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School Climate Through Students


Dr. William Preble Founder and President, Main Street Academix Co-Founder and Executive Director, Center for School Climate and Learning To hear this webinar you will ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: School Climate Through Students

School Climate Through Students Eyes Dr.
William PrebleFounder and President, Main Street
AcademixCo-Founder and Executive Director,
Center for School Climate and Learning
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  • School Climate
  • Through Students Eyes

William K. Preble, Ed. D.
Thank you!
For Working to Improve Schools and Students Lives
School climate is
  • a. the level of heat, cold, or precipitation
    found in leaky old school buildings
  • b. what happens when you put a thousand kids in
    the same space
  • c. what happens in the teachers room
  • d. what happens when grown-ups arent around 

School Climate is like the air we breathe, no
one notices it until it becomes toxic.
Jerome Freiberg
Introductions Assumptions
Students BRING OUT THE BEST in teachers.
A respectful school is
  • a. a place that is quiet and children do as they
    are told
  • b. a place where people know more than a single
    story about one another
  • c. a place where adults treat students
    respectfully first
  • d. a school that makes AYP, no matter what

The Respectful School
Disrespectful, hurtful and threatening school
climate can rob students of their spirit, their
education, their physical and mental health, and
sometimes their lives. Wessler, S. Preble, W.
(2003) ASCD
Daggets Rigor, Relevance Framework
All students deserve to interact at a
sophisticated level with the content they are
being taught.
SSRI_Rigor/Relevance Framework ICLE
Its All About Quadrant D
From Social Isolation to Magic
  • Six Marginalized Children
  • A local Minister Magician
  • A Set of 50. Magic Tricks
  • Student Voice Through Patter
  • A Touring Magic Club

The Transformative Power of Roles
Zimbardos classic research on prisoners and
guards at Stanfords simulated prison.
Haney and Zimbardo, (1973, 1975, 1998)
ELL Students as College Professors at NEC
Transformation of ELL student roles,
relationships at CHS
School Climate Activity 1
Understanding School Climate
Finished files are the result of years of
scientific study combined with the experience of
many years.
  • a. 1 or 2
  • b. 3
  • c. 4
  • d. 5 or 6
  • e. More than 6

Did you have some Blind Spots?
Finished files are the result of years of
scientific study combined with the experience of
many years.
School Climate is about perception...
If we cant agree on the number of Fs, then how
can we agree on how safe, respectful, just, fair,
rigorous, engaging, or empowering our school is
for our students?
Too Many Schools Only See the Problems
  • School Shootings
  • School Violence
  • Bullying/Cyber-Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Dropouts
  • Teen Suicide
  • Academic Failure

Interviews, Focus Groups Beepers
  • What are your barriers to teaching?
  • Adults said Theres just no respect...
  • What are your barriers to learning?
  • Students told us We dont get any respect here.

(No Transcript)
A Wise Man Said...
The secret to transforming lives lies in...
The Dignity of Expertise
Bill Cumming, The Boothby Institute
Superordinate Goals
  • Muzaf Sherif, et al, The Robbers Cave Experiment
  • Classic research on group conflict and
    cooperation and the effects of competition and
    superordinate goals on group dynamics.

Join the Club How Peer Pressure Can Transform
the World
Tina Rosenberg
How to harness the power of peer power, youth
REBELLION, and BRANDING to affect social change.
HIV-Aids prevention in South Africa Fighting the
oppression of women and girls in
India Anti-Smoking Campaigns in the US Recent
popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and
Collaborative Action Research
  • Ask important questions
  • Discuss the questions with everyone
  • Collect and analyze baseline data
  • Set improvement goals
  • Try something new
  • Collect more data - discuss what happened - try
  • Keep working to improve

The Safe Measures Process
A Student-Led, Collaborative Action Research
  1. Enlist principal, teachers diverse student
  2. Collect school climate data from all students
    teachers to compare what they say.
  3. Identify issues set goals for improvement
  4. Develop goals through action planning
  5. Monitor progress, adjust actions, and sustain

National School Climate Standards
  1. Collect School Climate Data Develop Plans
  2. Policies, Infrastructure and Student Supports
  3. Teaching and Learning
  4. Safe Welcoming Environment for ALL
  5. Civic Engagement Social Justice

Cohen Pickeral, National School Climate
Council, 2010
How we use data to change perceptions
CLIMATE SURVEY ITEMS Positive Average High School Date Positive Compass School
I feel physically safe being who I am 70 97
Most students treat me with fairness 71 94
Students are willing to step forward help when they see bullying 35 79
Students work is often displayed and celebrated by our teachers 43 93
Students help to make decisions about school rules and discipline 12 94
Students sometimes work together on projects that make us feel proud and helps us get to know each other 48 96
Davids Story
Ashs Story of Empowerment
I have changed since I was asked to be on this
leadership team. I enjoy coming to school now
because of this. I am trying to help make this
school work for kids like me and my friends who
get treated like we are nothing. This has given
me something to work on that I feel proud of.
Self described goth student, Sullivan County,
TN 2010
Connections Between School Climate Learning
  • Research on the importance of providing a safe
    and orderly school environment (Edmonds, 1979
    Walberg, 1984 Newman, Welhage, 1995)
  • A review of 40 major studies between 1964 1980
    reported important effects of school climate on
    student achievement. (Anderson, 1982)
  • Our research in Sullivan County showed a nearly
    10 increase in academic performance in those
    schools that made significant improvement in
    school climate (Preble, W.K., Newman, A., 2006)

Clemson Evaluators Found...
When students are involved as partners in school
reform, adults implemented reform efforts with
greater fidelity and sustained their effortsmore
fully than adults did when students were not
involved as partners.
Students bring out the best in us adults!
Improving Teacher Efficacy
  • When it comes right down to it, a teacher really
    cant do much to prevent bullying and harassment,
    because most of this depends on a students
    upbringing and home environment.
  • If I try really hard, I can get through to even
    the most difficult students and help them
    understand and accept others who are different
    from them.

2008 Teacher Efficacy Score - 46
2009 Teacher Efficacy Score - 75
Effective Strategies
  • Develop DIVERSE teams of student EXPERTS to help
    adults improve school climate, student
    engagement, and learning.
  • ACTION RESEARCH- Collect data, disaggregate these
    data to examine group differences, take action to
    improve your numbers.
  • Develop PLCs -Adult Teams working with students
    on school needs.
    change the perspective from at-risk youth as the
    problem, to kids as leaders and change partners.

Office of Safe Drug Free Schools
Successful Action Plans
  • Balance School Climate and Academics
  • Balance School Climate and Academics
  • Challenge Adults to Improve Using Data
  • Invite Students to be Partners
  • Address Climate Learning in Classrooms
  • Tweak Power Relations

Making A Commitment
  • Balance School Climate and Academics
  • What is ONE THING that you will do?
  • Work together to make a great school.
  • The journey itself can change everything.

Thank you for participating and for working to
make your school is a safe, respectful, and
engaging place for all students.
William K. Preble, Ed. D.
Q A with Dr. William Preble
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For more information
19th Annual Model Schools Conference
From Theory to Reality Creating the Schools We
Need Now
NASHVILLE June 26-29 2011