Document Type


Date of Award

Winter 12-2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Erin Lehmann


Students who receive exclusionary discipline (discipline that removes them from the classroom) are less likely to graduate from high school. It has long been documented that students of color, special education students, and boys are more likely to be assigned suspensions and miss classroom instruction. Discipline matrices have been in place across the country and disparities still exist in consequences assigned to individual students. To alter this current reality, school professionals have looked for alternatives. One possibility lies in restorative practices. Restorative practices are strategies that value the whole child and consider not only an act of harm, but also how that harm can be mended. Barriers to implementing restorative practices in schools include time, training, “old school” mentalities, and the lack of one single manual for carrying out restorative practices. Data for this type of philosophical change to discipline also is difficult to collect quantitatively. My research seeks to know how school leaders are implementing restorative practices and which specific leadership strategies are utilized. A descriptive case study is utilized to qualitatively describe and analyze one school district in a midwestern state. District leaders and high school principals were interviewed to add perspective to archival records, observations, and district documents.

Subject Categories

Educational Leadership | Secondary Education


11 Essential Elements; Discipline; Restorative practices

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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