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What Works Brief #10: Improving Staff Climate

By Meagan O Malley, Kate Evans


Effective school climates for students begin with effective school climates for staff. Staff members need to feel physically and emotionally safe; a sense of collegiality based on caring, trust, and mutual high expectations; and that they are meaningfully involved in school decision-making.

This What Works Brief, cowritten by Meagan O’Malley, former Research Associate at WestEd, recommends activities for improving school environments for staff members across four major research-based strategies:

  • Supporting new staff members
  • Fostering positive, collegial relationships among staff
  • Supporting staff members’ social and emotional competencies
  • Implementing reliable systems of student discipline and support

Note: Developed by the California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Technical Assistance Center, What Works Briefs summarize state-of-the-art practices, strategies, and programs for improving school climate.

Based on the most current research, each of the ten briefs provides practical recommendations for school staff, parents, and community members and can be used separately to target specific issues (e.g., family engagement) or grouped together to address more complex, systemwide issues.

What Works Briefs are organized into three sections:

  • Quick Wins: What Teachers and Adults Can Do Right Now
  • Universal Supports: Schoolwide Policies, Practices, and Programs
  • Targeted Supports: Intensive Supports for At-Risk Youth

In addition to Brief #10: Improving Staff Climate, download these What Works Briefs:

Information about California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) can be found at the S3 website.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2012
Format: PDF
Pages: 6
Publisher: WestEd