Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Pauline Stonehouse


The purpose of this case study was to evaluate the flood recovery process for the Minot Public School District after the devastating Souris River Flood of 2011, and to provide a definitive study of the recovery of a school district after a natural disaster. This study identified the school community's processes involved with financial, emotional, and social aspects of recovery, and identified key players in the recovery process.

The research consisted of nine focus groups; three groups of teachers, three groups of parents, and three groups of community members. Formal interviews were also conducted with community leaders and subject matter experts identified by focus group data. Questions for formal interviews were developed, in part, with input provided during focus group discussions.

The study utilized a qualitative approach to identify (a) the factors of recovery; (b) the key players in the recovery process; and (c) an evaluation of the success of recovery as a whole, as noted by individuals directly affected by the flood. Eight themes developed during analysis of this research: (a) the pre-flood and evacuation period was a traumatic experience and was the first crisis faced by Minot residents directly affected by the flood; (b) the assessment and recovery period was a traumatic experience and was the second crisis faced by Minot residents who were directly affected by the flood; (c) the FEMA Individual Assistance program, while expeditious in nature, received mixed reviews by Minot residents who were directly affected by the flood; (d) the FEMA Public Assistance program was a contentious process subject to intervention by political leaders before consensus could be reached and recovery could begin; (e) crisis management is a collaborative process involving federal, state, and local government, as well as volunteer services from charitable organizations; (f) long-term effects of a natural disaster span far beyond the physical recovery of homes, businesses, and school buildings. The Minot Public School District community was drastically changed as a result of the Souris River Flood of 2011; (g) effective communication has been lacking during all phases of crisis and recovery, and has created a layer of confusion and mistrust throughout the Souris River Valley; and (h) the Souris River Flood of 2011 negatively affected survivors; negative effects have included social, emotional, and financial hardships. The study indicated that pre-flood social, emotional and economic stability, combined with the ability to self-advocate and self-perform during reconstruction were key components in the recovery process.

For the purpose of this study, key stakeholders included: teachers, parents, students, school administrators, school board members, community members, community leaders, and government officials.