Determining the Effectiveness of a Culturally Customized School Website
Michele Garabedian Stork, Nova Southeastern University, United States
Nova Southeastern University . Awarded
This applied dissertation was designed to determine the extent to which the website of the targeted middle school was culturally responsive. Data collected were the number and percentage of participants who perceived the website information as helpful, the number and percentage of participants who believed that the website provided opportunities for parental involvement in students’ education, and the extent to which the website translated into increased attendance of parents at the activities of the school during the 2009–2010 school year.
The researcher managed the implementation of a culturally customized school website to reflect the diversity in the cultures of the target population in language, content, and graphics. The new website was based on assessment data provided by a parent survey at the target middle school. The new website was advertised to parents at the 2009–2010 school open house, in trilingual notices sent home with students throughout the school year, at Student Advisory Council meetings, and on local native-language radio stations. Research was conducted to investigate whether the culturally customized school website was effective at providing information to non-English-speaking parents.
The results of the study indicated that 83% of parents stated that the website provided helpful information regarding the school-events calendar, dress-code policy, enrollment, and lunch menus. After the implementation of the culturally customized school website, overall parental attendance at school events increased by 5%. In addition, the results of the study indicated that the following could be added to the website to increase and strengthen communication between the school and parents: a parent message board, common questions and answers, club information, scholarship information, drug- and sex-education resources, and emergency information. Overall, 72% of parents stated that the school website provided opportunities for parental involvement in the areas of parenting, communication, and volunteering.
Garabedian Stork, M. Determining the Effectiveness of a Culturally Customized School Website. Ph.D. thesis, Nova Southeastern University.
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