Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald Poplau


Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), school leaders have had to identify instructional and administrative practices that would increase student achievement. Provisions of NCLB have added additional challenges for schools working with low achieving students with discipline problems. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate how a school's in-school suspension (ISS) program served teachers and students. The research questions focused on determining the strengths and weaknesses of the school's ISS program, the potential that these characteristics held to affect student academic achievement and behavior for ISS students, recidivism, and measures that the school might take to modify the ISS program. Conceptually, this study was framed within the theories of emotional intelligence and social literacy. Using purposeful sampling, data included responses from questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, document analysis, and observations of the ISS room. These data were analyzed using open and axial coding. Results of the study indicated inconsistent practices in the ISS program, such as the lack of a standard policy to assess student ISS assignments and to provide students teacher feedback upon returning from an ISS referral. In addition, the study revealed that the school lacks procedures to provide ISS students counseling during their ISS referral and a curriculum to help these students develop social emotional learning skills. Implications for positive social change included increasing academic achievement and social literacy for students assigned to ISS, which could lead to fewer referrals to ISS and lower recidivism.