Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Johnson, Theodore


Science Preparation Alliance of Rutgers and Camden; Magnet schools--New Jersey


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to measure covenantal climate within a magnet high school, and to determine if specific professional development (Project SPARC) enhanced staff commitment to the magnet school's focus. The Royal and Rossi Measures of Sense of Community were administered in the form of a questionnaire to all staff within the school both before and after Project SPARC was offered as a professional development program during the summer of 2001.

The questionnaires consisted of sixty-four statements requiring Likert-type responses. Data were grouped according to length of respondent membership on the staff of the school as well as participation or non-participation in SPARC.

The results of the two surveys were compared and revealed a significant increase in the sense of community after SPARC, but more importantly, the survey structure provided a blueprint to pinpoint weaknesses within the school community. Staff members were encouraged to dialogue through School Management Team meetings, PAC Team meetings and other teacher collaboratives. Issues concerning work groups; interactions between departments and grade levels; student recruitment and behaviors; and individual responsibility of administrators, staff, students, and parents were discussed with the ultimate goal of strengthening the mission of the school and the commitment of all stakeholders.