Educational Administration, Department of


First Advisor

Kent Mann

Date of this Version

Summer 6-27-2019


Levos, A. (2019). Addressing the needs of high school English learners through inclusion in general education classrooms: a descriptive case study of a midwestern metropolitan public school district. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Kent Mann. Lincoln, Nebraska: June 2019

Copyright 2019 Amanda L. Levos


English Learners (EL) and those students’ redesignated language proficient, or more accurately described as emergent bilingual or multilingual learners; make up a significant subset of the student population of high schools throughout the country. ELs may be vulnerable to academic failure in core academic subject areas due to limited language proficiency and potential gaps in formal education. Every school district creates a continuum of services to educate students at various levels of English language acquisition, which more than likely will include inclusion in the general education classroom. The challenge for districts is ensuring that general education teachers have the knowledge, skills, and systemic supports to implement inclusive practices and address the needs of ELs. At the high school level, the impact of English Learners passing their core classes results in whether or not they meet the minimum requirements for high school graduation.

This descriptive case study is designed to examine the implementation of inclusive practices as part of the Language Instruction Educational Program for English Learners (ELs) in a high school at a selected Midwestern metropolitan public school district. What makes this dissertation study unique is that it was completed in tandem by two researchers, one focused on middle schools and one at a high school in the same school district. The experiences and perceptions of general education classroom teachers, EL specialists, and administrators from the middle school campus, grades six through eight and the high school, grades nine through twelve, were collected to describe the current realities of the implementation of inclusive practice to address the needs of ELs.

This study describes the complexity of the issue and guides educational professionals to develop or revise their processes that address meeting the needs of ELs through inclusive practices in the general education classroom. It also identifies themes that support the English Learners’ transition from middle school to high school and the prospective alignment of school district EL services.

Adviser: Kent Mann