Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2024

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access


Dr. Melissa Nemon & Dr. Audrey Falk


This community needs assessment seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities that might be serving as a barrier to Cape Verdean families’ engagement in Boston Public Schools. By looking at secondary sources such as the census, Boston Public Schools reports, and other publications, and interviewing professionals based on five areas of focus, the challenges and opportunities for engagement were explored. The research focused on mutual respect between families and schools, families’ confidence and capability to engage, trust between families and teachers, schools as community centers, and a sense of belonging. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020, Massachusetts alone is home to about 70,040 Cape Verdean American people, making it the state with the largest number of Cape Verdean people in the U.S. (Silva, 2023). The growing population’s needs should be met, and their voices heard. The research found that Cape Verdean families have varying levels of technological savviness, and more resources should be allocated to help with computer literacy. Cape Verdean families were found to be ranked amongst the lowest for engagement compared to other ethnic groups. Barriers including language, work hours, and cultural backgrounds are important factors in addressing the lack of engagement. Collaboration between Boston Public Schools and community-based organizations is pivotal in engaging Cape Verdean families in Boston as well as developing programming that addresses computer literacy, cultural competency, and language accessibility.