Individualizing Schools
Through Effective School
Climate Improvement
May 21, 2014
Individualizing Schools
Through Effective School Climate Improvement
Hosted by
John Nori
Presented by
Terry Pickeral
Senior Education Consultant
Special Olympics
Project UNIFY
Associate Director
Program Development
NASSP
Darlene Faster
Chief Operating Officer
National School Climate Center
A few details…
Technical problems: Call Rich 703-860-7259
Tweeting?
@NASSP
Use hashtag #nasspwebinar
#ProjectUNIFY and #schoolclimate
facebook.com/principals
Agenda
• School Climate Definition
• What Research Shows
• Social Inclusion
• Research base and scale
• Schools in Action
• School Climate Improvement Process
• Measuring for Success
• Resources
What is School Climate?
• School climate refers to character and
quality of school life. It is based on
patterns of people’s experience of
school life and reflects:
– Norms, goals and values (e.g. mutual
respect)
– Relationships, Teaching & Learning and
Leadership practices
– & Organizational structures and
processes – rules, regulations, and
enforcement.
“In today’s world of education, perception
is reality. The only true way to make reality
match the perceptions you desire is to
ensure that you have a well-established
and positive school climate in the eyes of
students, their parents, and your
stakeholders”.
Stephen Beebe, principal, Cactus Shadows
High School, Cave Creek, Arizona
School Climate Past & Present
 Education tradition for over 100 years
 Increased interest over past 40 years
Growing supportive empirical evidence
Dimensions of School Climate
• Safety
– Rules & Norms
– Physical
– Social-Emotional
• Teaching & Learning
– Support for Learning
– Social & Civic Learning
– Professional Relationships (school personnel only)
– Leadership (school personnel only)
• Relationships
– Respect for Diversity
– Social Support – Adults & Students
– Connectedness/ Engagement
• Environment
– Physical Surroundings
What is your school’s climate?
What strengths & needs come to mind?
Audience Poll
How do you know what your school’s climate
is currently?
 use a school-wide measure
 informal reports/ feedback from subset population
school-level data informs our understanding
My own experience and communication w/
stakeholders
Other
Would everyone in your community agree?
ACTION TIP:
Finding the Answers
Start with what you already measure. How is
it used? How could it tell you more? (Audit)
How can this help develop a meaningful
profile?
What other indicators can you collect?
How can you use this more systematically?
School Climate Research
I.
Individual Experience: Promoting a positive school climate effects
students’ self-esteem and self-concept.
II. Risk Prevention and Health Promotion: Effective risk
prevention and health promotion efforts are positively correlated with safe, caring,
participatory and responsive school climate settings.
III. Academic Achievement: Student academic achievement is
strongly correlated to a safe, caring and responsive school climate setting.
Positive reinforcement and attentiveness improves student performance.
IV. Teacher Retention: Positive school climate is associated with greater
teacher retention.
V. School Improvement: On the importance of relational trust; and the
complexity of the change process
(For a summary of this research, see: Thapa, Cohen, Guffey & Higgins-D'Alessandro (2013). A Review of
School Climate Research, Review of Educational Research, DOI: 10.3102/0034654313483907.)
School Climate & Performance Index Score
(2006-07, Ohio Department of Education (2008) and the NSCC/CSEE)
Our own
research shows:
•
Strong correlation
between school
climate & academics
•
Holds for both low
and high poverty
schools
•
Applies to MS & HS
•
Even stronger for
graduation rates
...
13
School Climate & Graduation Rates
(2006-07, Ohio DOE (2008) and the NSCC/CSEE)
14
Growing Impact of School Climate Research
•
US Department of Education recommends school climate
reform as an evidence based strategy to prevent violence.
Ex: Safe and Supportive Schools, RTTT-D, Investing
in Innovation & School Climate Transformation grants
•
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
recommends school climate reform as a data driven strategy
that promotes healthy relationships, school connectedness,
and drop out prevention.
• US Department of Justice
link school climate as a critical
component of effective discipline in recently released Guide.
15
Granite Falls Middle School
The students at Granite Falls Middle School are among the
most accepting and tolerant of not only children with
special needs, but all children--no matter their
differences. Our Project Unify students are not good to our
exceptional children because that is what the club requires,
or because they feel sorry for them. They are good and
sweet and kind to them because they like them--truly like
them, and consider the special needs students as their
friends. Those friendships are what make Project Unify
one of the most important and influential programs at
Granite Falls Middle School.
Each Student
A socially inclusive school climate
ensures that each student is:
• Engaged
• Expected to succeed
• Connected
• Challenged
Project UNIFY®
A strategy to activate youth, engage educators,
and promote school communities of acceptance
and inclusion where all young people are agents
of change.
Utilizing the sports and education initiatives of
Special Olympics, Project UNIFY®:
•Fosters respect and dignity for people with
intellectual disabilities
•Changes actions and attitudes among their
peers without intellectual disabilities.
•Promotes social inclusion for all and a positive
school climate
18
CHARACTERISTICS
• Unifying Sports Program
• Youth Leadership
• School/Community
Collaborations
• Creating/Sustaining
Relationships
• Communications
• Professional Development
• Continuous Improvement
Special Olympics in Schools
skills, relationships, youth leadership, health, unity
Unsafe and unsupportive
School Climates - Bullying
Lessons and activities that
promote
understanding of differences
Unmotivated, disengaged
students
Youth leadership and
advocacy
Absence of Social
Inclusion
Programming designed and
meant for ALL students
Obesity and other healthrelated problems
Special Olympics
Unified Sports®
Audience Poll
• Does your school have a specific focus
on social Inclusion?
Yes
No
Beginning to explore
Unsure
Social Inclusion Scale
• A subscale to measure the level of social
inclusion of students with disabilities within
a school, as perceived by students,
parents/guardians and staff
• Measures the extent to which the school is:
– meeting students with disabilities’ basic needs
– developing their ability to be contributing
members of society
– Providing opportunities for students with and
without disabilities to collaborate & engage.
School Climate & Social
Inclusion
Social
Inclusion
• SCHOOL
CLIMATE
• Safety
• Relationships
• Teaching &
Learning
• Environment
Schools That Succeed:
•Strong Leadership Support
•Higher Student Engagement
•Community-wide Engagement &
Commitment
•Deeper Social and Civic Learning
(knowledge, skills & dispositions)
Raymond S. Kellis High School
Glendale, AZ
Social Inclusion school-wide
Social Inclusion Lessons From
the Field http://tiny.cc/bsvefx
23
Kellis High School
• Project UNIFY UNIFIES our campus
entirecampus!!
2
4
Audience Poll
What are the barriers to authentic social
inclusion for key stakeholders (students,
personnel, parents)?
Lack of “buy-in” or shared vision from one or
more stakeholder group
Lack of resources to implement effectively
Not viewed as core component of school’s
mission/vision
Other
Fact Sheet:
Addressing School Safety Through State
Anti-Bullying Laws
1999
GA
2001
CO
LA
MS
2000 OR
NH
WV
2002
2003
CT
NJ
OK
WA
AR
CA
RI
2005
AZ
IN
MD
VA
2004 TX
VT
TN
ME
NV
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
ID
SC
AK
NM
DE
IA
IL
KS
MN
OH
PA
NE
KY
UT
FL
MO
AL
NC
WY
MA
WI
NY
ND
HI
MI
SD
(D.C.)
NO
LAW
MT
Missouri’s Law originally only pertained to “Cyber-Bullying”
CT and WY: Only two states that combine (the problem of) Bullying and
(the solution of creating positive)
School Climate in the same legislation
120 total amendments throughout the country!!!!
26
Policy Quick Facts
http://www.schoolclimate.org/policy
Bullying-related
• 49 states w/ laws
• Approx 20% with
funding
Discipline
• 70% still have
punitive-based
discipline system
School-Climate related
• 25 states w/ measures
• Less than 1/3 with
funding
2013 study of BPS
Restorative Practice
• S/E rates dropped by
more than 80% one yr.
after implementation
School Climate Improvement:
A Five-Stage Process
28
The Five Stage School Climate Improvement
Process: Tasks and Challenges
1) Planning for improvement
Creating a representative leadership team
Fostering a shared vision: Understandings, vision, vocabulary and engagement!
Moving from blame/distrust to a more “no fault”/trusting culture
Celebrating success and building on past efforts
Community Engagement/Outreach
2) School climate assessment/evaluation
Measurement Process
Interpretation of Results
3) Understanding findings and action planning
Understanding and Digging Deeper
Prioritizing goals
Researching improvement efforts
Action Planning: Benchmarks & Timelines
4) Implementing the action plan: Instructional & schoolwide
Coordinating improvement efforts with fidelity
Promoting adult social, emotional and civic learning
5) Beginning the cycle anew
Key Features of school climate
measurement:
 Scientifically sound – established reliability/validity,
field-tested
 Measures core populations - recognizes student,
parent/guardians & school personnel voice (&
community?)
 Easy to administer – Short (15-20 mins), paper/online,
support
 Assesses essential dimensions of School Climate
 Linked to concrete tools to use data “as a flashlight”
 Other considerations – languages, reporting,
customization, additional training, reputation, etc.
http://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov
Effective School Climate Drivers
1. Inclusion
– Who’s invited to the table?
2. Infusion
– How do we change the DNA of our building?
3. Deep Dives & Risk Taking
– Matching perception and reality
– “Best” Practices to “Next” Practices.
4. No Fault frameworks and a culture of trust
– How do we address the “non-discussables”?
5. Honor and promote voices of all stakeholders
– How do we ensure everyone is welcomed and
engaged?
http://www.schoolclimate.org/publications/practice-briefs.php
Resources
• Special Olympics Project UNIFY Resources
http://www.specialolympics.org/projectunifyresources/
• Special Olympics Project UNIFY Toolkit
http://www.specialolympics.org/putoolkit/
• School Climate Matters – quarterly e-newsletter with key resources,
expert articles, and educator tips www.schoolclimate.org
• 17th Annual Summer Institute three-day intensive training on School
Climate & Common Core: www.schoolclimate.org/register
• NSCC Blog – stay updated on the latest news in the field
http://blog.schoolclimate.org
• BULLYBUST/ Upstander Alliance –FREE resources to help students &
adults prevent bullying nationwide www.bullybust.org
• National School Climate Standards: Benchmarks to promote
effective teaching, learning and comprehensive improvement –
www.schoolclimate.org/climate/standards.php
• School Climate Guide for District Leaders & Policy Makers –
www.schoolclimate.org/climate/process.php
Contact Us!
Terry Pickeral, Special Olympics Project UNIFY
[email protected]
360-303-7480
Twitter: @cascadeMatters
http://www.specialolympics.org/projectunify.aspx
Darlene Faster, COO at National School Climate Center
[email protected]
212-707-8799 x 22
Twitter: @DmFaster @school_climate
www.schoolclimate.org
For more on Supportive
School Discipline go to:
www.nassp.org/ed-discipline
Hone your decision-making skills
Develop technology integration strategies
Refine your blueprint to engage each student and increase performance
July 20–24, 2014
Discovery Education Headquarters
Silver Spring, MD
(Washington, DC, metro area)
Register Today: www.nassp.org/GreatLeaders
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