Understanding School Climate: An Overview of School Climate Domains
A positive school climate fosters healthy interactions and promotes the equitable well-being of students, staff, families, and the school community. This brief defines school climate, identifies its domains, and provides recommendations for assessing school climate.
There are three domains of school climate: belonging and connection, safety and wellness, and environment. School and district administrators can use the following recommended questions from the brief for each school climate domain when planning to explore school climate efforts.
- What are the strengths of the climate at our school site? What is working well?
- What are some needs and opportunities for growth?
- What are some additional steps we can take to support school climate improvement efforts?
- Are there specific groups of students we need to consider in our school climate improvement efforts?
- How do we ensure staff are aware of the strengths and needs of the climate at our school or within our district?
- What existing data are already being collected?
- What are the sources of additional data that we should gather?
- How do we integrate school climate data and other indicators of school success?
- How can school climate data be utilized and integrated into our districtwide or schoolwide plans (e.g., local control accountability plan, school improvement plan for student achievement)?
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