Productivity in our Schools: Home Life and Support Group Analysis

The people that surround students is another factor that can largely affect the student's ability to be academically productive.  At Oxford Preparatory School, 85% of students indicated that home life and support groups are a factor that affects productivity largely in our community.  In this article I will use demographic information to explain why this effect may be occurring in conjunction with a study that explains the relationship between poverty and educational deficits.  


The two main counties that students of Oxford Preparatory School(OPS) live in are Granville and Vance County.  The data from the 2020 census shows that there are two main educational disparities present in Granville and Vance county in comparison to our state average.  The 2020 Census Data reveals that the percent of persons aged 25+ that are high school graduates in Granville County is 86.1% and Vance County is 84.4% compared to 89.0% in North Carolina.  However, when we look at the data for persons aged 25+ that have a bachelor’s degree or higher in Granville and Vance county, we see an even larger disproportion.  In Granville County the rate is 23.4% and the rate in Vance County is 17.1% while 33.0% is North Carolina as a whole.  This data shows that the students attending OPS are statistically likely to be from families that are less educated.  As we have already established, the home life and support group that a student has can greatly affect their academic productivity. Research supports that parents being impoverished and less educated can have many effects on their child’s educational outcomes.  This is because oftentimes children raised in poverty do not receive educational stimulation at a young age because their parents may not be able to provide it.  The adults in these situations may be working the majority of the time and not be able to interact with their child as much as a result.  But, they also may not have the skills necessary to provide the aforementioned educational stimulation for their children (Ferguson et al 2007).  This can create educational imbalances between the different socioeconomic classes as they are coming into school with varying levels of pre-existing knowledge.  Coming from an impoverished and less educated family can also affect the extrinsic and intrinsic motivators present in one’s life.   Many people perform well academically because their parents or other family members are motivating them to do so.  Most children living in low-income households are missing out on that extrinsic motivation that can drive many students to perform well.  It is more likely in a low-income family that children will have to help financially and work, babysit siblings, or help in the household instead of divulging their time towards their education (Ferguson et al 2007).  Overall, it is much harder for these students to value education over the duties they may have.  This is where the importance of using techniques such as experiential learning and goal setting becomes extremely important, as it is much less likely that these students will become intrinsically motivated on their own.   Reflecting on the demographic data shared, this research is incredibly pertinent to our learning community.  Many students that attend Oxford Preparatory School come from the backgrounds which are referred to in this study.  


Additionally, there is research which supports the idea that rural living can cause educational disparities. This information is also relevant for consideration as OPS is a rural school.  Rural families often have less reliable internet access, barriers to transportation, especially in low-income rural communities, and an overall tendency to see college as less valuable (Lumina Foundation).  This can be for many reasons, but this mainly originates from the fact that many people in rural communities work trade jobs that don’t necessitate a college education.   Making their kids more likely to follow in their footsteps and not pursue college.  Sociologically, rural individuals are also more likely to view college as unattainable and a threat to their communities.  They often view college as a loss of local talent, being that many rural communities are built off of trade jobs, from their perspective there would be no reason for these individuals to return after gaining higher education (Lumina Foundation).  This is also statistically supported by Pew Research Center.  In a survey conducted they found that only 71% of rural white men see college as a worthy investment.  While 82% of urban white men and 84% of suburban white men think college is a worthy investment.  All of this furthers the idea that students at Oxford Preparatory School may not have families that support a college preparatory mission.  Once again, this puts a lot of pressure on the school to teach a curriculum that creates the motivation necessary to be academically successful. 


Though, I believe that this is being acknowledged by our administration.  It is clear that many initiatives such as academic and behavioral interventions, robust learning experiences, premier arts electives, and student-led organizations are being supported at OPS.  

Ferguson, H., Bovaird, S., & Mueller, M. (2007). The impact of poverty on educational outcomes for children. Paediatrics & child health, 12(8), 701–706.

In rural America, too few roads lead to college success. Lumina Foundation. (2019, November 11). 

NW, 1615 L. S., Suite 800Washington, & Inquiries, D. 20036USA202-419-4300 | M.-8.-8. | F.-4.-4. | M. (2011, May 16). Chapter 1: Overview. Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.


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