A sustainable, positive school climate fosters youth development and the learning necessary for a productive and satisfying life in a democratic society. In such a climate,
- People are engaged and respected.
- Students, families, and educators work together to develop and contribute to a shared school vision.
- Educators model and nurture an attitude that emphasizes the benefits and satisfaction of learning.
- Each person contributes to the operation of the school and the care of the physical environment (National School Climate Council, 2007).
We at the National School Climate Center have worked with thousands of schools and districts across the United States to create safe, supportive, and engaging schools. We have worked with more than a dozen state departments of education to support their efforts to improve school climate. We have found that measuring school climate provides data that serve as both an anchor and a flashlight for school climate reform. For example, if students report that they feel unsafe and bullied in school, school communities can use this information as a wonderful springboard for discussion and planning to support effective bully prevention efforts.