Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Robert Flanders


Many students in the local school district in a northeastern state suffer from socioemotional challenges that negatively influence their academic success. In the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study, researchers found negative socioemotional outcomes resulting from ACEs. Risk factors associated with ACEs, and the influence of ACEs on poor school outcomes form the framework of this project study. To determine measures school leaders take to meet the needs of students in socioemotional crisis, a sample of semi-structured interview participants was selected based upon their roles in addressing students in socioemotional crisis, also forming the basis of this basic qualitative study. The participant sample consisted of three elementary school principals, one junior high school principal, two elementary assistant principals, and two high school assistant principals. Also, Response to Intervention (RtI) meeting minutes, records examinations from school social worker entries in the district student databases, and intervention team meeting minutes served as data for qualitative records reviews. After thematic coding was completed, the need for a shared definition of socioemotional crisis emerged. Also, there is not a clear consensus in terms of strategies when approaching students suffering from a socioemotional crisis or meeting the needs of these students. In addition, inconsistencies in data storage practices were discovered during the records collection. This research project will help school leaders align interventions for students with socioemotional and behavioral disabilities and improve data storage practices helping to inform practice. The improved practices will help school leaders address the needs of students in socioemotional crisis more effectively and help promote positive social change within the educational community.