S.T.A.C. it up!—Striving towards academic completion: An elementary school prevention program targeting the high school drop out issues among African-American students
This study documents the effects of an action research team, comprising parents, teachers, and school staff, from a predominately African-American elementary school, working together to design a program promoting high school completion for their young students. The study also examines the role that collaboration plays to bring together stakeholders to make an impact and effect change at their school site. Specifically, this case study, action research design using mixed qualitative and quantitative methods answered the questions: (1) What are the perceptions of teachers, parents, and school personnel at one high minority elementary school with a predominately African-American student population regarding their school's ability to successfully address barriers that could keep their students from graduating from high school? (2) How does participating within an action research team to design a program to address the barriers that keep students from graduating from high school impact the attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors of the participants in regards to collaboration and their efficacy? (3) What conditions do parents, teachers, administrators, and school personnel report are needed in an elementary school to implement and sustain a program designed to promote high school completion given current responsibilities, resources, and time constraints?
To understand the thoughts and beliefs of the school community a questionnaire was given to parents, teachers and school staff revealing what factors they believe contribute to high school drop out for elementary students. In addition, interviews, journals, questionnaires, field and observational notes helped track the collaboration and synergy amongst the action research team to design a program promoting high school graduation. Focus groups were used to gain feedback from the school community and understand what conditions would be needed to implement the program at the school. Findings yielded their change in perception of the importance of collaboration, how their participation within the project encouraged involvement in other areas within the school and their communities and a new understanding of how action research could be utilized as a process to take an issue or problem at their school site, such as the high school drop out, and make recommendations for change and improvement for their school.
0325: Black studies
0519: School counseling