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

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

Task 2: Consult with the School's Constituent Groups and Outside Experts

Guideline: When addressing school climate, the work group should consult with parents, district and school staff members, and retained technical assistance providers. Prior to seeking such consultation, the work group should think through the process for doing so. When seeking consultation with others, the team must be prepared to take under advisement the input it will be receiving.

Guidelines for Productive Meetings

This guide from the Team Handbook might assist team members with having productive meetings.

The Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships

The U.S. Department of Education has developed a Family and Community Engagement Framework for families, schools, districts, states, and the broader communities to develop partnerships in education. This document describes strategies for building, cultivating, and sustaining positive relationships with families. The goal of these partnerships is to to build capacity for student achievement and school improvement.

Education on the Web - Technical Assistance Organizations

This Education on the Web category provides links to private and government technical assistance providers at the national, state, and local levels.

Effective Discussion Skills

Bringing a group of diverse people together as a team to accomplish a specific project can be a significant task. When brought together as a group, people carry with them their perceptions, beliefs, and personal agendas. This document, reproduced from The Team Handbook authored by Peter Scholtes, may help team members have effective discussions.

High Quality Technical Assistance

This issue of the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform's Benchmarks newsletter reviews aspects of quality technical assistance.

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