Building a Positive School Climate KELLY ALLEN & KIRSTEN WEIGERT OFFICE OF STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association December 6, 2016
What is School Climate? �Quality and character of school life �Based on patterns of students’, parents’ and school personnel’s experience of school life �Reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures ¤National School Climate Center
Dimensions for Safe & Supportive School Conditions for Learning Eight Essential Domains Physical Environment Emotional Environment Teaching and Learning Capability Morale in the School Community Quality Relationships Level of Parental Support and Engagement Safety Situation Perception of Administrative Support
In a Positive School Climate… � Norms, values, and expectations support social, emotional, and physical safety; � People are engaged and respected; � Students, families and educators work together to develop and live a shared vision; � Educators model and nurture attitudes that emphasize the benefits gained from learning; and � Each person contributes to the care and operations of the school and the care of the physical environment. ¤National School Climate Center
Benefits of Positive School Climate �Associated with reduced aggression and violence �Influence on the motivation to learn �Link to immediate and long-term academic achievement �Lower absenteeism and high school suspension rates �Mitigate negative impact of socioeconomic context on learning �Predictive of better psychological well-being (e. g. , lower drug use, fewer reports of mental health issues, positive relationship with student self-concept and self-esteem) �Greater teacher commitment (A Review of School Climate Research by Thapa, Cohen, Guffey, and Higgins-D’Alessandro, 2013)
Sharing Thoughts on School Climate �Which aspects of positive school climate do you see reflected in your school? �What steps has your school taken to improve and enhance your school climate?
Assessing Climate as Part of NJTSS �Data which indicate a need to assess climate: Increase in the number of: � Incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying � In and out of school suspensions � Office conduct referrals Low morale among staff and students Chronic absenteeism
Transforming a School’s Climate
School Climate Improvement Model SS/SCT Development Evaluation and Modification Data Collection, including NJSCS Administration SCIP Implementation and Monitoring Data Analysis and Prioritization SCIP Development SCIP: School Climate Improvement Plan
Climate Survey Data � Survey data provides objective information on school climate from diverse populations (i. e. , students, staff, parents) � Survey data can provide critical information for School Safety/School Climate Team to use to fulfill requirement to improve school climate Able to draw actionable conclusions for reinforcing positive conditions for learning and addressing vulnerabilities in conditions for learning � Survey data can be used to: Identify school climate strengths and areas for growth Plan, implement, and evaluate school improvement efforts Support development of school educational programs
New Jersey School Climate Survey Tool used to collect and analyze objective information from school populations in order to draw conclusions for reinforcing positive conditions for learning and addressing vulnerabilities in conditions for learning.
What is the NJSCS? � 4 Different Surveys: Elementary School Student Survey (grades 3 -5) Middle-High School Student Survey (grades 6 -12) School Staff Survey Parent Survey �Additional Materials: Survey Administration Guide Survey and Data Entry Display Tool Survey and Data Paste Display Tool Available in English, Spanish and Creole
The Survey Process �Planning Your Survey Designating a survey coordinator Determining who will administer your survey Establishing a timeline �Selecting Participants Sampling overview & guidelines �Survey Administration �Preparing Data & Reporting Results
School Staff Survey Excerpt
Reading the Overall Domain Score Sheet � Domain score: represents a value ranging from 0 to 100, which is tabulated from survey responses � Domain score distribution: a bar graph that depicts the distribution of individual answers, grouped into deciles (partitions of 10) A higher score represents a healthier, more positive school climate in that domain.
Sample Data Display: Emotional Environment
Reading Domain Summary Sheets � Total respondents: total number of students or adults who answered the item � Response Category: shows distribution of student or adults responses using the raw number of students or adults that selected a particular response option and the percentage of the total respondents who answered that way � Mean: Sum of all individual responses divided by the total number of respondents that answered the item
Assessing Survey Data �What do you notice about the data? What stands out? �What surprised you, if anything about these results? �What conclusions can we draw about what’s happening in our schools? �Do you think this assessment accurately reflects the areas of concern and strengths in our schools? Why or why not? �What additional information do we need to collect?
Analyzing Survey Results PHYSICAL ENVIRONME NT S T U D E N T S ~~~ MORALE ~~~ ~~~ PARENT SUPPORT/ ENGAGEMENT ~~~ ~~~ EMOTIONAL ENVIRONMENT ADMINISTRATI ON SUPPORT ~~~ ~~~ SAFETY ~~~ ~~~ RELATIONSHIP S ~~~ ~~~ S T A F F P A R E N T S TEACHING AND LEARNING ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Other Data Sources to Examine � Electronic Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse Reporting System (EVVRS) (e. g. , HIB and other violent incidents) � Student conduct referrals and dispositions � Student and staff attendance records � Dropout rates � Standardized test performance Add important information to your poster. � Process and outcome findings from HIB prevention programs � Focus group findings
Take It One Step Further Develop a statement for each domain that accurately summarizes what all of the data suggests about your school climate. n for Low mea students ach respect e other’s es differenc vey) (staff sur ve rs obser s Teache os r c alling a name c p grou s student ource) ata s (other d IB ty of H Majori s have t inciden ct of e the f g or i t l insu n ng ni demea s. t studen ) ata (HIB D HIB is ed as v i e c r e p lem a prob t (studen ) survey ect for There is a lack of resp dent differences among stu y how groups as evidenced b (i. e. , they treat each other e bullying behavior, nam marks). calling, derogatory re
Prioritize Needs and Strengths
Develop an Action Plan
Summary of School Climate Model �Bring together stakeholders committed to this mission �Assess current school climate �Analyze data from all sources �Develop plan for improvement �Evaluate & modify
School Climate and the Connection to Social-Emotional Skills
What is Social and Emotional Learning? �Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves the processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to: understand manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain positive relationships; and make responsible decisions. ¤ Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning
SEL Core Competencies regulating emotions, managing stress, motivating oneself, working toward achieving goals showing empathy, taking others' perspectives, and recognizing and mobilizing diverse and available supports clear communication, accurate listening, cooperation, constructive conflict resolution, and working with others recognizing and labeling one's feelings and accurately assessing one's strengths and limitations making ethical choices based on consideration of feelings, goals, alternatives and outcomes, and planning and enacting solutions with potential obstacles anticipated Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning
What Does It Mean to Integrate SEL in Schools? Video from Edutopia: http: //www. edutopia. org/keys-social-emotional-learning-video
Research on SEL Demonstrates… �SEL program students were more likely to attend school, were less likely to have conduct problems, and received better grades; �SEL programs effectively reduced student high- risk behaviors such as delinquency, substance abuse, and school dropout; �SEL students feel more connected and attached to their schools; and �SEL programming significantly improved students' skills, attitudes, and behaviors.
SEL Across the School
Key Components of Schoolwide SEL Opportunities for participation, collaboration, and service Safe, supportive learning community with respectful relationships and trust Support and validation for individual strengths Opportunities for bonding and connectedness Common expectations for adults and students Encourage mentoring and coaching Model empathy and perspective taking Emotionally safe and motivating SEL is integrated throughout the school community
Key Components of SEL in the Classroom � Student-centered discipline � Teacher language � Responsibility & choice � Warmth & support � Cooperative learning � Classroom discussions � Self-reflection & self- assessment � Balanced instruction � High academic expectations � Competence building: modeling, practicing, coaching, feedback
NJDOE Initiative: Social-Emotional Learning Working Group �Convening group of experts and stakeholders to: Review current evidence-based SEL research Develop a format to promote SEL across the curriculum that will best serve New Jersey students Describe practices which can be implemented with fidelity and withstand the test of time �Developing SEL Guidelines and Resources
"An atmosphere that provides support for one's social and emotional learning and competence versus one that does not can make a huge difference in that child's life. The difference is equal to the difference in the outcome of throwing seeds on cement versus planting seeds in enriched soil. ” ~Dr. James Comer
Resources � New Jersey School Climate Survey http: //www. state. nj. us/education/students/safety/behavior/njscs/ � School Climate Resources Safe Supportive Learning: https: //safesupportivelearning. ed. gov/ National School Climate Center: http: //www. schoolclimate. org Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL): http: //www. casel. org UCLA School Mental Health Project—Schools as Caring, Learning Communities: http: //smhp. psych. ucla. edu/pdfdocs/caring. pdf A Review of School Climate Research, Amrit Thapa, Jonathan Cohen, Shawn Guffey and Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro, Review of Educational Research, September 2013: http: //rer. sagepub. com/content/83/3/357 � Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR) P. L. 2010, c. 122: http: //www. njleg. state. nj. us/2010/Bills/PL 10/122_. PDF NJDOE Resources Supporting the ABR: http: //www. state. nj. us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/#si
Accessing the NJSCS � NJSCS and associated materials are available on NJDOE website � Schools may not change survey materials and attribute revised materials to the NJDOE � Spanish and Creole versions available for students and parents. http: //www. state. nj. us/education/students/safety/behavior/njscs/
THANK YOU! QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS CAN BE SENT TO School. Climate@doe. state. nj. us