School climate represents an important lever for improving school safety, the quality of teaching and learning, and the strength of relationships in your school or district. Collecting feedback from families, students, and teachers and staff through a school climate assessment is essential to building the strong, welcoming relationships that are for integral school and district success.
School climate is a collection of attributes that govern how students, families, faculty, and staff relate to each other and the school itself. It’s essential to keep in mind that a strong and vibrant school climate can be developed and strengthened over time by understanding the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of members of your community.
According to the National School Climate Center, the 4 core components of positive school climate include:
All stakeholders should feel that the school has norms, values, and expectations that make them feel safe, respected, and engaged; that there is a shared school vision that all stakeholders are working towards; and that educators model and nurture positive associations with learning.
For over a hundred years, educators and researchers have emphasized the importance of a healthy and vibrant school climate. Research from the 1950’s on has consistently demonstrated that positive school climate improves the quality of teaching and learning in the school, and helps promote healthy youth development.
School climate plays an integral role in creating engaging, effective educational experiences for students and families, and supporting faculty and staff professional growth and collaboration. For more information about why a vibrant school climate is integral to school and district success, read “A Review of School Climate Research.”
Measuring the strength of your school or district’s climate is an opportunity to engage your community in defining what healthy school and district climate means in your context, using these criteria as a framework. But understanding how to collect high-quality school climate data is critical towards building the school climate that you and your community want. Everyone—students, families, faculty, and staff—has a critical role to play in the development of strong and healthy school climate. The assessment providers below have developed high quality surveys to support your school community in effectively capturing the your school climate.