Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brocato, D. Kay

Committee Member

Cutts, Qiana M.

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Prince, Debra L.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


School attendance is a major component in the success of a student. School climate is a pivotal factor in why students come to school. The overarching goal of this research project was to determine why students at Hendersonville High School prefer to be absent and what they believe would motivate them to attend school regularly. In order to accomplish this task, quantitative and qualitative research questions were used. Quantitative 1. How do 9th grade students at Hendersonville High School rate items related to academic work and engagement on the HSSSE? 2. How do 9th grade students at Hendersonville High School rate items related to safety and engagement on the HSSSE? 3. How do 9th grade students at Hendersonville High School rate items related to environment and engagement on the HSSSE? Qualitative 1. What is the 9th grade attendance pattern at Hendersonville High School? 2. What are 9th grade students’ perceptions of academic work, safety and environment as they relate to absenteeism? Results of the study showed that teachers use limited method of instruction (lecture only), the student body is punished as a whole for individual actions, lack of art based learning, lack of technology and eating healthier. In the analysis of the focus group respondents survey data, common reasons for boredom included:(1) work not challenging enough, (2) material wasn’t interesting, (3) teaching method not interesting,and (4) half of all focus group respondents stated that a common reason for boredom was no interaction with teacher. Recommendations include the following: professional development opportunities for teachers, developing a new discipline policy for combating issues on an individual basis instead of punishing groups of people. Improving the curriculum to incorporate art based learning through grade levels, and introduce new classes and after school opportunities for students to participate in art based learning. Improve use of and accessibility to technology in the classroom and for individual student use. Improving school breakfast and lunch to include a healthier variety of foods to choose from.



high school||attendance||high performing||engagement||dropout||perceptions