Document Type

Honors Thesis


Child Development and Family Relations


Julie DellaMattera

Committee Members

Margo Brown, Sid Mitchell, William Dee Nichols, Jennie Woodard

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


Student handbooks from public preschools in the state of Maine were collected to analyze what behavior expectations, disciplinary actions, suspension policies, expulsion policies were included, and to what degree of detail these policies were explained in student handbooks. A document analysis framework was utilized to collect and interpret the data. The document analysis framework has two different content analysis techniques, and a content analysis technique was utilized to determine the number of times specific words or phrases were utilized in each of the 72 student handbooks. Key terms were chosen in order to quantify the frequency of words used in these handbooks, and whether or not these key terms provided adequate information regarding the behavior expectations and disciplinary actions of preschool aged children. These key terms include: behavior expectations, code of conduct, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Physical Restraint and Seclusion - Policy JKAA, disciplinary action, suspension, and expulsion.

Based on the content analysis technique, there is no continuity amongst public preschool student handbooks in the state of Maine was found regarding behavior expectations, disciplinary actions, suspension policies, and expulsion policies. Further reform of these policies is needed in order to frame a positive learning environment for young children in order for them to succeed in the academic setting.