Graduate Annual


Public schools are facing increased public scrutiny given the intense focus on academic standards and testing, increased political debate, and current economic conditions. Schools are turning to their local communities for help. This research explores the important role community engagement plays in supporting schools to realize their goals. Using stakeholder theory as a foundation, an online survey was distributed to current and former parents of students from a suburban high school to determine how community engagement can be increased. Three key findings can be highlighted. Community members are aware of the school’s goals and see value in community engagement, but are not fully aware of how they can engage. Convenient and one-way communication channels are preferred; however these channels limit effective engagement. Though school officials and staff are the main preferred communication source, engagement can be increased by utilizing currently engaged parents and alumni as a source of communication.