Date of Award



© 2019 Alix Desulme

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Brianna Parsons

Third Advisor

Steve Gallon


This qualitative study examined the causes of student truancy and the policies and procedures established by one public charter school to reduce truancy. Eight participants were asked to discuss the policies and procedures of their school, CSS, and how they as school leaders contributed to the success of the school regarding low truancy rates. Student truancy has become a major concern in the United States with some states and some counties experiencing higher truancy rates than others. This study aimed to understand leaders’ perceptions of the effectiveness of truancy policies at their school. To understand what factors affected truancy at CSS, participants were asked to reflect on past experiences, current policies in the school, and how school staff promote an environment that remains conducive for low truancy rate. Three main research questions guided the study: (1) How do school leaders characterize the policies and procedures intended to improve strong attendance rates? (2) What is the role of families and caregivers in implementing high levels of attendance? (3) What theoretical framework serves as the foundation for policies at CSS? Data from interviews were collected, recorded and analyzed, and responses are presented as topics. A conceptual framework was applied to understand the scope of the problem of truancy. They were incentive theory of motivation and family systems theory. From the interview, five topics emerged: (1) Perceptions of participants regarding student truancy and the policies and procedures in place at the charter school, (2) Truancy rates versus good attendance, (3) Effects of truancy policies and procedures on students, (4) Analysis of external factors motivating student truancy, and (5) Identification of factors leading to decreased truancy. This study confirmed that non-punitive measures like rewards improves motivation for students to attend school. School leaders, including positional leaders, teachers, and parents play an important role in encouraging attendance and discouraging truancy. Discipline tracking, or ongoing monitoring and assessment of the status of students, leads to lower rates of truancy.


Ed.D. Dissertation