The Positive Learning Climates KnowledgeBase

Task 2: Become Familiar with State and Local Requirements


Guideline: In addition to federal requirements, school staff members must be familiar with applicable state laws on school safety. A conducive learning climate requires the principal to share this information with his or her staff members. The offered resource documents can help foster such an understanding.

State Agencies for Children and Families

This document offers links to each state's website of the agency responsible for children and family services.


State Anti-Bullying Laws

This list from Bullypolice.org grades each state on its anti-bullying laws or lack thereof. States with anti-bullying laws are listed on the left, and those without such laws are listed on the right. In the center of the page, the criteria used to grade the laws are listed. Where available, further information concerning state laws or legislative efforts concerning bullying is provided.


State Education Laws

This Cornell University Law School website provides links to each state's education statutes.


State Level School Safety Programs

The document offers links to each state's information on state-level safety programs. In most instances, the link provided is directly to the school safety program webpage.

Element 1: Understand the Law

Purpose: In addition to addressing academic rigor, instructional strategies, teacher qualifications, and class size, the learning environment plays an equally important role in improving student academic achievement. The first step in creating a positive learning climate is understanding the laws addressing school safety. Element 1 offers basic information on the legal aspects of school safety.

Activity 1: Become Familiar with the Legal Aspects Concerning Safer Schools

Activity 2: Understand Legal Implications for Schools and School Personnel

Element 2: Know Your School and Community

Purpose: Assessing the school's learning climate involves looking at student behavior, school culture, physical environment, family and community involvement, and interactions with other government agencies. Element 2 outlines the tasks involved in creating a profile of the school's learning climate.

Activity 1: Take a Snapshot of School and Community

Activity 2: Identify Focus Areas

Element 3: Create a Comprehensive Positive School Climate

Purpose: Addressing school climate is an important aspect of improving academic performance. Taking a comprehensive look at a school's climate addresses focus areas that merit attention and communicates intended methods and strategies to the staff members, students, and other relevant constituent groups. Element 3 outlines the tasks involved with creating a positive school climate.

Activity 1: Plan to Act

Activity 2: Develop Methods and Strategies

Activity 3: Identify Resources Required to Accomplish Goals

Activity 4: Document Methods and Strategies

Element 4: Implement Strategies

Purpose: Improvement is achieved through the effective implementation of chosen strategies. To be successful, the principal should monitor the school's progress towards implementing the selected strategies. Element 4 outlines the steps for implementing the strategies aimed at improving a school's climate.

Activity 1: Manage Implementation

Activity 2: Accomplish Change

Activity 3: Evaluate Outcomes

Element 5: Communicate with School's Constituencies

Purpose: What happens in school is community news and sometimes even draws national attention. A district's and school's communication strategies should address how behavioral incidents are handled. Element 5 provides information on communicating with the school's constituencies.

Activity 1: Develop a Communications Strategy

Activity 2: Execute Communications Strategy