Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 2022


A community school model is one way that struggling schools can restructure under the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act. Schools operate under the idea that the needs of the whole child must be met before academic advancement can begin. Implementation of a community school model includes obtaining feedback from all stakeholder groups in a school community (students, staff, parents, and community organizations) and examining data to make collective decisions that generate shared responsibility and accountability. The four pillars of a community school (integrated student supports, expanded learning time and opportunities, family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership and practices) provide a skeleton for schools to begin implementation.

This project is comprised of a qualitative, single case study conducted in an elementary school in a city in the southwestern United States. The research site was in the fourth year of implementing a community school model as a turnaround measure to avoid closure. Collected data revealed how perceptions of student academic proficiency are impacted when shared leadership and decision-making in a community school model are adopted. Sources of data included individual interviews, student responses to a questionnaire, and information obtained from the school website, district website, and grant applications. This research occurred in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a significant impact on the study. Findings include contributions from each stakeholder group, examples of the four pillars of a community school, and implications for current practice and future research.

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Arlie Woodrum

Second Committee Member

Dr. Allison M. Borden

Third Committee Member

Dr. Frank Perrone

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Scott Hughes

Fifth Committee Member

Dr. Gabriel Antonio Gonzales