Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Pamela Angelle

Committee Members

Lisa G. Driscoll, Mary Katherine Hammon, Lynn Hodge


The purpose of this qualitative, multisite case study was to explore the parent perspective associated with charter school’s use of parent contract as a tool for parental involvement. The Overlapping Spheres of Influence and Six Types of Parental Involvement described by Epstein 1995 served as the conceptual framework. The sample consisted of seventeen parent interviews, across three charter schools serving grades six through eight. Two charter schools were located within the southeastern region and one charter school was located in the northeastern region of the nation. Parent participants were interviewed, five parental involvement activities observed, and parent contract artifacts collected.Qualitative data was examined through the lens of the two research questions and Epstein’s Overlapping Sphere of Influence and Framework for Involvement (1995). Findings indicated parent contracts as a tool for establishing shared expectations and collaborative parent-teacher relationships. Through the lens of Epstein’s Framework for Involvement, four of the six parent involvement types were identified: Learning at Home, Parenting, Communicating, and Volunteering. Across all three sites, the expectation for parents to be actively involved in the school community was a common expectation outlined in the parent contracts. The expectation for active involvement did not indicate the opportunity for parental involvement in Decision Making. Furthermore, parents desired to be involved in decision making opportunities, which would allow the inclusion and consideration of the parental voice.

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