Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2017


Worldwide Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Professional Doctorate in Educational Leadership (ProDEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Rick McCown

Committee Member

Fran Serenka

Committee Member

Carol Parke


The closing of public schools is occurring each school year in cities across the country. This case study will look at one public school that endured the closure of three school buildings and the reconfiguration of the entire school district during the 2015-2016 school year. The main focus of this case study was on one building in this district and the question to be answered was, “Does an intentional focus on relationship building, by the school leadership, influence school culture and instructional practice in a newly formed school?” The literature will discuss school closures and the impact on stakeholders, grief and resilience, the importance of building relationship, leadership styles and how the Resilience Framework can be a guide through the process of closing schools. The methods used in the case study included extant data, semi-structured interviews and a reflective narrative. The extant data included field notes, anecdotal records, test scores, and observations made by me through the lens of a participant observer. The findings demonstrated that a, intentional focus on relationship building and actions aided in the development of a positive school culture and a change in instruction. This information could be relevant to leaders who are involved in school closures and used to ease the strain of change.