Consolidation of Two Parochial Elementary Schools: An Analysis of the Effect of the Decision-Making Process on Teachers
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Augenstein, John J.
This was a replicated study. The original study was done by Dr. Lois King Draina in 1985. It presented an account of the consolidation of two parochial elementary schools in the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia. One recommendation was that a similar study be done one year after the consolidation instead of Dr. Draina's three year gap. This research considered the consolidation of two parochial elementary schools in a Midwestern Diocese. Both studies focused on the decision-making process resulting in consolidation and explicated the non-involvement of teachers in the process. Finally, they looked at the decision-making process and its effect on the teacher's decision to remain a part of or not to remain a part of the consolidated school. Print data sources provided information regarding the decision-making used in the consolidation. Teachers were sent a list of questions prior to an in-depth interview. That data was recorded, transcribed, and coded by content and thematic analysis. Two judges validated the findings. The consolidation was done with two parochial elementary schools and the decision-making process was hierarchical in nature. The Diocesan Bishop made the final decision based on the recommendation of the Joint Steering Committee. This committee had voting members from each parish in addition to non-voting subcommittee members. As a result, consolidation was one of many tools that could assist in fostering the continuance of Catholic education. Consolidation was chosen as the tool to foster continued Catholic education. Following the consolidation vote, attention shifted to the educational area of implementation. A School Board was set up, a principal was hired, and the interview process of teachers began. The Catholic Church does not provide for teacher involvement in the decision-making process. Most of the time teachers were employees of the parish rather than vested/interested members of the parish. The findings showed a need for better communication, that most teachers wanted to remain with the consolidated school, and personal involvement in the decision-making would have affected some teacher's decisions to remain.