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An evaluation of staff culture during and after a school merger
This qualitative research study sought to evaluate the merger of two schools in terms of the staff members’ pre-merger and post-merger perceptions in an effort to identity best mechanisms in which two schools can successfully merge and create a positive climate among staff following a declining enrollment trend. Participants in the study were veteran staff members who had established collegial relationships and were comfortable with established procedures within their schools prior to the merger. Staff perspectives were obtained by utilizing an online survey that contained both Likert scale and open-ended follow-up questions. Additionally, several staff members participated in personal in-depth interviews. Results showed that teachers who were blended into the new school desired focused leadership, clear school procedures, and collegial time in order to create a common culture. Participant recommendations included bringing in an outside mediator to facilitate staff and department meetings along with providing sufficient time for groups to discuss curriculum and school policies prior to the first day of instruction as a mechanism for fostering unity.