School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Karen Suchanek


Alternative school, discipline referral, expulsion, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, positive behavior intervention and supports, referral process, restorative justice, social and emotional learning, transition plan, universal design for learning




The purpose of this research study was to provide recommendations to solve the problem of increased referrals at the Escambia County Alternative School in Flomaton, Alabama. The problem was the number of referrals on file at Escambia County Alternative School increased by 50% from November/December 2021 to January/February 2022. The rationale for this study was the referrals written can impact the students in more ways than the given discipline. The central research question was, How can the problem of increased referrals be solved at the Escambia County Alternative School? Three forms of data collected for this applied research included qualitative and quantitative data collection methods to include interviews, a focus group, and surveys. Qualitative data were analyzed by codes and themes. Quantitative data were analyzed by averaging the results of each question. Recommendations to solve the problem included developing a referral process for all teachers at Escambia County Alternative School to follow, establishing a process for students with disabilities, establishing schoolwide rules for students to follow, and establishing schoolwide strategies for teachers to follow.

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