The effects of school attendance zone changes on high school students' attitude toward school, academic achievement, attendance, and participation in extracurricular activities

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This study investigates the effect on high school students' attitude toward school, on their academic achievement, on their attendance, and on their participation in extracurricular activities when they have been forced to transfer schools because of changes in school attendance zones. Four hundred four randomly selected high school students from four groups were surveyed in four of Virginia Beach's seven high schools. These four groups were divided as follows:

Group I Students who were forced to transfer schools

Group II Students who elected to choose junior/senior option in order to remain in their 1982-83 schools

Group III Students who were not affected by the attendance zone changes and remained in their 1982-83 schools

Group IV Students who transferred into Virginia Beach City Schools from outside the city

To determine the effect on attitude, the students were administered an Attitude Toward School Survey. An analysis of variance between the mean scores of the four groups was utilized to determine significant differences among the groups. An Extracurricular Activities Participation Questionnaire was administered to students and an attendance and grade point average worksheet was completed by school personnel to measure the other effects. The results from these instruments were analyzed by the analysis of covariance procedure in order to determine significant differences. In those instances where significant differences were found, the means of the groups were further analyzed by a multiple range test.

Results indicated that no significant differences in student academic achievement, attendance, or participation in extracurricular activities were found among the four groups. There were significant differences, however, in attitude toward school among the various groups. The differences in this area resulted in those groups of students who were forced to transfer schools, either from within or from outside of Virginia Beach, having a less positive attitude toward school than those groups of students who chose the junior/senior option plan or who were not affected by the attendance zone changes.