Date of Award

Summer 7-28-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Douglas DeVore, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Lisbeth Johnson, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Jonathan Greenberg Ed.D.


Purpose: The purpose of this Delphi study was to identify specific actions that experts perceive are needed for active shooter preparedness for educational facilities, to lower the active shooter incident casualties and injuries in the U.S. K-12 schools. The study also examined the degree of importance for the identified specific actions needed for active shooter preparedness at educational facilities and those actions most likely to be implemented.

Methodology: The research design for this study is utilizing the Delphi technique that provides a systematic process in collecting data of opinions from a panel of experts. The Delphi study includes collecting data from a panel of experts who have the experience and knowledge in relation to active shooter incident preparation and training and were selected by meeting specific selection criterion. The process was completed in three rounds of questionnaires.

Findings: The data collection from the panel of experts resulted in identifying 20 actions that are needed to lower the number of casualties and injuries during an active shooter incident at K-12 schools. Eighteen of the 20 actions had consensus with a high level degree of importance rating of 9 or 10. There were two actions out of 20 that had consensus on a high level of likelihood of implementation.

Conclusion: The literature review and data collection support the conclusion, that active shooter incident training for K-12 school staff, teachers, bus drivers, custodial and cafeteria staff, and students is essential in preparation when facing an active shooter incident. Additionally, this research study supports that lack of active shooter incident preparation may result in loss of lives.

Recommendations for Action: All K-12 school districts must incorporate an effective active shooter incident training for teachers, staff, support staff, law enforcement, and students. For this training to be effective the districts must ensure the training includes scenario-based, drills, lockdown, communications, and first aid levels of training. Complete further research to determine the barriers that prevent school’s from having or completing active shooter incident preparedness training.