Date of Award



© 2019 Brittany Valdez

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Jacqueline Lookabaugh

Third Advisor

Margie McCaw


The research topic explored in this study are the outcome effects of the whole child education model. The purpose of the study was to examine these outcomes due to the current state of federal laws providing states and schools more flexibility to incorporate these programs into their accountability systems. The research questions sought to address the efficacy of the safety tenet of these programs and to determine if schools implementing whole child programs had demonstrated fewer suspension related incidents, increased student performance, and evidence of a safe school building, climate, and culture. The setting for this study was an elementary school district serving students in kindergarten through grade 6 in California. This district received funding for its implementation of whole child programs from the state. Data was collected from the district reported suspension incidents, major incidents reported to the state, and the Smarter Balanced assessment results for the years 2014-2015 through 2017-2018, which was the latest full year of data available. The study found an overall positive relationship between school safety and the implementation of these programs. Further study of the implementation methods and quality of implementation is recommended, including influence of other variables not considered by this study (such as student demographic data, students in grades 7-12, and schools where additional funding was not available).


Ed.D. Dissertation