Investigating School District Resilience and the Impact of Hurricane Exposure on Student Outcomes

This Rapid Response Research (RAPID) project is an exploratory mixed methods study investigating the impact of vulnerability and resilience in the recovery of North Carolina schools affected by both Hurricanes Florence (2018) and Matthew (2016). Specifically, the study assesses whether schools that were impacted by both storms used organizational learning strategies to recover faster than schools that were impacted by either Hurricane Florence or Matthew alone.

Award Number: 
1904156
Funding Period: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 to Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Full Description: 

North Carolina has experienced 11 major disasters due to hurricanes or tropical storms over the past 20 years. Moreover, one tropical cyclone has hit the state every two years since 1851. Although natural disasters are frequent, efforts to understand and support public schools' responses to such disasters are rare. This Rapid Response Research (RAPID) project is an exploratory mixed methods study investigating the impact of vulnerability and resilience in the recovery of North Carolina schools affected by both Hurricanes Florence (2018) and Matthew (2016). Specifically, the study assesses whether schools that were impacted by both storms used organizational learning strategies to recover faster than schools that were impacted by either Hurricane Florence or Matthew alone. The project pursues three research questions: (1) What characteristics predict school district resilience? (2) How does prior disaster experience aid/hinder a resilient recovery? (3) Do students in resilient districts show less learning loss or rebound from learning loss more quickly?

This mixed methods project will involve interviews, focus groups and surveys with school and district personnel in a purposive sample of 15 districts across North Carolina that were heavily impacted by both storms and those that were affected by only one. These qualitative data will be used to derive markers of resilience that will then be used in quantitative analyses. Quantitative comparisons of state-wide data on student outcomes (e.g., achievement, attendance) will also be made across three kinds of districts: those that were affected by both storms, those that were affected by only one storm and those that were not affected at all. Quantitative data will be taken from an existing longitudinal database that includes individual student characteristics, attendance, suspensions and academic performance for all students in North Carolina. The purposive sampling of 15 districts in North Carolina allows for a novel comparison of impact, recovery and organizational learning across two disasters and over time. Disasters can create an opportunity for organizational change leading to greater resiliency in future crises; however, little extant research has focused on whether and how schools recover and remain resilient in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as hurricanes. This project can benefit schools in crisis by providing lessons learned and a roadmap for action to schools that are singularly and repeatedly impacted by natural disasters.

Posts

There is no content in this group.