The purpose of this research was to investigate the research question “How will the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program P

The purpose of this research was to investigate the research question “How will the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program P.I.P influence the academic performance among a selected group of grade three students in a primary school in urban St. James? A total of fifteen grade three students from an urban primary school were selected to participate in this research owing to lack of parental involvement and poor academic performance in school. This Action Research lasted for eleven weeks during which, students were exposed to a number of lessons in Mathematics and Language Arts. Students were tested prior to the intervention and after the intervention to see whether or not the program was successful.
In an effort to further quantify the findings, observational checklists, questionnaires and interviews were also used. The methodologies that were used in this research were quantitative and qualitative in nature; with the aim to impact, enrich, improve and ensure maximum results. The data collected was analysed in an effort to determine whether the program used was an effective method to get parents involved and if this method had any influence on students’ academic performance. In concluding, the researcher proposes and recommends this program in the teaching and learning process to help struggling students multiply their optimal potential through the fostering of parent-teacher and student relationships.

Keywords: academic achievement, academic performance, classroom activities, homework, motivation, parent, parenting, parent involvement, parent-teacher, communication, parental improvement and self-esteem.

Acknowledgments
The successful completion of this course would not have been possible without the leadership and strength from the universal God who is my foundation of patience, good health and benefit. For helpful suggestions and guidance I received on this tedious journey I express sincere gratitude to my research supervisors Mrs. Jennifer Simpson, Mrs. Deyon Colyard and Mrs. Keitha Osborne. Your patience and effective supervision skills and expertise have helped me to extend myself and develop the skills requisite to the successful completion of this course.
Finally, I sincerely thank my family for their support, understanding and encouragement that came at a time most deserved. Their constant interest and positive comments have been my source of strength and for that I express gratitude.

Table of Contents
Abstract……………………………………………………………………………i
Acknowledgement………………………………………………………………..ii
Table of Contents
Chapter 1- Introduction
Background………………………………………………………………………..6
Purpose of study…………………………………………………………………..8
Research Question and Sub-Questions…………………………………………….9
Significance of the study………………………………………………………….9
Definition of key terms…………………………………………………………..11
Chapter 2- Theoretical Framework
Review of Literature……………………………………………………………….14
Chapter 3- Research Methodology
Research Design………………………………………………………………………20
Participants and Sampling……………………………………..………………..23
Data Collection Procedures- Instruments……………………………………………24
Procedure…………………………………………………………….…………27
Timeline…………………………………………………………………………28
Ethical Consideration…………………………………………………………..30
Limitation………………………………………………………………………30
Data Analysis Approach………………………………………..………………31
Budget…………………………………………………………………………33
Summary………………………………………………………………………34
Appendices……………………………………………………………………35
Appendix A
Letters of Permission to conduct research: To Principal and Parents
Appendix B
Consent Forms
Appendix C
Instrument: Questionnaire for Parents
Interview Questionnaire for Students
Appendix D
Instrument: Parent-Teacher Involvement Questionnaire
Instrument: Observation Checklist

Chapter 1
Background

Parental involvement is very essential to the growth and development of our children’s education (Szente, (2006); Wright and Willis, (2004), as cited in James (2008) and has been a serious challenge in the education system. Some parents believe that their job is to only provide the basic needs such as; clothing, shelter and food and do not realize that helping their child/children with the academics is of great importance. As a result of not being as involved as they should is negatively impacting the academic standard expected of their child/children. As such, it was through this intervention that the researcher was challenged to investigate “How will the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program (P.I.P.) influence the academic performance among a selected group of grade three students at a primary school in urban St. James.
This research was carried out among a selected grade three class which is considered the “fifth stream” students of five streams. The class population was thirty-two students with the male students outnumbering the female students by a count of twelve. However, a focus group of fifteen students (eight girls and seven boys) were selected due to the limitations that the researcher faced in acquiring the data (See page ). The students’ ages range between eight and nine (8-9) years and they were all Jamaican. There was one female facilitator who created a print rich environment and a positive classroom atmosphere for the students to interact and share ideas. These students were considered to be at the non-mastery level in most or all subject areas even though they were exposed to various core subjects among aesthetic subjects that are being offered at the school such as Library Skills, Computer Skills, Spanish and Physical Education as well as clubs and societies such as Cub Scout, Brownie, Red Cross, Environmental Club, 4H and Music Club. Hence, comparing these students with those who performed above average, from observation, their parents do make a difference in their academic performance because these are the parents seen at parent teachers’ conference, volunteering in school activities and building better relationships with teachers.
The lack of parental involvement has manifested itself in several ways among this group of students. It was discovered that a number of these parents do not assist their children with their homework or projects; attend parent teachers’ conference (P.T.C.), foster consistent parent-teacher communication with children’s immediate teacher to track any progress, or to even check their books to ensure they are doing what is required of them at school. If parents are not communicating with the teacher or checking their children’s books after school, how will they know whether their child is progressing or not? From observation, the students whose parents do not give assistance at home with their extended practice and regular check-ups are less successful than those who do and students of parents who are involved have excelled successfully because they take the time to ensure that reinforcement to schoolwork is done through their children homework. These parents also ensure that homework is done properly and on time, they attend parent teachers’ conference and be involved in every step of their children’s education. Parent involvement in their child’s educational life has many benefits. Parents need only to maximize on that to help their children.
To corroborate this contention and other claims on the importance and benefits of parental participation in the child’s academic and holistic development that “Children generally achieve better grades, test scores and attendance; have better self-esteem and are more self-discipline and show higher aspirations and motivation towards school when there is a high parental involvement,” cited by Gina and Ronel Sapungan study in April 2014, (Henderson and Berla (1994). Parents need to be informed and keep up to date with school task and activities. They need to be knowledgeable of the activities their children are involved in at school, the assignments they need to complete at home, they need to attend parent teachers meeting, know their children’s interest and likes, volunteering at school and participant in school development programmes such as; Sports Day, Heritage Celebration, Parental Day in November and the activities of the club their children are a part of. If parents are not involved in these activities then one may conclude that these children are lacking parental support. As such, it is a struggle for the teacher to help these children fulfil their ultimate potential and abilities without parental involvement. This is where the teacher begins to be pressured due to the extra effort requires to teach these students, to motivate them in order to adequately prepare them for the other grades, the exams they will need to take and for life itself.
The Purpose of the Research
The intention of this action research is to investigate the effectiveness of the implementation of a parental involvement programme and its impact on the academic performance among a selected group of grade three students at an urban primary school in St. James. This concern of parents not playing the roles that they should in their child/children’s education; not having a parent- teacher relationship and not helping their child with assignments were having a negative effect on this group of grade three students.
This research saw the need to improve the teaching and learning process within the classroom by improving academic performances, fostering positive parent-teacher communication, students’ completion of homework and students interest to participate in classroom activities. Thus, the implementation of a Parental Involvement Programme was projected to increase the academic performance of a group of grade three (3) students at a particular primary school in urban St. James.
Every teacher’s ambition is to be the best practitioner, by this; they should be able to develop positive relationships between parents and students and other teachers. They should plan and implement relevant programme(s) to effect change within the school. In addition they should increase completion of student’s homework and increase parent-teacher communication as well as increase students’ interest in classroom activities. All of which can be achieved through a healthy and professional relationship among teachers, parents and students. Through these relationships, parents will be better able to track their child progress, address problems or concerns and provide information to assist educational researchers seeking to understand factors that may influence parental involvement. These factors will influenced parental involvement which likely result in improved academic performance.
Research Question

The following research question and sub-questions was used in the collection and analysis of data that will be collected, “How will the implementation of Parental Involvement Program (P.I.P) influence the academic performance among a group of grade three (3) students at a primary school in urban St. James?
Sub Questions

1. How will the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program improve parent-teacher relationship?
2. How can the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program influence the completion of students’ homework?
3. To what extent can the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program enhance students’ interest in their own learning?
The Significance of the Study
Through this action research, parents will understand the importance and benefits of being involved in their child/children educational life. This research was most important to the researcher in the quest to investigate “How will the implementation of Parental Involvement Program (P.I.P) influence the academic performance among a group of grade three (3) students at a primary school in urban St. James?
The employment of a parent involvement program was the platform for a fundamental change in primary schools in students’ academic performance, parent-teacher relationship, completion of student’s homework and students’ interest in the teaching and learning process right across Jamaica.
This and other studies have shown that parental involvement in activities that are effectively planned and well implemented result in substantial benefits to children, parents, educators, and the school. While children tend to achieve more, regardless of ethnic or racial background, socioeconomic status, or parents’ education level or they may generally achieve better grades, test scores, complete their homework, have better self-esteem, are more self-disciplined, and show higher aspirations and motivation toward school, parents also benefit from being involved in their children’s academic success. Parents increase their interaction and discussion with their children and are more responsive and sensitive to their children’s social, emotional, and intellectual developmental needs. Parents are more confident in their parenting and decision-making skills. As parents gain more knowledge of child development, there is more use of affection and positive reinforcement and less punishment on their children. Also, getting involved will allow parents to appreciate and have a better understanding of the teacher’s job and school curriculum. When parents are aware of what their children are learning, they are more likely to help when they are requested by teachers to become more involved in their children’s learning activities at home. When parents’ perceptions of the school are improved, there are stronger ties and commitment to the school. Parents are more aware of, and become more active regarding policies that affect their children’s education when they are requested by the school to be part of the decision-making team.
Students are excited when they see their parents volunteering outside the home. Parents can serve as advocates for the school and can volunteer to help out with school activities or work in the classroom. This will build better relationships among students, parents and teachers. Students also enjoy and are benefitted when their parents take an active role in the governance and decision making necessary for planning, developing, and providing an education for the school community’s children as a whole.
The potential benefits of this research to the researcher are to explicitly prove the myriad of benefits students’ can achieve across disciplines if this parental involvement programme is extensively used. By gaining understanding and knowledge of how parents are involved with their children’s schoolwork, how they monitor their children’s homework, how they discuss school matters with their children, how they participate in school events and what expectations they have towards their children’s academic success will give the researcher the experience to network with other schools and teachers to adopt this strategy. The researcher, through this experience will also conduct seminars and workshops at the community level and other forums.
This research will therefore be a significant endeavour in creating and maintaining positive relations for all stakeholders, lifting students’ self-esteem, completing assignments and elevating academic performances for this selected group of grade three students. Also, if this parental involvement programme is adopted by all stakeholders and used extensively, then, that is the direction schools need to focus their attention.

Definition of key terms
For the purpose of this research the following key terms will be defined.

Academic achievement: Academic achievement is defined as the successful mastery of skills and set knowledge through educational pursuits. Academic achievement often measured through tests and reported in the form of letter grades or numeric grade point averages. (Murray-Ward, 1996)
Academic Performance: is a process where a student’s success in school is measured to determine how they stand up to others in the same areas (Feldman, 2005).
Classroom activities: the work students are expected to do in classrooms and the cognitive and social demands placed on students as they perform particular lessons. (Bryant, 1997).
Homework: schoolwork that a student is required to do at home for extended.
Motivation: the process by which behaviour is directed toward satisfying needs
and motives (Neitz, 1999).

Parent: a caretaker of the offspring in their own species. A person’s father or mother (Kohn, 2006).

Parenting: is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood (Parsons, 2010).
Parent Involvement: Parental involvement is defined as any of the activities or actions that parents may take in supporting their child’s development and/or academic achievement in partnerships with a child’s formal education (Parsons, 2010).

Parent-teacher the constant dialogue between parents and teacher to gain
Communication: information on academic performance and behavioural patterns
(Callaghan, 2004).

Parental Improvement this is an intervention which seeks to improve parent teacher
communication in order to enhance the completion of students
homework and interest to perform in school (Nelson, 1997).

Qualitative: Refers to specific qualities that an object or person possess. A quality is either a property or an attribute that an object possesses. It is used to describe what the object is like. A quality is subjective and cannot be definitively measured (Stephenson, 2010).
Quantitative: Refers to the specific quantity associated with an object or person. A quantity is something that can be counted or measured. It refers with the amount or the magnitude of the object being described. A quantity can be definitively measured, or quantified (Parsons 2009).
Self-esteem: the individuals overall conception of him/herself, also referred to as self-worth or self-image (Roslin, 2009).
Teaching at home: help with homework; help with educational choices/options

decision making membership of PTA/governors collaborating with

contributions to school the community (Browne, 2001).

Chapter 2
Literature Review

Traditionally, it is thought that parental involvement helps the academic achievement of students. El Nakali, (2010) noted that educators, parents and policy makers view parental involvement as a “Pathway through which schools enhance the achievement of underperforming children” (p. 988). Schools have asked for and expected parents to be involved in their child’s educational growth and development. In education, parental involvement is a global issue that has evolved since the passage of time. The idea of parental involvement differs between the school’s administrator, teachers and parents.

Theoretical Framework
There are many theories, beliefs and perspectives that support and surround the above-mentioned benefits of implementing a parental involvement program among a group of grade three students at a primary school in urban , St. James. Theorists such as Deslandes, Royer, Turcotte and Berttrand (cited in Lloyd-Smith ; Baron, 2009) define parental involvement as “Parents’ presence at school, communicating with the teachers, or helping at home with homework.” By extension, parental involvement is any parental attitude, behaviour, style, or activities that occur within or outside the school which seeks to support children’s academic or behavioural success in their currently enrolled school (Abdul-Adil & Fanner, 2006). While educators define parental involvement as being involved in the education process by helping in the school and helping out with homework (Anderson & Minke, 2007), some parents see parental involvement as getting their children to school on time and solving issues at home that involve them (Young, Clara, Austin, Sheila M., & Growe, Roslin, 2009). This is just by way of taking care of the children’s basic needs and that is it. All of these theories are supported by the notion that students completely depend on their parents’ guidance, leadership skills, motivation and the need to be actively involved and at the centre of their learning process if meaningful learning is to take place.
Sociocultural Theorist Lev Vygotsky firmly believed that parents are partners in their child’s life. He also believed that it is crucial that everything a child learns is through the interactions with “knowledgeable partners” (as cited in Brooks, 2011). Most of a child’s life is spent with their parents, especially during their early developmental years, so parents with their own experience and knowledge should be examples for students through the approach of their learning as well as positive behaviour toward achieving in school. The “Zone of proximal development ” inspired by Vygotsky’s theory looks at the variety of actions a child can achieve alone and how a person like a parent with a better understanding and experience of the world can guide, direct and prompt what the child already knows thus helping the child to learn more about the world around himself/herself. So, parental involvement is critical to the development and success of these grade three students.
According to a research conducted by Michigan Department of Education, (2010), lack of parental involvement is the biggest problem facing schools. Their slogan states “Parental Involvement = Students Achievement.” The document further declares that decades of research have shown that when parents are involved, their students get higher grades, are less truant, are motivated, possess and displays high self-esteem and there are lower rates of suspension, decrease use of drugs and alcohol, and most importantly fewer instances of violent and disruptive behaviours both at school and in their homes. Globally, through observation, students, whose parents assist them with homework, attend parent teachers meeting, provide resources, are aware of special skills their children possess, know what extra curricula activities are offered at school and that which the their children are apart, know about the daily routine of the school, children are less disruptive, hence showing more interest in class activities and usually do better academically as opposed to those students whose parents are uninvolved. The more intensely parents are involved, the more beneficial the achievement effects (Williams, ; Chavkin, 1989).
Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler, in articles published in 1995 and 1997 respectively, defined parental involvement broadly to include home-based activities (e.g., helping with homework, discussing school events or courses) and school-based activities (e.g., volunteering at school, coming to school events) , “Parents’ sense of efficacy for helping their children succeed in school focuses on the extent to which parents believe that through their involvement they can exert positive influence on their children’s educational outcomes.” In other words, parental involvement is a function of a parent’s beliefs and thoughts about parental roles and responsibilities. If a parent’s sense that he/she can help their children succeed in school, and the opportunities for involvement provided by the school or teacher is used to strength, deepen and motivate this interest and commitment across all activities involving their child/children, then, the parents will facilitate all that are necessary for this success. In this theory, when parents get involved, children’s schooling is affected positively through their acquisition of knowledge, skills, and an increased sense of confidence that they can succeed in school. In contrast, parents
Epstein, in a 1995 article and a 2001 book titled School, Family, and Community Partnerships, argued that school, family, and community are important “Spheres of influence” on children’s development and that a child’s educational development is enhanced when these three environments work collaboratively toward shared goals. Epstein encouraged schools to create greater “overlap” between the school, home, and community through the implementation of activities across six types of involvement: parenting, communication, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and collaboration with the community. By implementing activities across all six types of involvement, educators can help improve student achievement and experiences in school. It is taught the experience teaches wisdom, as such, children whose parents model and encourage them to get involved in community activities like Boys Club or Labour Day projects, school activities such as Dance Clubs and Red Cross or even at home where chores are delegated to them are more rounded students who are better able to socialize, express themselves, function on their own and become responsible adults in the future. This is success!
Parents need to take charge of their roles as authority figures and foster their children’s holistic development. As authority subjects, authoritative parents should set firm and clear limits for their children (Feldman, 2005). As they get older, parents communicate with their children and explain experiences to them. By doing this, children will understand what is expected of them and how they should operate to become successful in life. They also set clear goals and encourage their children’s independence. The children of authoritative parents usually are sociable, likable, self-reliant, independent and cooperative.
On the contrary, uninvolved parents show little or no interest in their children educational development. Emotionally detached, they view parenting as nothing more than providing food, clothing, and shelter for children. At their most extreme, uninvolved parents are guilty of neglect and child abuse (Baumrind, 1971, 1980; Maccoby & Martin, 1983). Children whose parents are uninvolved usually feel unloved and emotionally detached, and their physical and cognitive development is impeded (Howes, Galinsky, & Kontos, 1998; Saarni, 1999), which usually results in under-performance of students. Parents of low self-esteem, who are lacking in emotional, psychological, emotional well-being are typically the ones whose children do not perform well at school. Such parents are inclined to hide away from conversations with other people like teachers and so they deprive themselves from getting involved in their children’s school and community life. It can be argued that they too went through the same scenario as children.
Good parent-child relationships at home and school is enhanced when parents become involved in their children’s education (Bermudez & Padr6n, 1987, 1988; Henderson, 1989; Herman & Yeh, 1980; Met, 1987; Morgan, 1982). If parents are not involved
in the lives of their children’s at home and school they will most likely be withdrawn from their parents as there will be no bonding of relationships being established. These children often have problems both in school and at home (Balcom, 1998; Fagan, 1999), due to behavioural and educational problems (Bryant, 1997). Consequently, these children will become vulnerable and problematic children in the classroom, who are usually very disruptive, become engaged in school misconduct as at time juvenile delinquency and often do not find interest in what is being taught. As a result of this, teachers are placed under stress and fatigue to get these children to appreciate the teaching and learning process that is being offered to them.
In conclusion, if students are to maximize their potential in school, they need the full support of their parents. At school it has been recognized that the students, whose parents attend parent-teacher meetings, assist them with homework and participate in school development programmes, receive better grades overall than those who complete homework and projects on their own or none at all. Students, schools, community and the home benefit when parents are involved in their children education. The numbers of researches conducted are proof that explains the role of parental involvement on children’s academic performance. These researchers concretize the fact that when parents are involved in children’s education they are guaranteed academic success. Consequently, the function of this research is to investigate “How will the implementation of a parental involvement programme influence the academic performance among a selected grade three students at a primary school in urban St. James.
Parental involvement is the most essential contributing factor to a child’s academic performance (Dumas, 2009). Therefore, it is important to note that parental involvement refers to the amount of participation a parent has when it comes to schooling and their children’s future. Hence, it is imperative that parents become actively involved in their children’s education both at home and at school. Also, believing and participating in the success of our children is something that all parents should strive to do today and forever.

Chapter 3
Methodology

Research Design
Parental involvement is the single most important variable for the academic success of a child growth and development. There is a consensus among parents, educators and researchers that parental involvement is an important factor related to academic success in children (Szente, 2006;Wright and Willis, 2004), cited in James (2008). The more parents are intensely involved in their children’s education, the more confident and engaged their children are as learners and the more beneficial the effects on their achievement (Cotton and Wikelund, 2001). Children who are successful in school have many healthy interconnections between family, school, and community. Parental involvement in the learning process strengthens learning at home and is directly linked back to positive child outcomes at school. Therefore, if children are to maximize their full academic potential, they will need the full support of their parents.
This chapter describes the information that addresses the type of research designed that was used, the sampling method and procedures used to collect information, the participants of the study and the instruments used to conduct the research. This chapter also explains how the research will be conducted by way of the procedures. To conclude the chapter is an explanation of the limitations that was experienced by the researcher as well as ethical approaches that were considered.
The purpose of this action research is to examine how the implementation of a parental involvement program influences academic performance among a selected group of grade three students in a primary school in urban St. James in the areas of parent-teacher communication, homework completion and student’s interest in classroom activities over an eight week period. Action Research methodology as defined by Mills (2003) is an “Investigative process conducted by teacher-researchers, principals, school counselors, or other stakeholders to unearth information about the conditions surrounding the teaching and learning environment created for students”. The results from the findings are used as a guide to implement changes where necessary to the benefit of those involved. (as cited in Painter, n.d.).
In an effort to qualify and quantify what effects the aforementioned program had on students’ overall performance a mixed method research design was used; that is, both qualitative and quantitative. “Quantitative research gathers data in numerical form which can be put into categories, or in rank order, or measured in units of measurement. This type of data can be used to construct graphs and tables of raw data” (McLeod, 2008). This research approach was chosen to establish facts about whether there was a difference in student achievement when different teaching approaches were employed. The researcher also chose the quantitative design because it helped to derive important facts from research data, including preference trends, differences between groups, and demographics (Madrigal and Mclain, 2012, para.1). Quantitative experiments also filter out external factors, if properly designed, and so the results gained can be seen as real and unbiased (Tripathy, 2015,p.109). On the other hand, qualitative research focuses on understanding social phenomena and providing rich verbal descriptions of settings, situations, and participants. The qualitative approach includes a number of different methods, such as observation and focused interviews. Therefore, this research will permit the researcher to give a detailed description and analysis about the entire population of students selected for this research.
The goal of this programme is to gain insight, developing reflective practice, effective positive changes in the school environment, fostering constant dialogue between parents and teacher in the best interest of their children and improving student outcomes and the lives of those involved.
“Communication and strong relationships are the keys to successful parent involvement” (Feldman, 2005). The purpose of frequent and informal interactions is to strengthen the connections between home and school. Teacher will use an interested and unhurried manner when talking with parents. Teacher and parents should update one another about children’s recent home experiences, previous grades activities, concerns and so on through conversations during drop-off and pick-up times; schedule visits, parent-teacher conference and telephone conversations both calling and texting via Whatsapp.
The parental involvement programme was implemented using a free messenger app system known as Whatsapp. WhatsApp uses the internet or data to send messages, images, audio or video. The service is very similar to text messaging services however, because WhatsApp uses the internet to send messages or make calls, the cost is significantly less than the regular texting or calling. This will allow the researcher to text or call each individual parent and vice versa, see all updates about homework, projects and meetings with teacher/researcher. A group will not be established since information must be kept confidential. This will be done without limit of a fixed monthly subscription as the school provides free wifi. Considering the number of parents and the volume of calls and texts the researcher would need to make to them on a daily basis, the researcher who funded the initiative, utilized the whatsapp calling and texting as is was the most economical way to communicate with the parents. This programme was geared at providing greater opportunities for each parent to: participate in the educational processes of their children through regular communication with the grade three teacher, increased completion of homework and promoting children’s interest in classroom activities to improve their individual academic performances.
Limitations
The researcher experienced several drawbacks during the execution of this action research.
1. Students did not attend school on a regular basis.
2. The students were preparing for Sports Day and as a result the intervention time was often interrupted.
3. Some of the responses given by the students may have been influenced by a particular belief or notion.
4. Due to varying learning styles the researcher had to be mindful of how the information was transmitted.
5. Students and parents may not see the purpose and the importance of completing given task.
6. Parents were not willing to sacrifice the time to complete questionnaires based on their literacy levels or conflicting work schedule.
7. All questionnaires were not returned which limited the number of participants in the study.
8. Questions may not be properly and honestly completed as parents may provide the researcher with socially accepted responses.
9. The participants may not hold this research in any high regards and they may not think about the questions before responding and may even ask others to do it for them. However, the instruments that will be used to gather the data may not be effective on the particular sample. Hence, the data that will be collected may not produce reliability and validity.
Participants and Sampling
The participants selected for this proposed research is a group of grade three (3) students. The cohort selected consisted of fifteen (15) students; seven boys (7) and eight (8) girls; ages eight-nine (8-9) years old. They attend a Government own primary school in rural St. James. This is a heterogeneous group of mixed abilities with different learning styles, performing at different levels. These students were selected to participate in this action research because it was observed that their parents are not involved in the educational life, students lack interest in school activities and homework or take home projects, limited or no parent-teacher relationship and so the programme was used to as a means of corrective method to boost parental involvement, students’ interest in school and parent-teacher communication, hence, boosting academic performance.
This school has a population of 1389 students. The school is trying its very best in achieving its aim to develop their students intellectually, socially, physically, emotionally and spiritually. They try to develop the class and school groups to develop a well-functioning school environment and community relationship where everyone feels safe both socially and professionally at work so that the students will achieve the best possible self-image according to their ability. To help students not to be bored or to get tired of one setting, they have sessions at other classes such as; Library Skills, Reading, Physical Education, Spanish, Guidance class and Computer class among Clubs and Societies. Teachers try to build trust and cooperation between teachers and students and between school and home by having constant meetings with parents both individually and has a whole group.
The researcher has used the purposive sampling method to determine which of the grade three classes would be the sample group for this action research and to obtain results that could likely represent the population. “A purposive sample is a non-probability sample that is selected based on characteristics of a population and the objective of the study. Purposive sampling is also known as judgmental, selective, or subjective sampling.” (Crossman, 2017). The students were purposely selected because they are the researcher students. Through the researcher’s daily experience and interaction with this selected group of grade three students, as a remedy to improve the goals and objectives set out by the researcher /teacher it was imperative that this sampling group be used in this research process.
This research lasted for eight weeks. The students were exposed to a pre-test for the disciplines Mathematics and Language Arts. Questionnaires were issued and interviews were conducted with parents and students respectively. The implementation of the parental involvement programme was followed up with parents who were encouraged through constant communications and reminders to guide their students with the content of the disciplines for the period of the research. After the implementation of the programme was completed, the post-test in the same subject/content areas was implemented along with the questionnaires and interviews. The data was recorded and comparisons made between performance before and after the implementation of the programme.
Data Collection Procedures
Instruments
The following instruments were used to collect data for this research. Additionally, the researcher being aware of the ethical dilemmas and to not exacerbate such a situation the researcher considered diversity as well as individual norms and values.
Questionnaires
A questionnaire is a means of eliciting the feelings, beliefs, experiences, perceptions, or attitudes of some sample of individuals. As a data collecting instrument, it could be structured or unstructured (Key, 1997 para.1). Questionnaires are very cost effective and convenient for both the researcher and the participants. Questionnaires are easy to analyse and ensure anonymity and confidentiality. As a result of the aforementioned benefits questionnaires are a preferred choice for this research. This questionnaire for parents was designed to collect data on how effective parental involvement is to the academic success of students at the grade three level at a primary school in urban, St. James. There were twenty questions in total and parents were asked to place a tick in the box provided where necessary. They were also asked to ensure that all relevant details were provided according to the questions asked. The researcher received valuable information from the questionnaires that allowed informed decisions to be made based on the objectives of this research. The researcher’s own opinions, verbal or visual clues did not influence the respondents to answer questions in any manner at all.
Pre and Post Inquiry Questionnaire
The researcher has created a pre and post inquiry questionnaire to collect data before and after the implementation of the parental involvement program. The pre-inquiry questionnaires were administered at the onset of the programme while the post inquiry questionnaires were administered after the implementation of said program. The questionnaires were used to collect data from the parents because it was the most effective, inexpensive and easiest means of obtaining the data based on the nature of research. This instrument also helped to protect the identity of the participants who remained anonymous even after the study. Again, the questionnaires contain approximately twenty questions. The questionnaires were designed to capture data aimed at answering the research questions surrounding the three sub-questions based on parent-teacher communication, homework completion and student’s interest in classroom activities. The findings assisted the researcher to identify a trend and provide an explanation of the data before and after the implementation of the programme.
Observation Checklist and Interview Schedule
Observation checklists are tools for checking whether or not a student can demonstrate the skill or attribute being measured. Observation checklists also focus on observable performances or criteria that are often more meaningful or authentic than paper and pencil test (Burke, 2009, p.84). The observation checklist allowed the researcher to monitor the student’s behaviour and attitude towards homework and interest in school as well as parents and teacher interactions before and after the strategy was implemented. As such, the observation checklists were used to ascertain information related to parent-teacher communication, homework completion and students interest in school as observed by the researcher. While the interview questions were geared toward the students. These were administered during the implementation of the program.
Pre and Post test
Pre- and post-tests are questions administered before and after implementing the parental involvement programme. The results for both tests were compared in an effort to determine whether exposure to the programme had any influence on academic achievement. These tests showed the students strengths and weaknesses to the researcher. This has helped the researcher to communicate to the parents areas of need and reinforcement. The pre and post-test consisted of short answer questions, matching and multiple choice questions. These questions required the students to think critically and analytically and apply problem solving skills. Again, students were tested from the disciplines of Mathematics and Language Arts.
Procedure
During the onset of this action research, the principal, grade supervisor and teacher/researcher were contacted and informed about the research topic by way of formal letters and consent forms requesting their permission on the collection of data using questionnaires, observational checklist, interviews, pre-test and post-test. Additionally, parents’ were called individually and asked to attend a special meeting concerning the research to be implemented and the involvement of their child/ward in the research. They were informed of the procedure of the research and were given the permission letter to affix their signature granting permission. After acquiring approval of participation the researcher embarked on the quest to investigate the topic under question. The parents were also given the questionnaires to take home, complete and return within three days.
During the second week, only fifteen questionnaires were collected and analysed as parents who initially gave a positive response on participating opted out by not returning that questionnaires or called to inform the researcher that they will no longer participate. The researcher administered a pre-test to determine student’s proficiency in Mathematics and Language Arts. During this time, students were also interviewed and observed to identify how well parents are involved in their education and their interest in class activities respectively.
During the third, fourth, fifth and sixth week the implementation of the Parental Involvement Programme was in operations but had to be extended to week nine due to students being absent at scheduled time for class or preparing for Sports Day. Parents were sent topics, strategies, ideas, updates, etc. to help with homework via the established “Whatsapp” plan. So, constant communication was established. The teacher continued teaching Mathematics and Language Arts with emphasis placing on technology and other techniques to spark interest, retention and participation from students. Lessons taught required students to think critically, analytically and exercise problem solving skills.
During week ten, to test the effectiveness and magnitude of the proposed programme a post-test consisting of short answers, multiple choice questions and matching items will be administered. The papers were collected and marked and the grades recorded. The students were also exposed to the post interview and observation trends that were also recorded and analysed.
During week eleven the researcher organized the data obtained from the pre and post-test, observation checklist, interviews and questionnaires. The data was summarized, concluded and recommendations were made to indicate the effectiveness of the implementations of the parental involvement programme and its impact on the academic performance of said students.

Ethical Considerations
In conducting this research, the researcher was cognizant of best practices and as a result considered ethical guidelines. The researcher’s aim was to guarantee that the participants were not exposed to any form of impairment. This was realized by distributing letters explaining the nature of the research to the parents of the students for them to read and sign the consent form granting approval of theirs and the children’s participation. The names of the participants were not used and this was to ensure transparency and confidentiality. The fact that their names or any other personal information was used in the research was held confidentially and guarantees no harm, embarrassment or harassment. They were also made aware that the research is completely voluntary and they had the option of withdrawing at their convenience without penalty.

Data Analysis Approach
This action research utilized mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative methods) to collate data and provide the researcher with answers to the research question that was aforementioned and the following research sub-questions questions:
1. How will the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program improve parent-teacher relationship?
2. How can the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program influence the completion of students’ homework?
3. To what extent can the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program enhance students’ interest in teaching and learning?
The data was collected from answered questionnaires and interview checked, classified and organized systematically. This study also employed a pre and post- test in the areas of Mathematics and Language Arts to determine the extent to which student’s scores differed according to the level of parental involvement in the child’s academic journey. The findings by way of pre and post test results should be as proof whether or not the program was a success by means of influencing academic growth. The data was also used to determine the extent to which parents related factors contributed to student’s level of interest in class. The data also highlighted the extent of parent-teacher relationship contributed to the level of achievement. This data to be represented was done in the form of graphs and tables using Microsoft Excel and Word Document. The researcher used central tendencies such as mean, mode and median to analyse the data which was graphically represented using tables, bar and pie chart depicting the relationship between variables.
The table below shows the mixed methodologies that were used and the sub-questions that each methodology will answer as the researcher embarked on finding out how the implementation of a parental involvement program influences academic performance of a selected group of grade three students in the areas of parent-teacher communication, homework completion and students’ interest in classroom activities.
Sub- questions Questionnaire to parents Interview to students Observation Checklist
1. How will the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program improve parent-teacher relationship?

?
?
2. How can the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program influence the completion of students’ homework?
?

?
?

3. To what extent can the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program enhance students’ interest in teaching and learning?
?
?

Summary
The intention of this action research was to deduce the effectiveness of the implementation of the parental involvement program has on academic performance among a selected group of grade three students at an urban primary school in St. James. This concern of parents not playing the roles that they should in their child/children’s education; not having a good parent- teacher relationship and not helping their child with homework derived from the teaching experience that I, the researcher among other teachers of grade three are experiencing.
This research seeks to improve the teaching and learning process within the classroom by fostering positive parent-teacher communication, students’ completion of homework and students interest to perform classroom activities. Thus, the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program is projected to increase the academic performance of a group of grade three (3) students at a particular primary school in urban St. James.

Appendix A
LETTER TO THE PRINCIPAL
Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College,
P.O., Box 40,
Granville,
St. James.

December 14, 2017

Dear Sir:
RE: PERMISSION REQUEST TO EXECUTE AN ACTION RESEARCH

This cover letter seeks to inform you that I, Samantha Varcianna-Mowatt, am presently a student of the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education. I am conducting a research as part of my course requirement and I am requesting your permission to carry out same at your institution.

The essence of the research I am conducting is to investigate “How the implementation of a Parental Involvement Program (P.I.P.) influences the academic performance among a selected grade three students in this primary school in rural St. James. This research study will be done over a period of two months and will require participation from students, parents and teachers alike.

The students will be required to do a pre-test and a post-test and will be exposed to an observational checklist to review for accuracy and transparency. The students will be observed for a period of two weeks and there will be no video or audio documentation of said observation. The parents will also be given questionnaires to complete and return within twenty four to thirty six hours (24-36 hours) of issue. This research is completely voluntary and participants can withdraw without penalty at any time.

The data collected will be kept strictly confidential and anonymous. There will be no harm/threat to participants and the institution and the information received will not be published or used for any articles or presentations without written approval.

The information received per research findings will not be used for any other reason except for those which it is intended. My research supervisor (Mrs. Jennifer Simpson or Mrs. Deyon Colyard) can be contacted at/or 952-4000 at the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College if any questions or concerns arise.

Please affix your signature below as an indication that you have read and agreed for your school to participate in the aforementioned research.

Sincerely yours,

__________________________
Samantha Varcianna-Mowatt
Researcher

LETTER TO PARENTS/GUARDIAN
Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College,
P.O., Box 40,
Granville,
St. James.

December 14, 2017

Dear Parent/Guardian:
RE: PERMISSION TO ALLOW YOUR CHILD/WARD TO PARTICIPATE IN A RESEARCH STUDY.
This cover letter seeks to inform you that I, Samantha Varcianna-Mowatt, am presently a student of the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education. I am seeking your permission to have your child be a part of this research study which will last a period of two (2) months. During this time your child will be asked to complete test items, participate in an interview and be observed during class activity as part of this research study. This research is aimed at providing information relating to “How will the implementation of Parental Involvement Program (P.I.P) influence the academic performance on a group of grade three students at a primary school in urban St. James?”
Your child/ward may discontinue at any time without encountering any challenges or penalties. The information gathered will only be used by educators and other stakeholders in the education system so as to improve positive parent-teacher communication, students’ completion of homework and students interest to perform classroom activities through the Parental Involvement Program (P.I.P.).
Therefore, all information will be treated with confidentiality and the name of your child will not be mentioned. There are no risks associated with participating in this research.

If you are desirous of your child participating in this research, please sign and return the permission slip attached.

Sincerely yours,

_____________________________
Mrs. Samantha Varcianna-Mowatt
Researcher

Appendix B
PRINCIPAL CONSENT FORM

I ____________________________ have read and understand the conditions of the action research to be carried out on the school grounds. I am fully aware of the intended benefits of the research to be conducted and that participation is fully voluntary. I am also aware that no harm or injury will come to the institution or participants of the study and the information garnered will be kept in strict confidentiality.

___________________________ _______________________
Principal’s Signature Date

PARENT CONSENT FORM

I ___________________________________________ (parent/guardian’s name) hereby agree to have my child/ward___________________________________________ (child’s name) participate in this research study that will be conducted on the school premises. I have read, understood and have agreed to the conditions of the research conducted and that my child can withdraw from the study at any given time without harm, fear or penalty.

_____________________________________ ______________________
Signature of parent Date

Appendix C
Questionnaire for parents

1. Name: ________________________ ___________________________

2. Gender: male female

3. Age: ___________________

4. What is your occupation? _______________________________________________________

5. What time do you go to work? ___________________________________________________

7. What time do you leave work? __________________________________________________
8. Do you assist your child with the homework?

yes no sometimes

9. If yes, in what ways do you assist your child?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________10. Do you sign the homework? Provide reason
yes no sometimes
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
11. Do you have a specific time when you assist your child with the homework?

yes no
Give a reason for your choice
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
12. What is the nature of the homework that your child gets at school?
activity sheets projects written assignments

13. Do you understand the homework assigned to your child?
yes no sometimes

14. Do you liaise with the teacher if you are unclear about certain aspects of the homework?
yes no sometimes

15. How do you communicate with your child’s teacher?
Face to face phone call whatsapp email

16. What is most convenient mode for you to communicate with your child’s teacher?
Face to face phone call whatsapp email

17. Do you visit your child’s school?
yes no sometimes
State the frequency_________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

18. When you go to your child’s school, what do you do and why?
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

19. Do you think it is important to have constant dialogue with your child’s teacher? Why?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
20.Do you participate in any activity at your child’s school?
yes no sometimes
Identify/list the type of activity _________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Interview Questionnaire for Students
Direction: Face to face interview with reach student. Each item will be read to the student by the researcher. Students are required to answer all questions below truthfully.

1. Name: ________________________ ______________________

2. Gender: male female

3. Age: ___________________

4. Hobbies: ___________________ ___________________ ________________
5. Who do you live with? ________________________________________________________
6. Who takes care of you? _______________________________________________________
7. What is the name of your parent/guardian? _______________________________________________________
8. What is your favourite subject? _______________________________________________________
Why ______________________________________________________________________
9. What is your least favourite subject? _______________________________________________________
Why? ____________________________________________________________________
10. How often do you get homework?
Once per week 2-3times per week every evening
11. How often do you do homework?
Once per week 2-3times per week every evening Why?_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

11. Who help you with your homework? mother father aunt
sister brother other ________________________________________________
12. Do you think your parents are spending enough time with you? yes no
Explain _______________________________________________________________________

13. What would you like your parents to do to help your academic progress? ________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Appendix D
Parent-Teacher Involvement Questionnaire (PTIQ)
(This will be used to assess parent’s involvement).
Questions Yes No No Response Comments
1. Do you think parents and teachers should have a good relationship? Why?

2. Are you satisfied with the level of communication between you and your child’s teacher?

3. Do you think a programme should be put in place to foster parent-teacher communication? Explain?
4. What school development programmes do u participate in?

Observation Checklist
Parent-Teacher Communication Yes No Comments
1 Teacher and parents communicate at least once per week
2 Parent visit school at least once per week
3 Parent are invited by teacher to take part in class activities at least once per term.
Homework Completion Yes No Comments
4 Complete homework with accuracy and neatness
5 Meet assignments’ deadlines
6 Parents sign off on children’s homework
Interest in classroom activities Yes No Comments
7 Have necessary resources ready for class
8 Participate in learning activities
9 Work cooperatively to complete group activities
10 Complete tasks in class allotted time
11 Uses teacher’s instruction to correctly complete activities

Time line
This action research will be conducted over the duration of eight weeks. The table below depicts the sequential order of the topic under question.
Week 1
Letters will be sent to principal and grade supervisor with the intent to receive approval to conduct research. Parents will be called to a brief meeting with researcher. Researcher explain route of the research, distribute consent form and permission letters. These were collected and checked. Pre inquiry questionnaires were distributed.
Week 2
Collected questionnaires. Administered pre-test to students. Observation done. Analysed pre-test responses and record data.
Week 3 Implementation and execution of the parental involvement program. Continuation of disciplines taught using various strategies including technology. Constant communications will be made with parents regarding homework, ideas to help children and so on via “Whatsapp.”
Week 4
Implementation and execution of the parental involvement program. Continuation of disciplines taught using various strategies including technology. Constant communications will be made with parents regarding homework, ideas to help children and so on via “Whatsapp.”
Week 5 Implementation and execution of the parental involvement program. Continuation of disciplines taught using various strategies including technology. Constant communications will be made with parents regarding homework, ideas to help children and so on via “Whatsapp.”
Week 6 Implementation and execution of the parental involvement program. Continuation of disciplines taught using various strategies including technology. Constant communications will be made with parents regarding homework, ideas to help children and so on via “Whatsapp.”
Week 7 Administration of post-test. Post questionnaires will be distributed. Post interview and observations will be done. The data collected will be analyzed.
Week 8 The data collected before and after the employment of said strategy will be analyzed, summarized and recommendations made as a result of the findings.

Budget
Implementing this Parental Involvement Program will not be expensive to the participants. However, it will take a lot of money to fund such endeavour. The proposed budget below will depict the spending that the researcher may incur during the implementation of this program.
Items Quantity Unit Cost
$ Total
$
Cell Phone/Telephone 1 8000 8000
Internet 2 months 4000 8000
Transportation 2 months 10000 20000
Printing 2 months 4000 8000
Scanning 2 months 2000 4000
Stationary:
? Printing (White)Paper
? Envelopes
? Books
? Pencils
? Rulers
? Sharpener
(1000) Letter Size
100
100
100
10
10
1600
10
50
20
120
20
1600
1000
5000
2000
1200
200
Token 20 (2-3 per week) 200 4000
Emergency Funds * * 5000
Miscellaneous * * 12000

The total amount that the researcher is expecting to incur during the length of this program is approximately Eighty Thousand Dollars ($80,000.00).

References

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Bynner, J. and Parsons, S. (2006). What is Parental Involvement?
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