Leadership Actions and Organizational Practices to Improve Academic Progress for Students in Temporary Housing

Jennifer Alexander Ade, Fordham University


There’s an old adage, “Children are to be seen and not heard.” But what do you do in the case when students are not seen? They may not be seen due to absences, or they may not be seen due to flying under the radar, but if we believe that all students can learn, then all students must be seen as well as taught with consideration for all special circumstances. This study set out to look at my leadership actions and organizational practices as they impacted the academic progress of the unhoused student. The goal was to study the decisions that ensure that these students are seen, heard, and educated, with access to what they need to succeed in school. This case study chronicles the use of Improvement Science to tackle the problem of unhoused students not making adequate academic progress, beginning with a PDSA cycle for attendance. The students were paired with mentors to improve their attendance by building a relationship and a connection to the school. In the second PDSA cycle, teachers were taken through a series of professional development sessions to understand differentiated instruction for the advancement of unhoused students. This case study’s findings emphasize the importance of the entire school community collectively working towards improvement goals. Whether it’s the community working together to mentor chronically absent students or teachers collaboratively planning lessons for differentiated instruction, one thing is certain: collaboration is paramount for success. Leadership must make space for ownership, creativity, and teacher efficacy to rise to the surface.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Elementary education|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Alexander Ade, Jennifer, "Leadership Actions and Organizational Practices to Improve Academic Progress for Students in Temporary Housing" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30527687.