Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca, EdD

Second Supervisor

Casey van Harssel, EdD


The purpose of this study was to examine educators’ perspectives on implementing an inclusive curriculum in suburban high schools. This qualitative research study applied phenomenology through focus groups consisting of district-level and building-level administrators, along with suburban high school teachers. Participants were selected through purposive sampling. Though the suburbs are becoming increasingly diverse (Frey, 2011; Frey 2022a), suburban high schools lack consistency in implementing inclusive curriculum measures (Ayscue, 2016). In recent years, both federal and state legislatures have directed public schools to diversify their practices. One recent implementation in the New York State Education Department (NYSED) was the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework (NYSED, 2018). District leaders, building leaders, and teachers lack direction and confidence in navigating the implementation of such practices (Ezzani, Munn, & Lee, 2021). At the same time, teachers must grapple with their own struggles to meaningfully engage with and instruct content rooted in diversity (Hill-Jackson et al., 2022). The findings from this study revealed: suburban school districts lack structures to support curriculum implementation; suburban high school educators believe students are ready for inclusive curricula and, although opposition is minimal, it is impactful. This research will help guide NYSED in supporting inclusive curricula implementation. The findings will also support leaders at all levels in school districts to consistently implement inclusive curricula.

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