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School Climate School Climate

Create a positive school climate where students feel safe, supported, and welcome.

School climate describes the school conditions that influence student learning and comprises issues such as the school environment, student and school safety, and engagement among members of the school community. A positive school climate characterizes a school that effectively attends to the academic, social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs of its students.

A positive school climate can have profound impacts on student success, safety, and well-being. Research shows that when schools and districts focus on promoting a positive school climate, students are more likely to develop trusting relationships with their peers, teachers, and others in the school community; demonstrate positive behaviors; and achieve better outcomes. In the absence of a positive school climate, a student may feel disconnected and engage in destructive or violent behaviors.

School climate improvement is the strategic effort undertaken by a school to achieve a positive climate by considering its practices, systems, and structure. The measurement of school climate provides educators with necessary data to identify school needs, set goals, and track progress toward improvement.

Strategies to Consider

There are several strategies schools and districts can consider to create and sustain a positive school climate. Some of these measures include:

  • Collect and analyze school data to assess current climate and apply interventions that improve student engagement, school safety, and the learning environment.
  • Foster a safe school community by establishing bullying and youth substance use prevention programs, implementing physical safety measures to deter or reduce violence, and promoting inclusive classrooms.
  • Enable a supportive academic, disciplinary, and physical environment by encouraging achievement-oriented behavior, eliminating discrimination in the administration of student discipline, and keeping school facilities in good condition.
  • Build strong school connections and relationships by showing students they are valued and respected and implementing positive behavior management strategies in the classroom.

Filter Resources

All School Climate Resources

Access additional resources below to learn more about school climate and related best practices. Use the filters to sort resources based on preparedness action.

Training Program
Mental Health
Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package

Department of Education

This resource package offers school and district administrators and staff a framework and roadmap for adopting a trauma-sensitive approach school- or district wide. It includes a variety of resources for educating school staff about trauma and trauma-sensitive practices and for providing school leaders with a step-by-step process for implementing a universal, trauma-informed approach using package materials.

School Climate
Creating Safe Schools for LGBTQ+ Youth

Department of Health and Human Services

This brief provides key learning objectives that schools and school districts can incorporate in their professional development offerings to help teachers and other school staff build core competencies for supporting LGBTQ+ youth in schools.

Mental Health
Toolkit for Schools: Engaging Parents to Support Student Mental Health and Emotional Well-being

Department of Health and Human Services, 2021

This toolkit is designed to help education leaders and schools raise parent awareness about school connectedness and its role in supporting student mental health and emotional well-being, and why family engagement both in and out of school is important. It includes background information, sample social media posts, social media graphics, and newsletter text.

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