"Facilitating Positive Change"

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School Climate Institute

“John worked with us as partners. He left everyone feeling motivated and equipped with information and tools to improve their classrooms and their schools. I highly recommend him to schools, parents, and districts anywhere.”

– Janice Hambrock, System Principal-Safe Schools, Halton District School Board, Canada

Renewing School Climate

Portrait of a positive school climate

Every school should be a place where every student want to learn and every educator loves to work.  Getting there requires involving the entire school community including staff, students, parents and community members. All the players can be engaged in identifying areas for improvement, setting out action steps and continuously assessing and strengthening a school climate.

School climate has been defined as, “the degree to which (a school) is socially, emotionally and physically safe and conducive to learning… and refers to the quality and character of school life” [Cohen, McAbe, Michelli, Pickeral, 2009]. To create a positive climate it is important to look at different dimensions of a climate including the social (interpersonal), physical, and academic (teaching).

Successful School Climate Improvement: From Assessing to Results

While many schools talk about wanting to improve their climates, not many know how to do it alone. A growing body of empirical research demonstrates that effective school climate improvement efforts increase student achievement, reduce high school drop out rates, prevent violence, and promote students’ healthy development. Schools don’t have to suffer from a poor school climate anymore. We provide strategies, tools, and coaching to support leadership teams and school communities addressing the tasks and challenges that define each of the five stages of the school climate improvement process (see below). This data driven strategy is used to develop action plans as part of an effective school climate improvement process to promote equitable, safe, caring, and civil schools.


The 5 Stage Climate Improvement Process [from J. Cohen, NSCC]

How We Can Help

From an introduction, to training, to assessments, and implementation, all of our support services are practical, engaging, and productive. We provide keynotes, workshops, evaluation, facilitation, strategic planning and coaching to help school systems create positive, healthy and successful climates.

Better school climate is correllated with improved:
  • test scores and attendance
  • academic achievement and on time progression to next grade
  • suspensions and discipline incidents
  • school connectedness
  • morale and staff retention
  • in short…

“Focusing on school climate helps us to identify where we want to go, not just what we need to get rid of.”

– John Linney

School Climate Resources

Race to the Top Funding: Integrating school climate improvement can boost your application

The U.S. Department of Education’s recent release of the Race to the Top-Districts (RTTT-D) competition emphasizes the power
of innovative approaches and partnerships to improve student learning and ensure equity in education. The Department of Education recognizes the criticalrole that school climate plays in meeting these goals. This new round of funding offers an exciting opportunity for districts and LEAs to include school climate as a critical component of overall teaching and learning improvement efforts. Click here for a great resource from the National School Climate Center to help you boost your application score: NSCC Overview for Race to the Top Districts 2013 Impact Coaching

Optional Intent to Apply Due: August 23, 2013
Application Due: October 3, 2013
Grant Award Announcements: December 2013

Other School Climate Training and Workshops

Innovative Strategies for Bullying Prevention: Empowering Adults and Engaging Students OUR MOST POPULAR TRAINING!

Learn about the importance of creating a positive school climate while learning practical day to day practices to improve that climate. Every school has a “feel” to it that anyone who works there, learns there, or walks in there, can sense. People don’t perform well if the climate is not safe and positive. This session introduces the five different factors that contribute to a school climate. From student on student mistreatment, to family life, to the staff and institution itself, positive school climates contribute to a sense of safety and ultimately to academic success. It is important to assess the climate, address the norms of behavior, and utilize positive communication to create a positive climate so everyone can feel safe and thrive.

Positive Youth Development for a Positve Climate: Improving Morale and Productivity – This service provides educational and energizing training, coaching, and follow-up assistance to help schools with what they need to create a positive youth development movement that impacts the school environment. Schools will move from concepts to a plan of action towards being a youth building school, doing youth building everyday, and having successful, healthy and responsible youth. A separate training to provide the tools and skills for students and adults to create safe and tolerant schools is also available.

The Parent Engagement Project: Parents as Partners in Education – How do we engage parents to be partners in schools and other areas of community life? This session provides strategies using positive youth development framework as a powerful tool to encourage parental engagement.

The information, surveys, and strategies presented to parents in this session will provide them with critical tools that inspire and secure more parental involvement in the lives of their children and your school or organization right now.

Anti-Bias Education: Increasing Acceptance and Valuing Diversity – Encourages individuals to recognize pre-judgments and understand how those judgments can reduce the effectiveness in their organization and interfere with their ability to be work with others. Training increases understanding and skills with working and connecting to diverse individuals and populations (can focus session on LGBTQ training).

Cyber Training for School Staff or Parents: What Adults Need to Know – As we continue to witness the rapid technological expansion of the “always on” generation, we are seeing how the anonymous, instant, and far-reaching communication capabilities have brought a new dimension to student development and bullying.

Bullying is not a new phenomenon but the ways in which it happens are changing and cyberbullying poses a substantial threat to schools. The training provides an introduction into the basics of new media and equips parents with evidence based knowledge and strategies on how to create a cyber safe environment.

Leaving a Legacy: Connecting to Your Passion – Adults often lose their passion and connection to what drives them to do their work and fulfill their purpose.

Sometimes adults need to powerfully reconnect to the source of their passion and recharge their professional and personal lives. This session works with adults to help them identify and connect to their passion that will have them leaving a legacy in the lives of others. Participants will leave with new tools to continually improve their personal morale and leave reinvigorated and reconnected to what drives them to serve themselves and serve others.