Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) has determined that if a high school student completes freshman year with the necessary course credits to be promoted to tenth grade and has no more than one F for one semester/course in a core content area then they are considered on track to graduate high school within four years and ultimately be college and career ready (Allensworth & Easton, 2005). The CCSR did further research and published a report examining the factors that indicated what a middle grades student would need to be on track as high school freshman (Allensworth, Gwynne, Moore, & de la Torre, 2014). They found that for middle grade students, attendance and grades were a strong indicator of how students would perform in high school. From this research the "on-track" metric was developed for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) elementary schools. Therefore, every five weeks in CPS attendance and grades are reviewed for all students in grades three to eight. In order to be considered on track students must have attendance at 95% or above and receive a C or above in reading and math during that five week period. At the end of the 2014-2015 school year, at one elementary school in Chicago, only 54% of third through eighth grade students are considered to be on track. This means almost half of the students are predicted to not graduate high school within four years of their freshman year. Thus, the purpose of this self-study is to examine how a school principal can decrease the number of students failing reading and math €“ therefore increasing the number of students considered on track to graduate €“ by fostering supportive relationships between teachers and students. Specifically, a teacher mentor program will be implemented in order to provide students with a supportive adult relationship. The principal will examine her own practice through the lens of the five leadership practices identified by Kouzes and Posner (2012): Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Other to Act, and Encourage the Heart.