Building Climate

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Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)


Driven Educational Solutions


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Safe and caring schools…

Are a necessity for a student/teacher relationships to grow. The
emotional attachment of a student to his or her school is critical
to a good education, and the school climate is a major impact on
this attachment and academic achievement.

School Connectedness…

Includes school bonding, student relationships, teacher
support, school liking and a lack of school isolation.

(Blum &
, 2004)

Building Climate

A positive climate creates a sense of
connectedness with others throughout

the school environment.

Building a positive school climate

Climate is a term used to describe how
people feel about their school. It is a
combination of beliefs, values, and attitudes
shared by students, teachers,
administrators, parents, bus drivers, office
personnel, custodians, cafeteria workers,
and other who play an important role in the
life of the school.

Jim Sweeney,
Tips for Improving School Climate

Building a Supportive School Climate…

will not happen by accident. It must be
intentional and reflect a clear focus as

mission of the school.

Ernest Boyer. The Basic School (1995)

Building a Supportive School Climate…

Consistent expectations for appropriate

Development of social skills on the part of
all stakeholders

Develop consistent rules and procedures

Research on School Climate has found…

That if a child attended a high school with good order
and discipline, there was only a 9% chance of
becoming a juvenile delinquent whereas if the child
went to a school with poor discipline, the probability
of becoming a juvenile delinquent increased to 48%.

Rutter and Colleagues


a Positive School Climate

Requires a Concept of Civility

Civility is defined as, “a courteous act
or courteous acts that contribute to
smoothness and ease in dealings and
social relationships.”

Building a Positive

School Climate Requires…

Adults and students to serve each other
and the broader community. We serve
others to break the suck of self and
show others that we are worthy of
recognition based on our actions.

A Civil School has…

a focus on the development of courtesy
and manners in our treatment of all
within the building. This is modeled,
taught and practiced by the adults and
students within the total school

Moving Forward….

Let us now consider the practices that
will allow us to build a climate that is
worthy of all stakeholders. In other
words, what might we do to create a
climate where all stakeholders flourish
in our school?

Questions to consider in building a
good climate

1. What do the adults model and subsequently stand
for in your building?

2. What do the students see and hear from the adults
in the building?

3. Is bullying tolerated in the presence of the adult?

4. Do the adults practice what they preach and preach
what they practice?

5. Are the adults the moral compass in the classroom
and in the school?

Perhaps Our Most Important Task…

We must care about our students. This does
not mean we will always like them! If you
have children you know that there are times
when we do not like them…but we never
stop caring about them ... we never stop
loving them. A good climate requires that
the adults in the building love our children.
Only by loving children can we develop
standards to promote excellence.

Consider the following…

It is fine to establish standards of discipline,
conduct, safety and civility in our schools.
The question is not whether we establish
these standards. The question is

establish these standards.

What do we want our Students to be?
How do we want our Students to act?

Do we want our students, as well as ourselves, to be
respectful? Responsible? Caring? If the answer is yes,
then we must determine the practices that if repeated
over and over will develop positive habits that will
enhance the classroom and overall school climate.
This will require that we develop rules and procedures
for our school and classroom and that these rules and
procedures should be developed with

from all

What are Rules?

Rules establish standards of
behavior. It communicates to all
stakeholders what is expected of
them in the everyday functioning
of the class and school.

Two Kinds of Rules…

Specific Rules

General Rules

Specific rules are clear and require no further
“Come to class on time.”

General Rules provide guidelines of expectations.
They are broad based and essential...
“Respect others in
the building. Care for other members of the school

General Rules shape the “ethos”

or life of the school

Respect Others in the School

What does this look like in practice?

What would one see and hear in a school to know that
being respectful is understood by all?

To be successful one must develop procedures or
practices, that if done repetitively, will develop habits
to promote being respectful.

A Good Climate is forged by…

Determining the habits we wish people to develop
and practice.

Establishing rules as guidelines and practices that if
practiced over and over will develop
habits of

Developing consistency of expectations throughout
the school

Insisting that all stakeholders work hard to develop
habits of excellence that promote a positive school
climate for all in the school

Strategies to build climate through the
development of the civil school


All adults in the building must commit to model and teach,
and have students practice habits that will enable students
to be civil in their actions towards others.


The school must work to establish consistent rules and

3. Get students involved in the process of developing
consistent rules and practices.

4. Communicate your efforts to all stakeholders. Seek the
input from the broader community.


Post the rules and practices throughout the school.

Strategies continued…


When students are referred to the office, have them
write and discuss (if age appropriate) what they did to
violate the climate of the classroom or school.


Consider how morning meeting time, homeroom or
advisor/advisee periods can be used to share powerful
readings or messages about the importance of civility
in our treatment of others.