School Climate Assessments

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School climate includes those critical common elements that influence student outcomes by establishing norms and expectations for behavior which create a positive culture for learning and academic growth.  School climate refers to the quality and character of school life.  School climate is based on patterns of students', parents' and school personnel's experience of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures. How students feel about being in school shapes learning and student development. Peer-reviewed educational research consistently demonstrates that a positive school climate is associated with academic achievement, effective risk prevention efforts and positive youth development.

School and classroom climate assessments address three overarching conceptual dimensions: relationships, personal growth and system maintenance and change; assessments can include formal or informal assessments or student and parent focus groups. Attention to school climate – physical, social and academic dimensions - result in improved student behavioral and emotional functioning (school connectedness, social and emotional learning) and, in turn, increase academic motivation and achievement. 

Popular assessments of school climate include: