Term of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Polka, Walter

Committee Member 1

Cordelia Zinskie

Committee Member 2

Linda M. Arthur

Abstract

This researcher looked at two elementary schools using a year-round education calendar and provided a descriptive account of their experience. A case study format was used. Quantitative data on standardized test scores, discipline, and attendance were collected. Interviews and focus group sessions were conducted at each site. The overarching research question for this study was: What are the experiences of stakeholders in two Georgia elementary schools that have implemented year-round education? A cross-site analysis of the major issues showed that both schools agreed on five areas in which the year round education schedule had a positive impact. These areas were: student achievement/motivation, school climate, intercession, stakeholder perceptions/communications, and facility maintenance/cleanliness. Lemonds County Elementary School (pseudonym) also identified discipline as an area positively impacted by the current school calendar. West City Elementary School (pseudonym) listed teacher acquisition/retention as an item positively affected by the current school calendar. The two elementary schools both indicated two issues to be neutral with respect to the schedule. These were: attendance and community/after school activities. The two schools both identified summer break as an area negatively impacted by the YRE schedule. The researcher concluded that year round education is effective in elementary schools that are part of small Georgia school systems, however, it cannot completely overcome the challenges inherent in the educational setting where a vast majority of the students reside in families from the low socioeconomic category. The researcher also found that the keys to successful implementation of this educational delivery option were: to conduct considerable research prior to implementation, to develop a very detailed implementation plan at a very early point in the process, to involve key stakeholders in the implementation process, and to communicate implementation efforts to stakeholders at all phases of the implementation process. The results of this study largely supported earlier research in this area.

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