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ERIC Number: ED556093
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 183
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-4463-7
Curriculum and Assessment Policies and Practices in a Day Treatment Center in North Carolina
Ferrell, Kimberly Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
The purpose of this qualitative single case study was to describe current instructional policies and practices in a one-day treatment center in North Carolina for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The following research questions guided the study: (1) What are the curriculum policies, practices, and philosophies of day treatment centers in North Carolina? (2) What are the assessment policies, practices, and philosophies of North Carolina day treatment centers? and (3) What is the role of the principal in promoting student instruction and achievement in North Carolina day treatment centers? Data were collected from interviews with administration, teachers, and instructional assistants; key documents (e.g., school improvement plan, mission and belief statements, Common Core curriculum, school executive evaluation, yearly professional developments); and a focus group with teachers. Open coding was used to identify themes related to curriculum and assessment policies, practices, philosophies, and roles of instructional leaders. Overall, data revealed one key theme underlying the curriculum, instruction, and assessment of EBD students in day treatment centers: "teaching to the individual needs of each child." Regardless of whether the area being addressed was curriculum policies and practices, assessment policies and practices, or the role of the principal in promoting instructional quality and student achievement, all policies and practices were based on the best approach for each individual student. In the day treatment setting, mental health was the first priority; academics were secondary. Nevertheless, teachers endeavored to teach the state-mandated curriculum and comply with North Carolina's testing guidelines. The Common Core® and NC Essential Standards® were the curricula used to guide instruction. To meet the needs of the students and comply with their IEPs, teachers commonly used differentiated and individualized instruction, and employed Google Chromebooks® and the APEX® curriculum to facilitate instruction. Teachers also modified the curriculum as appropriate. The teachers in the day treatment center believed that the professional development about the curriculum they received was insufficient, and they wanted to know about how to meet the needs of their special population of students. Teachers followed the North Carolina assessment program, which included the use of EOGs, EOCs, formative assessments, and CASE 21® as benchmarks. Following the students' IEPs and making testing accommodations were primary assessment practices. Some support for implementing state assessments through professional development was provided by the district, but the teachers wanted additional professional development. The teachers also lacked the opportunity to build professional learning communities with their colleagues in the district or in similar settings. Overall, they felt isolated from their peers working in traditional settings. The teachers and the principal at the day treatment center agreed that the principal should be a leader who offered support for the curriculum; disciplined students; provided a safe and orderly environment; facilitated information; and supported teachers. However, the demands associated with providing disciplinarian action and maintaining a safe environment made it difficult for the principal to be an instructional leader. The findings suggest that preparation programs and school districts should not only provide professional development to principals of day treatment centers regarding policies associated with special needs students, but, in order to improve instructional effectiveness, training on Common Core and Essential Standards, mental healthcare services, and ways to facilitate differentiated and individualized instruction should be provided. If principals in day treatment facilities are not given the necessary tools to meet student needs, then at-risk youth could be led by those poorly prepared to advocate for students' achievement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina