Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Helen Hazi.


The purpose of this study was to examine the curricular, instructional and administrative practices that teachers and principals used in establishing high expectations from interpretive case studies of selected West Virginia secondary schools. A qualitative research design was used to focus on the specific practices that teachers and principals used at the three sites. The three sites were chosen using purposeful sampling with a unique attribute. The unique attribute was that each school had to have met adequate yearly progress (AYP) for four consecutive years. Data collection included interviews where a semi-structured interview format was used. Included in the data collection were classroom observations, school observations, document collection and field notes. It was the teachers and principals in each building who created the practices of high expectations unique to their values and beliefs. Each building was a microcosm of the community the teachers and principals were members of. Therefore, one unified definition cannot exist because of the lack of unified communities throughout West Virginia. However, this research found the existence of seven commonalities in schools that promoted a culture of high academic achievement and hence high expectations in selected West Virginia secondary schools. The commonalities found in this research were: (1) master schedule, (2) strong professional learning community, (3) course curriculum aligned to the state assessment tool, (4) teachers teaching the prescribed curriculum, (5) strong offering of advanced placement courses, (6) strong parental involvement/support, and (7) time where extra help/extra time is provided.