Non-school Factors

Because children are more than students and they learn in more settings than schools and classrooms, SEELS will examine the non-school factors and experiences in students lives. These might include the following:


A set of potential research questions related to non-school factors appears in Table 7.



Table 7

Potential Research Questions — Non-school Factors


Descriptive Questions

To what extent do students in special education participate in organized group activities at school? In the community?

To what extent do extracurricular activities provide opportunities for inclusion with the general population of students (e.g., scouting) and other community members?

To what extent do students with disabilities and/or their families participate in group activities for children of disabilities (e.g., Special Olympics) and their families (e.g., family support groups, accessing parent information and referral networks)?

Are students with disabilities supervised after school? What are their after school care experiences and needs?

What services and supports do families provide for their children outside of their school programs? E.g., do children have computers at home? Do families arrange for additional related services, beyond the special education program?

To what extent do parents/guardians of students with disabilities participate in and interact with their children’s schools?

To what extent do parents/guardians of students with disabilities engage in activities at home that support the educational and social development of their children?

Comparative and Explanatory Questions

How do non-school factors vary among disability categories and for students with different demographic and household characteristics?

How do non-school factors for students in special education compare with those of students in the general population?

What non-school factors are associated with better outcomes?