Guide to School Climate Improvement
School climate refers to the quality and character of school life – as created by the community of people involved. It reflects their experiences, values, beliefs, relationships, teaching practices, and physical surroundings which affect the attitudes, behaviors and performance of the school community. The climate can be thought of as what you feel when you walk into a place for the first time. Does it feel socially, emotionally and physically welcoming?
School climate improvement involves a cultural change affecting each level of the school community. This requires the efforts of teachers, administrators, counselors and other non-teaching staff (such as bus drivers, nurses, school resource officers, custodians, cafeteria workers and school librarians), parents and students. Schools not only need to make time for school climate work amid competing priorities, but also must drive a paradigm shift in terms of gaining a critical mass of staff and student buy-in; and implementing a complex set of policies and practices including training staff and administering a school-wide survey.
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership aides schools in building capacity for school climate efforts through the Capacity-Building for School Climate Improvement and Bullying Prevention