EdD (Doctor of Education)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Pamela Scott, Stephanie Tweed, Eleanor Smalley
The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the perceptions of school staff as to the best practices utilized in successful middle schools. The researcher used the framework of This We Believe and the School To Watch application process to determine schools worthy of the study. Each school must have been designated three times or more as a School To Watch. Three schools were selected for the study that were each in three different school divisions and three different geographical regions in Virginia. The researcher went to each site to conduct interviews with participants. Fifteen interviews via focus groups were conducted with twenty-one participants. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded.
The researcher analyzed interview data and determined there were three emerging concepts critical to the success of middle schools. Concepts that emerged from participants were: each school was developmentally responsive to the social and emotional needs of young adolescents, each school’s staff employed strong organizational leadership and structures to coordinate the school, and each school’s staff was purposeful in their creation of each school’s master schedule that allowed for purposeful planning. Practitioners may find the results of the study useful as many of the practices could be employed in other middle schools.
Dissertation - Open Access
Frederick, Sandra, "Fully Practicing the Middle School Concept: A Phenomenological Study of Virginia Middle Schools Re-Designated III As A School To Watch" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3546. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/3546
Copyright by the authors.