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

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

Task 1: Record Identified Methods and Strategies

Guideline: Once the selected strategies to improve the learning climate have been identified, the next task is to compile them in written form. Creating such a document provides a means to communicate with constituency groups and monitor performance. The work team might assign the task to a sub-group or designate one individual to create a draft document for review. When writing the draft, it is helpful to use an easy to follow format and minimize the use of technical language and jargon.

Writing with Statistics

This link to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers guidance on the proper use of statistics.

Modern Language Association (MLA) Formattng and Style Guide

This link to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers a quick reference to the MLA formatting and style guide.

American Psychological Association (APA) Formatting and Style Guide

This link to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers a quick reference to the APA formatting and style guide.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus Online

This link is to the online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus.

Writing to Linguistically Diverse Audiences

Writing effectively for an audience with a wide variety of backgrounds is difficult. This page provides several resources to help writers craft their message to reach the widest possible audience.

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