Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Education Specialist


Education, Leadership and Public Service


Educational Administration: Administration and Supervision (MAE)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Bethney Bergh


This qualitative, phenomenological research study was designed to study the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on teacher interactions with students with special needs during the mandatory school closures that took place during March of 2020. This study consisted of seven interviews with special education teachers, from three different districts, located in Menominee and Delta counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Participant responses to interview questions (See Appendix C), revealed six common themes:

  1. Inability to consistently connect with students and a lack of participation amongst students.
  2. Lack of training and no prior online teaching experience.
  3. Lack of available technology and connectivity available for all students.
  4. Lack of ordinary routine and direct instruction.
  5. Academic and emotional regressions in students.
  6. Having resources that align with the online platforms that districts are using

With the findings of this study, school leaders may be able to develop policies that will better serve students with special needs in the event of future long-term school closures.

Access Type

Open Access