Date Approved

6-27-2019

Embargo Period

8-5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Special Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Shuff, Margaret

Second Advisor

Kuder, Sydney J.

Third Advisor

Accardo, Amy

Subject(s)

High school attendance; Teenagers with disabilities

Disciplines

Secondary Education | Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to see if an added layer of communication could reduce the absenteeism rate for Students with Disabilities (SWD). Additionally, the study looked at two areas of interest with regards to communicating with parents and/or guardians (i.e., type of contact and tone of the message being conveyed). The study began by obtaining a list of juniors and sophomores who had missed 10% or more of school for the first 41 days of the 2018-19 school year. The list was then randomly assigned by grade into three groups (i.e., Control, Treatment 1, and Treatment 2). Each group had 10 students identified for the study. The two treatment groups were then further randomized into subgroups for negative and positive tone narratives.

The high school where this study was conducted, had a total enrollment of about 1800 students at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. Additionally, of those 1800 students, approximately 285 were classified as a SWD. The following research questions to be answered were: 1. Will SWD have better attendance with the added layer of communication (i.e., robocall or text group) compared to those that do not (i.e., Control group)? 2. Will SWD have better attendance when receiving a positive robocall or text message compared to those receiving a negative robocall or text message?

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