Literacy Demands of Home-school Communications Regarding Advanced Programs: Implications for Immigrant Families

Open Access
Author:
Cook, Connie Cimberly
Area of Honors:
English
Degree:
Bachelor of Humanities
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Martha Strickland, Thesis Supervisor
  • Ronald Walker, Honors Advisor
  • Laura Ann Roy, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Home-School Communications
  • Family-School Partnerships
  • Advanced Placement
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Immigrant Parents
  • Literacy
Abstract:
United States public schools are becoming increasingly diverse as more families immigrate to the country. A variety of programs within the schools are offered to all students, including English as a Second Language classes and classes to help struggling students succeed. Although these programs are important for meeting the needs of immigrant students, focusing solely on their needs often leads researchers, teachers, parents, and students of diverse backgrounds to overlook other services available to support students’ learning (Szymanski & Shaff, 2013). Such a gap is seen particularly in connecting secondary immigrant students with advanced placement and gifted and talented programs. This study examined one reason previous research had found may contribute to this underrepresentation: parents’ lack of ability to advocate for their child due to a lack of ability to read, understand, and act on home-school communications. Findings suggest several ways educators and schools can communicate more effectively to immigrant parents through home-school communications to help these parents become more involved in the education of their child(ren) and better help immigrant students succeed.