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Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell O. Mays

Committee Members

Russell F. West, Nancy Dishner, Martha Coutinho


Under the guidelines of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all students with disabilities must be provided a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This includes students who violate the law in regards to possession of a weapon or drugs, or students whose behaviors pose a threat to themselves or to others. Therefore, each school district must develop an Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) where students can continue to receive a FAPE, where the goals and objectives of their Individual Educational Program (IEP) can be met, where they can continue to progress in the general curriculum and where their behavior can be addressed through assessment and positive behavioral interventions.

The purpose of this study was to understand how the experience of placement in an IAES affected students’ behaviors and attitudes. The study examined the effectiveness of the research-based interventions used in the IAES from the perspectives of students, parents and staff and how the various interventions related to the characteristics of the program. Data were collected from students, parents and staff at the IAES through a series of semistructured interviews designed and conducted by the researcher.

The findings from this study have a number of implications for improving the programs designed for students attending the IAES and for the operation of the program. Recommendations included providing opportunities for parents to gain educational experience and seeking out and involving more community organizations, agencies and citizens in order to develop a more functional and meaningful curriculum. Finally, it was recommended that the district reconsider the status and role of the district’s IAES in board policy. By restructuring Bayfront Preparatory School (BPS) as an accredited alternative high school, the school could receive funds from district, state and federal sources, which would allow the development of a comprehensive academic, vocational and counseling program. This would increase the opportunities for all students attending BPS to complete their high school programs and successfully transition to post-secondary education, training, or work.

Document Type

Dissertation - restricted


Copyright by the authors.