Exploring parents' crossings into schools: Understanding a critical step in the development of home-school relationships
Gonzalez, Raquel Leonor
Croninger, Robert G.
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This study seeks to deconstruct the process by which home-school relationships develop. This study suggests these relationships develop as the result of "crossings" between home and school where crossings lead to foundational interactions that establish these relationships. Using data from the U.S. Department of Education's Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K), this study investigates school and home factors associated with kindergarten parents' crossings into schools. In addition, this study explores the relationship between crossings and student reading achievement at the end of the kindergarten year. Multilevel methods are applied to explore the impact of both individual and school level factors on parent crossings and reading achievement. This study uses a quantitative criticalist lens and proposes an alternative conceptual model to explore how relationships between home-school form. Crossings potentially lead to interactions that form relationships and impressions that impact parent/teacher perceptions of each other, the child's experience at school, and school cultural practices. Findings illustrate the varied nature and impact of these crossings. Not all families or communities cross at the same rate; crossings differ by family education level, race/ethnicity and average income of the school community. Families also experience different degrees of barriers, with families with lower rates of crossings reporting higher barriers to school entry. Schools that offer more events and are successful in helping parents learn how to support their child academically and socially have greater numbers of crossings. School poverty level has a differential impact on crossings based on how much a child praises the school and how much the school contacts the home about student learning. Parent crossings at the individual level and average parent crossings at the school are associated with reading achievement at the end of kindergarten. However, crossings have differential effects on reading achievement based on children's reading skills at the time of entering kindergarten and between parents with no high school diploma versus those with a high school diploma.