Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



Committee Chair

Richard James

Committee Member

Pam Cogdal

Committee Member

Chole Lancaster

Committee Member

Steve Zanskas


In recent years, more attention has been focused on crisis management in school settings, attributable in part to a heightening awareness of student mental health and violence in the schools. As such, there are different crisis response models designed for crisis workers to utilize in the event of a school crisis situation that address the needs of students, staff, and other stakeholders. The purpose of this action research study was to conduct an analysis of a local, suburban area District School Crisis Response Team's (DSCRT) model for crisis response in an attempt to produce a lessons learned, best practices approach for school crisis situations. Based upon the purpose of this study, the following questions guided this research:1.What are the strengths and limitations of a local school district model for school crisis response situations?2.How does being involved in a school crisis response impact crisis team members in a professional way? 3.How does being involved in a school crisis response impact crisis team members in a personal way? The research included an investigation of archival data to gain an understanding of team members' perspectives of the local model's crisis response procedures and answer the research questions. The three sources of archival data included the following: survey responses from DSCRT members, field notes from the DSCRT coordinator, and other documents relative to the crisis events of the 2012-2013 school year. Additionally, the researcher explored best practices from different models of school crisis response, including the FEMA model for school emergency response. Data analysis involved the exploration of all archival data in order to generate best practice thematic units in crisis response. The researcher discovered five thematic topics to include the following: Established System, Training Needs, Experiences and Awareness, Personal Thoughts, and Crisis as a Unique Event. Based on the premise of action research, this study sought to not only improve the researcher's practices for crisis response work in future school crisis situations, but also to share lessons leared with colleagues, counseling professionals, and others involved in the work of school crisis response.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.