Prevent Bullying

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 training series that follows the guidelines of The National School Climate Standards and is consistent with the Scientific Research-Based Interventions (SRBI) framework as well as state anti-bullying law. With a solid framework and committee in place, school climate improvement efforts are proven to increase academic achievement, foster connectedness, and enhance the social and emotional well-being of our youth.

Follow the 7-Step Positive School Climate Resource to understand how to change the climate in your school.