Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities

Advisor(s)

Raymond Rodriguez

Laura Desportes

Abstract

The objective of this Senior Honors Project was to investigate schools’ efforts to collaborate with parents of children receiving special education services within Harrisonburg City Public Schools in the State of Virginia. The study had two primary purposes.

The first was to empower parents by educating them about special education laws and their rights concerning how to obtain services for their child. The workshops, presented by the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC), addressed areas such as communication skills and interpersonal skills for the purposes of bolstering relationships between schools and parents.

Second, since schools sometimes fail to effectively involve parents of students with disabilities in their child’s education, parents do not get involved as much as they should in order to support their child’s educational progress. (Zetlin & Curcic, 2013; Bacon & Causton-Theoharis, 2015; Rodriguez, Blatz & Elbaum, 2014). Therefore, a study was conducted using surveys and focus group interviews to obtain information about parents’ perceptions of schools’ efforts to facilitate their involvement. This feedback led to recommendations on best practices schools may use to collaborate with families more effectively.

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