Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




co-curricular, at-risk, secondary school, labour disruption, adaptive leadership


Students enrolled in publicly funded schools in Ontario are representative of diverse backgrounds, abilities and experiences. For students representing the most at-risk populations, schools provide supports both within and outside of the classroom which support their development and provide opportunities which would otherwise be inaccessible due to financial or other personal constraints. Many of these opportunities are made possible through the volunteer efforts of school staff. This means however, that the co-curricular activities provided through volunteer efforts are themselves at risk as they are not contractually obligated provisions. During and following contract negotiations, which may result in labour disruptions or stoppages, co-curricular activities are vulnerable to reduction.

This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) examines the challenges faced by a large, urban school which has demonstrated a decline in co-curricular offerings following two recent labour negotiations processes and seeks to identify methods to re-engage staff in co-curricular opportunities for students. The students enrolled have a demonstrated need for support as they are representative of a significantly at-risk population. With the examination and consideration of both political and organizational history, this OIP will outline the challenges associated with and possible solutions to the identify problem of practice. Using publicly available data as well as existing internal data sources, the case for the need to support students through co-curricular activities at this school is outlined. Based upon this demonstrated need, a plan for organizational change is outlined which is rooted in educational leadership theory and established frameworks of organizational change. This plan seeks to resolve the identified problem of practice and to re-establish co-curricular activities as part of the organizational culture of the identified school.