Karen Webber-Ndour, Executive Director
· Positive relationships are critical to creating a positive school climate
· 3 types of relationships contribute to the process:
1. Adult-to-Adult Relationships
- Adults should model positive behaviors and interactions to intentionally create positive schools climates
2. Adult-to-Student Relationships
- Students are more likely to attend school when they have positive relationships with a caring adult at school
3. Student-to-Student Relationships
- Positive peer relationships allow for students to feel emotionally and physically safe and, thereby, create a strong peer community within the school
2. Teaching & Learning
· Engaging instruction is at the core of a positive classroom environment
· The inclusion of hands-on student-centered learning helps with student engagement
· Teachers should provide ample supports and opportunities for student success
· Welcoming, well-lit, and clutter free environments that highlight student achievement show an investment in the school and its students
· All buildings can be clean and well-maintained
· A primary goal of school climate is that students and adults feel physically, mentally, and emotionally safe
· School Police and other security personnel should be fully embedded in the school community and actively participating in building a positive school climate.
Climate Report: Quantifying school climate can be difficult but certain data points and surveys can help paint a picture. The Office of Student Support and Safety routinely disseminates school-level Climate Reports showing comparisons across two years of:
· Suspensions – cut in a variety of ways
· Chronic absence
These reports take a snapshot of the school based on the same number of school days for this year and last year.
· School Entrance
· Physical Environment
· Other Aspects of the School Environment
The elements in a school related to relationships, teaching and learning, physical environment and school safety. Each of these components is critical to building a positive school climate.
We learned that City Schools’ students who are chronically absent score lower on standardized tests than their peers who attend regularly. We also learned that students who were suspended even once in an academic year perform substantially below those students who were not suspended. Further, students who were suspended two or more times performed below even those students who were chronically absent (defined as missing more than 20 days in a school year). After reviewing these and other school specific data, thoughtful school climate plans were drafted within individual school climate teams. The solid drop in the number of out of school suspensions district-wide were even lower in the schools that participated in school climate training.