Methods: Using procedures for the use of path analysis to evaluate mediation effects decribed by MacKinnon (2008), a series path analyses were conducted to answer the following research questions: What are the interrelationships among school size, parental and student engagement, and parental and student communication with school personnel?; (2) Does school climate mediate the relationship between school size and parental engagement?; (3) Does school climate mediate the relationship between school size and student engagement?; (4) Does school climate mediate the relationship between school size and student communication?; and (5) Does school climate mediate the relationship between school size and parental communication? New York City middle (N=26) and senior high schools (N=80) that participated in the Annual Learning Environment Survey (LES) conducted by the New York City Department of Education provided the data for this study . The LES survey is organized around four critical areas: academic expectations, communication, engagement and school safety. All 1.5 million public school parents, teachers and 6th- through 12th-grade students about the quality of their school experience (Isaac, 2009).
Results: The results indicated that school climate partially mediated the relationship between school size and parental engagement (β = -.35, 95%CI; -.48, -.23), school size and student engagement (β = -.19, 95%CI; -.31, -.07), school size and parental communication (β = -.31 95%CI ( -.41, -.21), and school size and student communication (β = -.19, 95%CI; -.31, -.07).
Implications: Given that school climate partially mediated the above-mentioned relationships, suggests that social workers need to help school personnel put into place intervention that will change the climate of the schools in which they work. As mentioned earlier, the schools that participated in study have already begun to address the negative effects of school size. Based upon the results of this study, these school still need to address this issue as school size still had a direct negative affect on parental and student engagement and parental and student communication.