Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jared Schlenker


The goal of this qualitative flexible design research study was to discover if North Dakota should revise North Dakota PK-12 school calendar requirements for the academic and social-emotional development of students. Innovative reforms that might be beneficial in revising the North Dakota school calendar were researched. A literature review was completed which included relevant, and current (at the time of this study), research about school calendar revisions both nationally and internationally. This research may be a useful guideline of what would be an appropriate amount of time students should spend in school to benefit students both academically and socially-emotionally. Data was collected and analyzed through an open-ended narrative survey of North Dakota school superintendents, principals, and teachers. Participants in this study included superintendents, principals, and teachers from within North Dakota. North Dakota administrators and teachers provided their perceptions about making changes to school calendars in North Dakota. Although only 21 responded out of the 444 who were recruited, information they provided was beneficial in providing some insight into what educators within North Dakota believed about school calendar changes. Over half (52%) the respondents felt more hours should be required for elementary students in North Dakota. Only 20% of respondents felt the required hours should be increased for Grades 7-12. One innovative idea was to not require a specific number of hours, but to personalize the time required in school to the learner. The literature review revealed the concept of a modified year-round school year is a revision that has research to back up its effectiveness. Most respondents (74%) were not in favor of a modified year-round school calendar in North Dakota. Reasons provided for not pursuing a modified year-round school calendar were based on family and community needs, teachers wanting their summers off, family vacations, and other activities students may be involved in.