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NATIONAL SCHOOL CLIMATE STANDARDS and IMPROVING PRACTICE Jo Ann Freiberg, Ph.D. Member, National School Climate Council Education Consultant, CT State.

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Presentation on theme: "NATIONAL SCHOOL CLIMATE STANDARDS and IMPROVING PRACTICE Jo Ann Freiberg, Ph.D. Member, National School Climate Council Education Consultant, CT State."— Presentation transcript:

1 NATIONAL SCHOOL CLIMATE STANDARDS and IMPROVING PRACTICE Jo Ann Freiberg, Ph.D. Member, National School Climate Council Education Consultant, CT State Department of Education January 29, 2013, Hartford Marriott Farmington

2 Fixing the Problem Bullying Prevention 2 Creating the Climate Improving School Climate Pivotal Shift

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5 Why School Climate ? Issues with nomenclature Character/Moral Education Values Clarification Citizenship and Religious Education Bullying Prevention Service Learning Politically correct: everyone is supportive No one questions the content of lessons Not a separate subject - integrated into all subject matter School Climate Conflict Resolution School Climate Discipline Climate Focus on Climate > Intervening with Bullying 5

6 Why NOT Look Through The Lens of Bullying Prevention? Bullying is a TOXIC School Concept: A True Conversation Closer Everything is labeled bullying, and when everything is bullying, nothing is bullying… Its BULLIMANIA!!! No school wants to have any of it (bullying) No parent/guardian will admit their child is one (bully) No child will own up to being one (bully) Everyone avoids these terms except the Targets family (My child has been bullied, or Ive been bullied) 6

7 Making Schools Safer by Passing State Anti- Bullying Laws: Reactive vs. Preventive 7 Missouris Law originally only pertained to Cyber-Bullying CT and WY: Only two states that combine (the problem of) Bullying and (the solution of creating positive) School Climate in the same legislation GA 2000 NH CO LA MS OR WV CT NJ OK WA AR CA RI 2004 VT AZ IN MD VA TX TN ME NV ID SC AK NM DE IA IL KS MN OH PA NE KY UT FL MO AL NC WY MA WI NY ND HI MI SD NO LAW MT

8 8 A Call To Action: Improving School Climate Improving school climate is among the most effective ways of improving the lives of youth, preventing violence and creating physically, emotionally and intellectually safe, supportive and positive learning environments

9 School Climate: Understandings, Research, Policy & Practice: Key Dimensions 9

10 National School Climate Standards: Finalized March 2010 There is growing appreciation that school climate – the quality and character of school life 1 – fosters childrens development, learning and achievement. School climate is based on the patterns of peoples experiences of school life; it reflects the norms, goals values, interpersonal relationships, teaching, learning and leadership practices, and organizational structures that comprise school life. 1 This definition of school climate was consensually developed by members of the National School Climate Council (2007). The terms school climate, school culture and learning environment have been used in overlapping but sometimes quite different ways in the educational literature. Here, we use the terms interchangeably. 10

11 National School Climate Standards Present a vision and framework for a positive and sustainable school climate. They compliment national standards for Content, Leadership and Professional Development and the Parent Teacher Associations National Standards for Family School Partnership Standards 11

12 National School Climate Standards: Endorsements American School Health Assoc. ASCD (Assoc. for Supervision & Curriculum Development) Character Educ. Partnership Natl Network of Educ. Renewal Natl School Boards Assoc. Public Education Network School Mental Health Project Search Institute FairTest Natl Assoc. of School Psych. American School Counselors Assoc. Committee for Children Pacer Center Teaching Tolerance Natl Rural Educ. Association Natl Org. for Youth Safety National PTA CT Juvenile Justice Alliance Futures without Violence iKeep Safe (Internet Keep Safe Coalition) Natl Cntr. for Student Engagement 12

13 Standard One The school community has a shared vision and plan for promoting, enhancing and sustaining a positive school climate. 13

14 Standard One: Indicators 1.1 School policies and practices support school, family, youth and community members working together to establish a safe and productive learning community. 1.2 Schools gather accurate and reliable data about school climate from students, school personnel and parents/guardians for continuous improvement and share it regularly with the school community. 1.3 Capacity building is developed over time to enable all school community members to meet school climate standards. 14

15 Standard Two The school community sets policies specifically promoting (a) the development and sustainability of social, emotional, ethical, civic and intellectual skills, knowledge, dispositions and engagement, and (b) a comprehensive system to address barriers to learning and teaching and reengage students who have become disengaged. 15

16 Standard Two Indicators 2.1 Policies and mission and vision statements that promote social, emotional, ethical and civic, as well as intellectual, skills and dispositions are developed and institutionalized. 2.2 Policies and mission and vision statements are developed and institutionalized that promote a comprehensive system to address barriers to learning and teaching and reengage students who have become disengaged. 16

17 Standard Two Indicators 2.3 Policies promote use and monitoring of natural and informal opportunities (e.g., recreational and extracurricular aspects of classroom and school life, formulation of codes of conduct and fair enforcement of rules, mentoring, and informal interactions among and with students) to ensure they support the helpful norms of learning and teaching that foster mutual respect and caring; engagement; safety and well being; civil, pro social, responsible behavior; and a psychological sense of community. 17

18 Standard Two Indicators 2.4 Policies ensure the operational and capacity building mechanisms (including staff and student development) related to this standard are fully integrated into a schools infrastructure and are effectively implemented and sustained. 18

19 Standard Three The school communitys practices are identified, prioritized and supported to (a) promote the learning and positive social, emotional, ethical and civic development of students, (b) enhance engagement in teaching, learning, and school-wide activities; (c) address barriers to learning and teaching and reengage those who have become disengaged; and (d) develop and sustain an appropriate operational infrastructure and capacity building mechanisms for meeting this standard. 19

20 Standard Three Indicators 3.1 Specific practices are designed to enhance engagement of every student through classroom-based social, emotional, ethical and civic learning and in school-wide activities. 3.2 Teachers and school administrators design specific classroom and school-wide practices to address barriers to learning and teaching and reengage those who have become disengaged. 3.3 School leaders develop and sustain a comprehensive system of learning supports by ensuring an appropriate operational infrastructure that incorporates capacity building mechanisms. 20

21 Standard Four The school community creates an environment where all members are welcomed, supported, and feel safe in school: socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically. 21

22 Standard Four Indicators 4.1 School leaders promote comprehensive and evidence-based instructional and school-wide improvement efforts designed to support students, school personnel and community members feeling welcomed, supported and safe in school: socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically. 4.2 Students, their families, school staff and community stakeholders are regularly surveyed and are asked to indicate what the school should do to further enhance a welcoming, supportive and safe environment. 22

23 Standard Four Indicators 4.3 School leaders monitor and evaluate the prevention and intervention strategies designed to support people feeling welcomed, supported and safe and use that data to improve relevant policies, facilities, staff competencies and accountability. 23

24 Standard Five The school community develops meaningful and engaging practices, activities and norms that promote social and civic responsibilities and a commitment to social justice. 24

25 Standard Five Indicators 5.1 Students and staff model culturally responsive and ethical behavior. This reflects continuous learning that builds knowledge, awareness, skills, and the capacity to identify, understand, and respect the unique beliefs, values, customs, languages, and traditions of all members of the school community. 5.2 Relationships among and between staff and students are mutually, respectful, supportive, ethical and civil. 5.3 Students and staff are actively engaged in celebrating milestones and accomplishments as they work to achieve meaningful school and community life. 25

26 School Climate: Key Dimensions 26

27 School Climate: Understandings, Research, Policy & Practice 27 The School Climate Improvement Model: Five-Step Process

28 The Five Stage Improvement Model: Tasks and Challenges 1) Planning for the next phase of improvement Creating a representative leadership team Fostering buy in: understandings, vision, vocabulary and engagement! Leadership Commitment & Dedicated Planning Team Moving from blame/distrust to a more no fault/trusting culture Celebrating success and building on past efforts Community Engagement/Outreach 2) School Climate Assessment/Evaluation Measurement Process Interpretation of Results 28

29 Multiple Measures of Data 29

30 The Five Stage Improvement Model: Tasks and Challenges 3) Understanding findings and Action Planning Understanding and Digging Deeper Prioritizing goals Researching instructional and/or school wide improvement programmatic efforts Action Planning: Benchmarks & Timelines 4) Implementing the Action Plan: Instructional & School-wide 5) Beginning the cycle anew 30

31 School Climate Improvement Model 31 The School Climate Improvement Model: Five-Step Process

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33 Choosing a Program 33 Hoped For Change Pivotal Shift from…. Compliance

34 Know Where You Are Based Upon Data 34 Setting Concrete Goals & Determining Strategies & Choosing Programs To… School Climate Improvement

35 School Climate: Understandings, Research, Policy & Practice Translating the standards into practice efforts We need: 1) School Climate Improvement Model 2) An Implementation Strategy 3) Resources, Guidelines, Tools, Programs and Practices that support the model, the individual context and implementation strategy 35

36 School Climate: Understandings, Research, Policy & Practice An implementation Strategy Assessing readiness: Do you understand the school climate improvement plans and to what extent can and will we make a commitment to it? A formative assessment: Where are we now? And, given this developing understanding, what are next steps? Roles and responsibilities Developing plans to build capacity – The expertise of school personnel and parent leaders from day one of the effort 36

37 Next Steps: Vision to Practice Use your Climate Committees… Self Assess with the Rubric Review and analyze available data Demographic Student Learning School Processes Perceptual School Climate Assessment Instrument Use/fill in the Template 37

38 Strategies for Improvement Targeted Programs/Approaches Theory of Action/Logic Model -- What can be done to address the problem; how should it work in theory; why should it work? Past Experience Research Strengths to Leverage What do findings reveal that can be used to support change? Initiatives to build on whats working and address embedded weaknesses Lessons learned from strengths that can be applied to problems 38

39 The Grid Translating the standards into practice efforts We need: 1) School Climate Improvement Model 2) An Implementation Strategy 3) Resources, Guidelines and Tools that support the model and implementation strategy: 39

40 School Climate: Key Dimensions 40

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42 Thank You! Jo Ann Freiberg, Ph.D., Education Consultant, Connecticut State Department of Education, Member, National School Climate Council (860) National School Climate Center 42


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