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Cascade Matters is the blog of Cascade Educational Consultants. Cascade has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations and civic development. We are committed to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens. Learn more about us.

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10 Recommendations for Implementing School Climate Reform in Schools

10-Recommendations
School climate, the quality and character of schools, affects the life and learning of students. Research shows that school climate matters and sustained positive school climate is associated with positive youth development, effective risk prevention and health promotion, reduced bullying and harassment behavior, greater student self-knowledge and reflection, increased cultural awareness, student learning and academic achievement, increased graduation rates and teacher retention.

Schools can provide the leadership and effective engagement strategies to effectively integrate and sustain quality school climates to ensure students experience the best conditions for learning. This year the National School Climate Center (NSCC) created a set of 11 School Climate Practices for Implementation and Sustainability Briefs to identify specific strategies schools can adopt to create and sustain quality school climate.

The following recommendations, gleaned from the School Climate Practices for Implementation and Sustainability Briefs are applicable to schools throughout the US as part of school climate and education reform.

  1. Raise awareness of social climate characteristics, standards and research to ensure agreement by education stakeholders.
  2. Adopt school climate standards to ensure system-wide integration with focus on safety, relationships, teaching and learning and physical environment.
  3. Create policies that allocate resources to effectively implement school climate assessments, analyses and improvement.
  4. Conduct regular assessments of school climate using research-based tools.
  5. Identify specific intended outcomes and impacts of school climate reform and effective assessment measures.
  6. Focus on shared leadership and diverse perspectives as they provide the foundation for sustainability.
  7. Create leadership opportunities for all students to contribute to school climate reform.
  8. Promote professional development that increases school climate knowledge and skills through professional learning communities.
  9. Integrate instructional strategies that engage students in developing academic, social, civic and career competencies.
  10. Support positive relationships among students, among adults and between students and adults in school and community.

For more information on the School Climate Practices for Implementation and Sustainability Briefs go to
http://www.schoolclimate.org/publications/practice-briefs.php

About the author: Terry Pickeral, president Cascade Educational Consultants has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations and civic development. His commitment is to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens.
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