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School Climate

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School climate is based on patterns of people’s experiences of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.” 

(National School Climate Council, 2007, p.4)

What Is Positive School Climate?

  • Norms, values, and expectations make students and adults socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically safe.
  • All school community members are engaged and respected.
  • Students, families, and educators work together to achieve shared school vision.
  • Educators model and nurture an attitude emphasizing the benefits of and satisfaction from learning.
  • Each person contributes to school operations and the care of the physical environment.
  • Visitors to the school feel welcomed(Cohen and Elias 2011) 

Why Should We Care About School Climate? 

School climate may be the missing link in promoting school reform and closing the achievement gap (Schindler 2010). Studies have clearly shown that schools with a positive school climate have higher academic achievement (Cohen, 2009; Schindler 2010; NSCC 2012). And when considering the whole learner, school climate impacts a variety of factors that influence learning such as students' emotional health, feelings of safety, attendance, relationships, and motivation. A positive school climate and supportive conditions for learning can:

  • Impact learning and boost academic achievement thus closing gaps
  • Increase graduation rates
  • Decrease teacher turnover
  • Increase teacher satisfaction
  • Turn around low-performing schools (Osher 2012)            ​