Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Reading and Language

First Advisor

Dr. Sophie Degener

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Jo Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan McMahon


Decades of research on parental involvement strongly suggests that students, of all ages and from all backgrounds, are most successful when they have supportive and actively engaged families. However, many educators leave preparation programs with little or no content relating to family and community relations, and therefore, lack the necessary knowledge, skills, and sometimes belief systems to successfully establish effective home-school partnerships that lead to increased educational outcomes for all children. This qualitative case study examined how the implementation of The Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships (a national model released by the U.S. Department of Education) assisted one elementary school with building a family literacy program. Participants in the study included seven teachers, two administrators, and four parents. Three major themes emerged from the data, indicating that participants utilized the framework to: (a) examine the school’s culture, climate, and communication, (b) examine beliefs and practices, and (c) create a space for building knowledge and awareness. The findings suggest that the success of all family engagement efforts are predicated upon a thorough examination of beliefs and culture, which is the first step in the process of developing effective home-school partnerships.