Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Labat, Myron

Committee Member

Tharp, Paula

Committee Member

McMullen, Leigh Ann

Committee Member

Nicholson, Janice I.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Doctoral Capstone - Open Access


P-12 School Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.S.)


College of Education


Department of Teacher Education and Leadership


Educational leaders have long recognized the certified classroom teacher as the most important factor in student performance and success. In his research article Teachers Matter: Understanding Teachers’ Impact on Student Achievement for the Rand Corporation, Opper (2019) stated, “When it comes to student performance on reading and math tests, teachers are estimated to have two to three times the effect of any other school factor, including services, facilities, and leadership” (para. 2). While district and school administrators certainly understand the impact teachers have on student performance, little has been done to mitigate the issue of teacher absenteeism, which has become a growing concern nationwide. In fact, limited research exists regarding successful approaches that have been utilized to curb teacher absenteeism, leaving district and school administrators with little option but to attempt to find their own solutions. One option that districts might consider as a viable solution to decreasing teacher absenteeism is a modified school calendar. While a modified school calendar shortens the summer break, it provides longer breaks at designated intervals, providing more time for teachers to decompress throughout the school year. This quantitative correlational study was conducted to determine the impact the adoption of a modified school schedule with designated breaks after each quarter had on teacher attendance in a rural Mississippi school district. Teacher absentee data from the 2022-2023 school year, which was the first year the school district utilized a modified school calendar, were compared to similar data from the 2018-2019 school year, which was the last full school year unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The research results revealed that the study group of certified teachers employed in both academic years missed more days on the newly adopted modified school schedule compared to the days missed on the traditional schedule previously utilized. Given that many factors such as the time gap created by COVID-19 and the influenza strain that affected teacher attendance for several months during the 2022-2023 school year could have impacted the validity of the study, more research is needed to understand the long-term impact of a modified school calendar on teacher absenteeism.