Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Educational Administration


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Kern, Robert


Ann A. Mullen Middle School (Sicklerville, N.J.); School management and organization


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of staff morale and student achievement levels through the formation of a professional learning community at the Ann A. Mullen Middle School in Sicklerville, New Jersey.

The project involved an analysis of the current school culture through small group and individual interviews, a survey, and an examination of the most recent standardized test scores. The researcher involved the entire staff in the creation of a shared mission statement as well as a shared vision statement to form the building blocks of a professional learning community. Teacher study groups were formed, staff meetings focused on group activities and professional development opportunities, and department goals were created.

The researcher has concluded in this study, that the development of a professional learning community is critical to the success of school improvement. As staff members collaborate, share a common mission and vision, and develop goals to move toward that vision, staff morale improves and there is a common focus on student and staff learning.