Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James H. Miller


AbstractAlthough school administrators have tried to find interventions for students with varying amounts of absenteeism, students with disabilities (SwD) continue to be a subgroup of students who struggle with chronic absenteeism. The purpose of this study was to determine local administrators’ perspectives on why SwD are more prone to chronic absenteeism, what interventions have worked, and potential barriers to reducing chronic absenteeism. The conceptual framework was Fullan’s change leadership, which views administrators as lead advocates for change in schools. There were three research questions focused on administrator perceptions for reasons of chronic absenteeism of SWD, the interventions they used /or are currently using to reduce chronic absenteeism of SWD, and any perceived barriers they may have in reducing such chronic absenteeism. A basic qualitative study was conducted using semistructured interviews with all six middle school principals in the focused district. The interviews were coded using Saldaña’s suggested open, axial, and selective coding system. The interviews revealed that the administrators needed help analyzing and choosing appropriate data, using multitiered systems of support, a plan for parent involvement/empowerment, and a plan for implementing social-emotional learning. A 3-day professional development was created to address those needs; the professional development consists of training on a data-driven multitiered system of support that includes both a parent involvement/empowerment plan and a social-emotional learning plan. Implementation of this system may positively affect social change by increasing the attendance and academic success of students.