Positive Learning Climates KnowledgeBase

The Positive Learning Climates KnowledgeBase is an online resource to aid educators in nurturing school climates conducive to learning. It is organized around five elements aimed at developing a positive learning climate.

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

Sub-task 2: Community Factors


Strenghtening Partnerships: Community School Assessment Checklist

This Coalition for Community Schools document contains three checklists designed to help schools assess partnership activities within their community.

Characteristics of Our Community

This worksheet from the Washington Education Association's Building Community Connections publication may help school leaders create a community profile.

Alternate format: PDF


Community Vision - Key Questions

This list of seven questions to pose to community constituents is designed to help schools identify a vision of what the community wants and expects from its schools. The questions were developed by the 2003 Baldrige National Quality Award in Education recipient, Community Consolidated School District 15 in Palatine, Illinois.


School as a Caring Community Profile - II (SCCP-II)

As noted at its website, "the School as a Caring Community Profile-II (SCCP-II) is an instrument developed by the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility) to help schools assess themselves as caring communities. The SCCP may be administered at any point (ideally at the beginning) of a character education initiative and then at later points to assess progress."

Six Types of School-Family-Community Involvement

This National Network of Partnership Schools webpage discusses six types of cooperation among families, schools, and other community organizations as identified by Johns Hopkins University Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships Director Joyce Epstein.

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