Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Shawn Poyser

Third Advisor

Dr. Randy Caffey


The doors of a rural Missouri middle school were closed in mid-March for what turned out to be the remainder of the 2019‒2020 school year (Schremp Hahn, 2020). Many schools were unprepared for the swift nature with which the shutdowns occurred (Bernhard, 2020a). The purpose of this case study was to examine the opinions and perceptions of parents, teachers, and the principal at a Missouri middle school regarding the school’s response to the COVID-19 closure to determine the best possible strategies for mitigating learning loss during future extended closures. The summer slide was the lens through which the study was viewed, specifically in the areas of instruction, communication, and access to technology. The sample included 241 parents of the Missouri middle school students, 20 certified teachers, and one principal. An online survey was sent to the parents, teachers, and principal of the middle school and included the option for a voluntary follow-up phone interview. Phone interviews were conducted with four parents, four teachers, and one principal. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze quantitative data. A Mann-Whitney U test and a Kruskal Wallis rank-sum test were performed to analyze nonparametric data. Qualitative data were analyzed using open and axial coding. This case study revealed the importance of professional development regarding video conferencing platforms and distance learning pedagogy. The findings of this study further revealed the importance of improving communication practices and accurately assessing student access to the Internet and Internet-capable devices to better respond to future extended closures.


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