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.
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.
This reference guide developed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) offers practical guidance for district staff members related to harassment issues. District staff members responsible for harassment issues may find the content useful in developing appropriate policies and procedures.
This resource offers links to Office for Civil Rights (OCR) guidance documents addressing disability, racial, and sexual harassment in the school setting.
This resource provides an example of how student harassment training has evolved at Waunakee Community Middle School in Waunakee, Wisconsin, over a 15 year period. This document summarizes the program's evolution and offers supporting materials.
This link to the American Association of Univeristy Women website provides information about its Crossing the Line report on sexual harassment in schools. As noted at its website, this report is "based on findings from a nationally representative survey conducted in May and June, 2011, it presents the most comprehensive research to date on sexual harassment in grades 7-12 and reveals some sobering statistics about the prevalence of sexual harassment and the negative impact it has on students' education. The report concludes with concrete recommendations and promising practices for preventing sexual harassment directed at school administrators, educators, parents, students and community members."
This link to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project offers resources on teaching tolerance.
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.