Date of Award



© 2020 Matthew C. Ferreira

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Gizelle Luevano

Second Advisor

Patrick Manuel

Third Advisor

Caroline Arakelian


COVID-19 resulted in many changes worldwide in how humans and organizations interact and operate. One such significant adjustment was the closure and transition from a classroom instruction model to a remote instruction model across the United States. The purpose of this descriptive case study was to explore student achievement, teacher preparation and instructional hours, and student attendance levels for grades kindergarten through eighth grade (K-8) at four schools in a single school district. The study examined these datasets at a school administrative unit (SAU) comprising of three terms during the 2019-20 school year, comparing pre-COVID-19 levels with post-COVID-19 levels. The overarching research question for this case study was to explore how abruptly moving to a fully online learning environment affects student achievement and assessment, teacher work hours, and student attendance. The study examined four K-8 schools with a total population of 1,370 students, 75 core content teachers and 20 unified arts teachers. The findings supported the hypothesis that there would be no difference in student achievement between terms one through two and term three as measured by competency grades based on curriculum standards. However, the traditional assessment grades did see an increase from terms one through two compared to term three. Further, teachers reported working fewer hours per week in term three. Finally, the student absences increased in term three. There are a few practical recommendations to improve an abrupt change from a traditional in-person instructional model to an online instructional model in the event of crisis. Equity is a concern for vulnerable groups and can be addressed with the provision of internet, computing devices, and meals. Further, follow-up with student guardians and implementation of a non-punitive grading and assessment system can mitigate equity issues. The researcher suggests that further qualitative research is necessary to understand full implications of a crisis-induced transition from in-person to online learning. Additional insight into why teachers worked fewer hours, students attended class less regularly, and if/why teachers adjusted grading and assessment may prove beneficial.


Ed.D. Dissertation