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: A school and community snapshot is a collection of data sorted and analyzed to convey useful information. Misdirected data collection efforts can be costly in wasted time and misinformation they might provide. It is best first to prepare, focus on the task, and then collect the data. The resources provided offer basic information the school staff members need to get organized for data collection efforts.
Surveys are a useful tool for gathering people's perceptions, preferences, and beliefs on many topics. This checklist provides basic guidance on effective survey design.
A broad range of stakeholders should be involved in the improvement process. This checklist may help the improvement team identify stakeholders in its community.
This checklist provides guidance in organizing data collection efforts.
This resource provides an overview of the U.S. Department of Education's handbook "Safety in Numbers: Collecting and Using Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools" along with a link to the complete document. The handbook defines a comprehensive data system for collecting incident data and identifies issues associated with making such a system work.
This resource from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Evaluation Handbook provides a list of things to consider when deciding upon data collection methods and instruments.
This chart compares the pros and cons of eight data collection methods.
This Central Connecticut State University resource provides helpful hints for conducting a focus group.
This resource provides a list of federal agencies offering data and information about children and youth related to abuse, health, juvenile crime, substance abuse, and school-related violence.
This document provides an overview of six data collection techniques that can be useful in profiling the school.
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.