About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6583-6590
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0505

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY IN AN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SETTING

M. George

Centennial School of Lehigh University (UNITED STATES)
Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) are frequently served in separate educational environments because their behaviors often interfere with the learning of others. The U.S. Department of Education (2010) estimates that there are now over 10,000 alternative schools (AE) in the United States, up from an estimated 460 similar schools 30 years ago (Quinn & Porter, 2006). One would hope that AE settings would do a better job than traditional public schools assisting such youth but all too often that is not the case (Bender & Losel, 1997; Lane, Wehby, Little & Cooley, 2005; Hilt-Panahon, Kokina & Kern, 2008). To this day, far too many AE programs continue the use of harsh methods that punish students for their misbehaviors, produce negative side-effects, and often rise to the level of abuse (Vogell, 2015).

This poster session describes the results and sustainability of a successful organizational change process in one AE school that transformed the school environment from one that historically employed reactive and punitive intervention practices, including high rates of seclusion time-out and physical restraint, to one that minimizes the use of punishment and emphasizes positive and proactive interventions designed to build upon students’ strengths and teach socially appropriate school behaviors. Specifically, during the first 20-days of the 1998-1999 school year, staff conducted 112 physical restraints to intervene with serious student behaviors. At the end of 40 days the number of physical restraints had increased to 233 (Miller, George, & Fogt, 2005). With the introduction of the organizational change initiative, the use of physical restraints declined to one during the last 40 days of school with none recorded during the final 20 days of school. The use of seclusion time-out also decreased that year, and the practice of seclusion time-out was eliminated at the beginning of the 1999-2000 school year.

Longitudinal data collected over the next 18-years showed dramatic decreases in the use of physical restraints (99%), suspensions (88%), police involvement (95%), acts of serious aggression (98%), injuries to staff (82%), and truancy (64%) as compared to the baseline year, and demonstrate the sustainability of the organizational change process over time.

Decreases in the frequency of reactive and punitive practices were accompanied by increases in attendance, prosocial behaviors, academic achievement and teacher retention as well as enhanced parent relationships and re-integrations of students to public schools.

Specific steps of the organizational change process along with a description of the key interventions used during the change process will be listed and described as will implications for school leaders.
@InProceedings{GEORGE2016ORG,
author = {George, M.},
title = {ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY IN AN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SETTING},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0505},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0505},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6583-6590}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. George
TI - ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY IN AN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SETTING
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0505
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 6583
EP - 6590
ER -
M. George (2016) ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY IN AN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SETTING, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 6583-6590.
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