themes emerged from the data, indicating building the capacity of school personnel and parents in the following areas could have a positive impact on parental involvement efforts: (a) create a positive culture built on relationships, (b) use multiple modes of communication, (c) parents supporting students at school and home, (d) disconnect between parents and school personnel, and (e) R.A.C.E. (Respectful and Culturally-Competent Educators) has a role. Parental involvement can move from theory to action with the intentionality of dual capacity-building for relationships, communication, parent roles, and cultural competency. Implications for capacity-building is discussed and suggestions for future research.