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ERIC Number: EJ1073910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0146-9283
Leading the Newly Consolidated High School: Exciting Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?
Thurman, Lance E.; Hackmann, Donald G.
Educational Considerations, v42 n2 p1-12 Spr 2015
In the current economic times, school personnel are regularly challenged to reduce the costs of operating the nation's school systems. School district consolidations often are proposed as a mechanism to realize fiscal savings for local communities; indeed, the number of U.S. school districts has declined dramatically over the past 70 years, decreasing from 117,108 in 1939-40 to 13,809 in 2008-2009 (Snyder and Dillow 2010). Consolidations may occur to promote fiscal and administrative efficiency, or as a result of significant enrollment declines, diminished real estate valuations, and limited availability of highly qualified teachers (Howley, Johnson, and Petrie 2011; Zimmer, DeBoer, and Hirth 2009). An overlooked topic in the research has been the high school principal's role in guiding the formation of a unified culture once the consolidation occurs--a responsibility that can be particularly challenging when two or more schools are consolidated to create a new high school. Time-honored traditions may be discarded and new rituals developed as students and faculty work to form a unified learning community. This article describes a case study of one principal throughout the initial year of a newly consolidated high school. It begins with a brief review of school consolidation research and research on leadership for learning, which served as a theoretical framework for this study. It then presents findings from the case study; in the discussion and implications sections, comparisons are made to prior studies and recommendations are provided for school districts and for policy.
Kansas State University, College of Education. Available from: New Prairie Press. Kansas State University Libraries, 1117 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506. Tel: 785-532-7444; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A