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Interventions to Promote A Positive School Climate Creating a Climate for Learning and Safety Robin J. Morrison Instructional Supervisor Division of Special Education Clinical Behavioral Services Clemson University National Dropout Prevention Center

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Title: Interventions to Promote A Positive School Climate Creating a Climate for Learning and Safety Robin J. Morrison Instructional Supervisor Division of Special Education Clinical Behavioral Services Clemson University National Dropout Prevention Center


1
Interventions to Promote A Positive School
ClimateCreating a Climate for Learning and
SafetyRobin J. MorrisonInstructional
SupervisorDivision of Special EducationClinical
Behavioral ServicesClemson University National
Dropout Prevention Center for Students with
Disabilities
2
Interventions to Promote A Positive School
ClimateCreating a Climate for Learning and
SafetyDr. Sandra Covington SmithM-DCPS
National Coordinator Coordinator of Technical
Assistance and Training Senior Research
AssociateClemson UniversityNational Dropout
Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities
3
School Climate
  • Conceptualizing School Climate
  • Importance, Organization, and Composition
  • Meaningful
  • Functional

4
School ClimateOrganization and Composition
  • Values
  • Norms
  • Beliefs
  • Sentiments
  • Practices
  • Social Interactions



  • National Research Council
  • Institute of
    Medicine



  • of the National Academies

5
School ClimateOrganization and Composition
  • Atmosphere
  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Morale
  • School Morale
  • School Ethos



  • National Research Council
  • Institute of
    Medicine



  • of the National Academies

6
School ClimateOrganization and Composition
  • Community
  • Democracy
  • Ethic of Caring
  • Students attachment to school and their academic
    and behavioral/social achievement are contingent
    on first satisfying teachers and students
    social and personal needs


  • National Research Council
  • Institute of
    Medicine



  • of the National Academies

7
  • Measuring School Climate
  • Importance of understanding perceptions of school
    experience through the eyes of
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Issues of
  • Safety and social relationships
  • Conducive environment for working/learning (often
    times a therapeutic milieu)
  • Experiences in the classroom
  • Example survey findings in Baltimore
  • www.baltimorecityschools.org/Student_Performance/I
    nstitutional_Research/index.asp

8
The Center For Social and Emotional Education
  • School climate refers to the quality and
    character of school life as it relates to norms
    and values, interpersonal relations and social
    interactions, and organizational processes and
    structures.
  • School climate sets the tone for all the learning
    and teaching done in the school environment and,
    as research proves, it is predictive of students
    ability to learn and develop in healthy ways.
  • Research proves that a positive school climate
    directly impacts telling indicators of success
    such as increased teacher retention, lower
    dropout rates, decreased incidences of violence,
    and higher student achievement.

9
The Center For Social and Emotional Education
  • School climate refers to the quality and
    character of school life.
  • School climate is based on patterns of students',
    parents' and school personnel's experience of
    school life and reflects norms, goals, values,
    interpersonal relationships, teaching and
    learning practices, and organizational structures.

10
The Center For Social and Emotional Education
  • A sustainable, positive school climate fosters
    youth development and learning necessary for a
    productive, contributing and satisfying life in a
    democratic society.
  • This climate includes Norms, values and
    expectations that support people feeling
    socially, emotionally and physically safe.

11
The Center For Social and Emotional Education
  • People are engaged and respected.
  • Students, families and educators work together to
    develop, live and contribute to a shared school
    vision.
  • Educators model and nurture attitudes that
    emphasize the benefits and satisfaction gained
    from learning.
  • Each person contributes to the operations of the
    school and the care of the physical environment.
  • (This definition of school climate and a
    positive, sustained school climate were
    consensually developed by the National School
    Climate Council that CSEE co-leads with the
    Education Commission of the States.)
    www.schoolclimate.org

12
Activity 1School Climate Improvement
EffortsOrganization and Composition
  • How would you summarize your schools past and
    current bully prevention and/or school climate
    improvement efforts?
  • What has been most successful?
  • What has been most challenging?
  • Please review your schools mission and/or vision
    statements. Consider to what extent current
    instructional and school improvement efforts are
    or are not aligned with the mission and vision
    statements. Describe.
  • How would you rate the level of trust shared
    between you and your students? Colleagues? Some
    school communities have worked to establish
    higher levels of trust and collaborative problem
    solving abilities and others are colored by a
    culture of blame and distrust. These experiences
    color and shape our ability to improve school
    climate!



  • Key recommendations to remember.

13
School Climate Improvement EffortsOrganization
and Composition
  • Activity 1 Answer
    Sheet

14
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15
Background on Research on Importance of School
Climate
  • Educators have recognized the importance of
    school climate for a hundred years (A. Perry, The
    Management of a City School, New York
    MacMillan). However, it was not until the 1950s
    that educators began to systemically study school
    climate. The development of scientifically sound
    school climate assessment tools spurred a
    research tradition that grows to this day.

16
Introduction to Importance of School Climate
  • Over the last two decades, there has been a
    growing appreciation that school climate, the
    quality, and character of school life, fosters
    or undermines childrens development, learning,
    and achievement. Research confirms what teachers
    and parents have claimed for decades a safe and
    supportive school environment, in which student
    have positive social relationships and are
    respected, engaged in their work, and feel
    competent, matters.

17
Definition of School Climate
  • School climate refers to the quality and
    character of school life. It is based on
    patterns of school life experiences and reflects
    norms, goals, values, interpersonal
    relationships, teaching, learning and leadership
    practices, and organizational structures.
  • A sustainable, positive school climate fosters
    youth development and learning necessary for a
    productive, contributing, and satisfying life in
    a democratic society. This climate includes
    norms, values, and expectations that support
    people feeling socially, emotionally, and
    physically safe.
  • People are engaged and respected. Students,
    families, and educators work together to develop,
    live, and contribute to a shared school vision.
  • Educators model and nurture attitudes that
    emphasize the benefits and satisfaction gained
    from learning. Each person contributes to the
    operations of the school and the care of the
    physical environment (A. Perry, ibid.).

18
Benefits of Supportive School Climate
  • Moreover, when such activities are presented in a
    supportive and collaborative learning
    environment, they encourage students to build
    upon one anothers ideas in productive and
    engaging ways. (K. Wentzel and D. Watkins, Peer
    Relationships and Collaborative Learning as
    Contexts for Academic Enablers, in School
    Psychology Review, vol. 31, no. 3, 2002, pp.
    366-367.) Together, the experience realistically
    represents the social situation that they may
    find themselves part of in the greater civil
    society. (A. Bandura, Social Cognitive Theory
    An Agentic Perspective, Annual Review
    Psychology, vol. 52, 2001, pp. 1-26 Power, et
    al., 1989 J. Torney-Purta, R. Lehmann, H.
    Oswald, W. Schulz, Citizenship and Education in
    Twenty-Eight Countries, Amsterdam International
    Association for the Evaluation of Education
    Achievement, 2001.)

19
Benefits of a Supportive School Climate
(Continued)
  • In an overlapping manner, positive school climate
    promotes cooperative learning, group cohesion,
    respect, and mutual trust. (G. Ghaith, The
    relationship between forms of instruction,
    achievement and perceptions of classroom
    climate, Educational Researcher, vol. 45, no. 1,
    2003 pp. 83-93 D. Kerr, E. Ireland, J. Lopes, et
    al., Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study
    Second Annual Report First longitudinal Study,
    England National Foundation for Educational
    Research, 2004, pp. 1-154 C. Finnan, K. Schnepel
    and L. Anderson, Powerful learning environments
    The critical link between school and classroom
    cultures, Journal of Education for Students
    Placed at Risk, vol. 8, no. 4, 2003, pp. 391-418).

20
Benefits of a Supportive School Climate
(Continued)
  • Positive school climate, by definition, is
    characterized by strong collaborative learning
    communities.
  • Research shows that this improves teacher
    practice as well as student learning through
    dialogue and collaboration around engaging
    classroom instruction. (R. Marzano, The Art and
    Science of Teaching A Comprehensive Framework
    for Effective Instruction, Alexandria, VA
    Association for Curriculum and Supervision
    Development, 2007 National Association of
    Secondary School Principals, Breaking Ranks II
    Strategies for Leading High School Reform,
    Reston, VA, 2004.)

21
Benefits of a Supportive School Climate
(Continued)
  • In other words, when student, in partnership with
    educators and parents, work to improve school
    climate they promote essential learning skills
    (e.g., creativity and innovation skills, critical
    thinking and problem-solving skills,
    communication and collaborative skills) as well
    as life and career skills (e.g., flexibility and
    adaptability, initiative, social and
    cross-culture skills, productivity and
    accountability, leadership and responsibility)
    that provide the foundation for 21st century
    learning. (Partnership for 21st Century Skills,
    Learning for the 21st century A report and mile
    guide for 21st century skills, 2002,
    www.21stcenturyskills.org, accessed November 10,
    2007 Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Beyond
    the Three Rs Voter Attitudes toward 21st
    Century Skills, 2007, www.21stcenturyskills.org,
    accessed November 10, 2007.)

22
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23
School Climate
  • Upon Further Examination

24
School Climate Indicators
  • Students are most engaged when the physical and
    social context promotes safety, provides
    structure, and opportunities for youth to develop
    new skills in the context of warm, supportive
    relationships, and promotes positive social
    norms.
  • Students need support from the people with whom
    they interact and trust.
  • Each dimension of school climate should allow for
    meaningful and functional academic, emotional,
    and social engagement, as well as success!

25
Activity 2Identifying the Indicators of School
Climate Within Your School
  • 12 Dimensions of School Climate Measured
  • Review and reflect upon the information received
    thus far.
  • Clearly define each of the indicators according
    to the twelve dimensions listed. Come to a
    consensus as a team. Record your teams responses
    in the major indicators columns. Answers will be
    reported to the group aloud.

26
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27
Accessed 4/16/10 from http//www.schoolclimate.org
/programs/csci.php
28
The Indicators of School Climate
  • Taking A Closer Look
  • Assessing School Climate and
  • Making Relevant Connections

29
Indicators of School Climate
Safety
Teaching and Learning
30
Indicators of School Climate
Interpersonal Relationships
Teaching and Learning
Adapted from J. Cohen, T. Pickeral, and M.
McCloskey, The Challenge of Assessing School
Climate, Educational Leadership 66, no. 44
(2009).
31
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32
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33
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34
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35
Evidence-based Education and Traditional Teaching
and Learning
  • When evidenced-based social, emotional, and
    ethical education is integrated into traditional
    teaching and learning, educators can hone the
    essential academic and social skills,
    understanding, and dispositions that support
    effective participation in a democracy.
  • There are two core processes that promote
    childrens school success and health development
    (a) promoting childrens social-emotional
    competencies and ethical dispositions throughout
    their pre-K-2 school experience, and (b) creating
    safe, caring, participatory, and responsive
    school systems and homes. I use the term
    social, emotional, ethical and academic
    education (SEEAE) as shorthand for sustained
    preK-12 programmatic efforts that integrate and
    coordinate these pedagogic and systemic
    dimensions.

36
Exploring the Aims of Education within the
Context of School Climate
  • What do we really want our children to have
    accomplished when they graduate from high school?
  • Educational philosophers have answered these
    questions in a variety of ways, ranging from
    national prosperity, to managerial efficiency, to
    individual happiness (Dunne and Hogan, 2004
    Marples, 1999 Noddings, 2003).
  • Parents tend to answer this question in a more
    consistent manner. For example, the 2000 Phi
    Delta Kappa/Gallup poll found that over the past
    thirty-two years, Americans have said the single
    most important purpose of public schooling was to
    prepare people to become responsible citizens
    (Rose and Gallup, 2000).

37
Creating a Climate for Learning and Safety
  • Systemic intervention to create a safe, caring,
    and responsive school climate is the unifying
    goal for evidence-based work in this area, as it
    provides the platform upon which we teach and
    learn.

38
Perceptions of School Climate
  • When students as well as parents, educators, and
    community members walk into a school, they
    quickly begin to form judgments about the
    experience of living and working in that school.
  • Will this school help to motivate my child to do
    well academically and learn to be a life-long
    learner?
  • How safe is the school?
  • Is the physical environment (e.g., temperature,
    cleanliness, size) supportive of learning?
  • How respected and connected do students feel?

39
Perceptions of School Climate
  • Are teachers and students engaged in interesting
    and meaningful work?
  • Is there a culture of intellectual rigor?
  • To what extent are people in the school promoting
    the social, civic, emotional and ethical as well
    as cognitive skills and dispositions that provide
    the foundation for learning and effective
    participation in a democracy?
  • The ways in which groups of students, parents,
    and school personnel answer these questions
    reflect group norms and values that have a
    profound impact in creating or undermining a
    climate for learning.

40
Gap Between Research and Policy Re School
Climate
  • The critical gap in research and policy in terms
    of school climate is a result of several
    problems (L. McCabe, J. Cohen, and T. Pickeral,
    School Climate On the Gap between Research and
    Policy, submitted for publication,2007.)
  • The first major problem is inconsistency and
    inaccuracy in terms of school climate definition
  • Second, while there are superior options, state
    policymakers have made poor choices in terms of
    school climate measurement at the state level.
  • The third problem is a lack of defined
    climate-related leadership at the state level.
  • Fourth, many states continue to isolate school
    climate polity in heath, special education and
    school safety arenas, without integrating it into
    school accountability policies, or the beliefs of
    the community at large.
  • Finally, many states have not yet created quality
    or improvement standards, which can easily link
    data to improvement plans and technical
    assistance.

41
Policy and Practice
  • This situation presents many questions for policy
    and practice and teacher education leaders
  • What policy options are available for state
    policymakers and education leaders to ensure
    school climate is a critical component of
    accountability and school improvement systems?
  • How can we integrate research-based information
    about school climate into the preparation and
    credentialing of teachers, school-based mental
    health professionals, and school administrators?
  • What are the basic components of research-based
    school climate improvement efforts?
  • How can building, district and state school
    leaders learn from one another to further
    research and understanding about effective school
    climate improvement efforts?

42
Guiding Principles
  • School climate is an essential element of
    successful schools to promote student
    achievement, preparation for democratic life and
    preparation to be successful in the 21st century
    workplace.
  • School climate evaluations need to be carried out
    with tools that have being developed in a
    scientifically sound manner and are comprehensive
    in the following two ways (1) K-12 student,
    parent, and school personnel voice is
    recognized and (2) all of the major dimensions
    of school life (e.g., safety, relationships,
    teaching, and learning, the (external)
    environment) are assessed.

43
Guiding Principles (Continued)
  • Comprehensive school climate assessment provides
    data that should be used as a springboard for
    community-wide understanding, school improvement
    planning, and implementation efforts as well as
    accountability. Currently, there are
    research-based guidelines that recognize the
    unique nature of each schools history,
    strengths, needs and goals, and provide
    benchmarks and a road map for school improvement
    efforts.
  • School personnel, whether they are aware or not,
    are school climate leaders. Students, parents,
    and community leaders naturally follow their
    lead. Therefore, emphasis on school personnel
    training in classroom and school climate is
    pivotal for educational reform.

44
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45
The Effects of School Climate
46
Effects of School Climate on Engagement and
Learning
  • Shared value system that pervades the school and
    derives from a shared history
  • Common agenda for school members involving
    coursework, activities, rituals, and traditions
    that function as a unifying factor
  • Ethic of caring that permeates relations among
    students and staff and between staff and students

47
A Positive School Climate
  • Increases academic engagement
  • Increases behavioral engagement
  • Increases cognitive engagement
  • Increases psychological engagement
  • Increases social engagement

48
A Positive School Climate
  • Assists in increasing SCHOOL COMPLETION
  • Increases attendance
  • Increases prosocial behavior
  • Increases academic competence
  • Increases student engagement
  • Increases parent engagement

49
A Positive School Climate
  • Increases the holding power of our classrooms
  • Increases the holding power of our hallways
  • Increases the holding power of our schools,
    universally
  • Increases the holding power of our communities
  • Assists in decreasing the drop out rates for
    Students with Disabilities!

50
Organized schools should share a common mission
  • Staff and students interact outside the classroom
  • Teachers see themselves as responsible for
    students total development and success in
    partnership with families, not just for the
    transmission of lessons
  • Teachers share responsibility for students
    academic success, often exchanging information
    and coordinating efforts between classrooms and
    across grades

51
Organized schools should share a common mission
  • Adults must belief and set high expectations for
    all students based on their abilities and not
    their disabilities you must act upon your
    beliefs and follow through.
  • Make certain students feel supported and are
    aware that you believe in them.

52
Universally Students Must
  • Feel physically safe
  • Feel social and emotional security
  • Believe they are supported in their learning and
    goals (both short long term)
  • Believe their social and civic learning and
    activities are imported and supported
  • Believe they are respected, trusted, and
    connected to the adults and the learning
    environment

53
Within the Classroom Students Must
  • Feel welcome
  • Be disciplined and not punished
  • Be encouraged to contribute ideas for resolving
    problems
  • Be Offered choices
  • Be Taught replacement behaviors
  • Be disciplined and taught how to self manage
    their behavior
  • Taught social skills

54
Hard to Engage Students
  • Targeted Group, Classroom, or Individual Student
  • Model positive, engaging, and rewarding
    relationships with their peers.
  • Facilitate positive interactions with other staff
    members.
  • Communicate that every day of attendance counts!
    You want to see their face. Acknowledge their
    presence.

55
Hard to Engage Students
  • Targeted Group, Classroom, or Individual Student
  • Consider environmental, instructional, and
    behavioral systems within classrooms
  • Both universally and within the classroom,
    students are more likely to feel welcomed and
    engaged when then is a sense of order.
  • Strategies 1) Schools draft a clear statement of
    purpose that focuses on both academic and social
    outcomes for all students and included staffs
    roles.

56
Activity 3
  • Targeted Group, Classroom, or Individual Student
  • Strategies 1) Schools draft a clear statement of
    purpose that focuses on both academic and social
    outcomes for all students and included staffs
    roles.
  • Activity 4A) Consider your schools commitment
    to create, provide, and maintain a positive
    school climate. Teams, develop a draft
    statement of purpose that focuses on both
    academic and social outcomes for all students and
    included staffs roles. Teams will share their
    goal statements aloud with the whole group.
    Statements become a part of the teams action
    plan.
  • Activity 4B) Specifically list all strategies
    and/or activities that support a positive school
    climate for SWD. Be as specific as possible,
    noting that many SWD are not involved in
    extracurricular activities or service learning
    activities and are often isolated from adults and
    their peers. As a team, list and describe three
    strategies that provide and support a positive
    school climate at your school for SWD. Teams
    will share with the whole group.

57
Activity 3 Answer Sheet
  • Targeted Group, Classroom, or Individual Student
  • Strategies 1) Schools draft a clear statement of
    purpose that focuses on both academic and social
    outcomes for all students and included staffs
    roles.
  • Activity 4A)
  • Activity 4B)

58
Team Strategies
  • School teams develop a clearly defined set of
    expectations (expected behaviors).
  • School teams develop procedures for teaching
    expected behavior. Educators subsequently receive
    training on a variety of strategies to teach
    social skills.
  • 3) School teams develop procedures for
    encouraging expected and school-appropriate
    behavior.

59
Team Strategies
  • 4) School teams develop procedures for
    discouraging problem behavior. Specifically,
    teams should review current discipline policies
    to (a) provide clear definitions of infractions
    (b) determine which behaviors should be managed
    in the classroom and which should be sent to the
    office and (c) develop data decision rules to
    ensure appropriate strategies are used with
    repeat offenders.

60
Team Strategies
  • 5) School teams develop procedures for record
    keeping and decision making. In addition to
    developing formative and summative
    data-collective systems, school teams should be
    taught to make informed decisions based on data
    patterns.

61
School Climate In Review
  • Characteristics at the school level that are not
    drawn from student performance
  • Daily experience indicates that the environment
    in which one operates influences an individuals
    ability and willingness to engage, perform, and
    succeed

62
Surgeon Generals Report on Mental Health
(December 13, 1999)Dr. David Satcher M.D.,
Ph.D.16th Surgeon General of the United States
(1998-2002) Assistant Secretary for Health
(1998-2001)Director of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (1993-1998)
  • Prevention-based approach be emphasized
  • Contingencies be arranged so an intolerant
    attitude toward antisocial behavior is
    established
  • Antisocial networks are actively broken up and
    monitored
  • Schools provide parents with strategies to
    increase their efficiency and effectiveness in
    the home
  • Commitment to school is enhanced
  • Academic success is increased
  • Positive school climate is created and fostered
  • Individual social skills and competence are
    taught and encouraged across all students

63
School Climate Meaningful and Functional
  • The work of Meaningful Student Involvement is
    not easy or instantly rewarding. It demands that
    the system of schooling change, and that the
    attitudes of students, educators, parents and
  • community members change.
  • (Fletcher,2003)

64
Thank You For Your Time!Robin J.
Morrisonrmorrison_at_dadeschools.net 305-995-1733
65
Thank You For Your Time!Sandra Covington
Smithsandras_at_clemson.edu864.656.1817www.ndpc-sd
.org
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