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.
Guideline: Local, state, and federal constitutional requirements, statutes, regulations, and judicial decisions impact the risks, rights, and responsibilities of school staff members in maintaining a safe school environment. School policies also have a role in establishing liability and affecting school staff member responsibilities. School staff members seeking to avoid liability for acts related to school violence, including the steps taken to prevent it, should be familiar with these legal requirements. The information presented here is not intended as legal guidance. For proper legal guidance, district leadership should contact their legal counsel.
Prepared by the International Chiefs of Police, this guide offers legal considerations for school officials when taking action to prevent or respond to violence situations. Before acting, school officials should consult with legal counsel.
This resource is part of Education Northwest's series of safe schools guidebooks. This guide addresses School Policies and Legal Issues Supporting Safe Schools.
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.
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.
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.