Date of Award

Fall 9-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Stock


Programs and reforms have come and gone in the educational arena with little impact on student performance. The problem at the school of study was the students’ perception of their sense of belonging and the sense of the school as a community and the students’ academic performance did not show adequate growth. The study took place in a mid-western suburban elementary school serving 440 students kindergarten through fifth grade. The significance of the study was to examine the impact of a Goal-Setting Worksheet, along with regular teacher-student conferences, as a strategy to improve the overall school climate and academic achievement as measured by climate survey results, standardized test scores, attendance rates, and office referrals. The process allowed teachers and students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade the opportunity to work together to complete the Goal-Setting Worksheet by setting goals, establishing a plan of action, and providing feedback through conferences throughout the goal-setting period. Students assessed their progress and worked with the teachers to determine if the student needed to revisit their goal or establish a new goal. The purpose of this process was to increase the students’ perception of their sense of belonging and academic achievement. To determine if there was a change in the students’ perception of school climate, students took the Caring School Community climate spring survey and the pre and post School Climate survey. Academic performance was measured by comparing scores on the Missouri Assessment Program Communication Arts and Math test and the Gatesvi MacGinitie Reading Test. Survey results and academic scores were compared over a four year period. The results were that the implementation of the goal-setting worksheet and teacher-student conferences to school climate did not yield the desired change at the school of study in the areas of overall school climate or academic achievement. However, the understanding of the value of the two has influenced the staff to continue the desire, process, and pursuit to improve the students’ perception of the school climate and increase academic performance. Because of the limited timeframe of the study, further investigation of this process is recommended.


Copyright 2013