Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Dianne Renn


This mixed methods study examines trauma in elementary school children and the need for a relationship to maximize their learning opportunities. Check-in/Check-out is a Tier Two intervention that was used to prioritize behavioral goals, maximize the relationship based on a less-than five minute meeting between the student and the Check-in/Check-out mentor at different points in the day, and provide daily feedback to parents. Within the meeting, the teacher and the student reflect on how the day is going, how the student has met their goal or what needed to be done to meet their goal, all based on positive comments. Check-in/Check-out gave students an opportunity to have a caring adult, who was not their teacher, interact with them and assist with communication to families. The result is often improved behavior in the class. With students understanding their goals and how to achieve them, which often leads to improved academics, there are advances within the classroom with behavior and academics. The purpose of the study is to gain a better understanding of trauma, given its prevalence within our schools, understand how an intervention such as Check-in/Check-out can assist both students and teachers, and understand how teachers view professional development, as supported through a book study. Centering on Check-in/Check-Out, a Tier II intervention, in conjunction with professional development through a book study, Help for Billy, teachers and staff will understand why making relationships the center of learning are important with students who have experienced trauma. Relationships and understanding are at the forefront in supporting all. Professional development regarding trauma and trauma-informed strategies were something that teachers continue to explore through weekly professional development and the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) structure provided. Implementing a book study, Help for Billy, offered staff an opportunity to understand trauma through a different mindset, reflect on individual students, and make plans for future classes all while participating in collaborative presentations during a pandemic. The findings of this study has implications on how CheckIn/Check-Out is utilized within buildings, how relationships are enhanced, and perceived perceptions of professional development.

KEY WORDS: trauma, mindset, CICO, professional development, relationships, elementary


Imported from McGowan_ilstu_0092E_11871.pdf


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