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Why is School Climate Important?
Why is School Climate Important?
Dan Cox
Thursday, October 25, 2018

For the past two weeks students, staff, and our families have been participating in the Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI). If you are a parent or caregiver to a Staunton Schools student very good chances are you have received e-mails, text messages, push-notifications or all of the previously mentioned asking you to provide your feedback for the survey!

So why is this survey such a big deal? Having a positive culture and climate that promotes a safe and healthy learning environment is the foundation to achieve our vision and mission of expecting everyone’s best to lead, challenge, and achieve. A healthy culture and climate has a positive universal effect on our students, school, and community. This is why we have identified culture and climate as our top district improvement area.

Positive results of strong school climate improvement work can be grouped into four “buckets:"

  1. SAFETY
    • Dramatic decrease in risky behaviors.
    • Lower rates of student suspensions and discipline issues in general. 
    • Physical, social, and emotional benefits.

2.     TEACHING/LEARNING

    • The effect of positive school climate not only contributes to improved academic outcomes among diverse groups of students, but its effect seems to persist for years.
    • Higher graduation rates.
    • Powerful correlation between improved school climate and increased motivation to learn.
    • Positive school climate is correlated with decreased student absenteeism in middle school and high school and lower rates of student suspension in high school.
  1. INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT
    • School connectedness is a powerful predictor of and is associated with adolescent health and academic outcomes.
    • Improved staff morale.
  2. INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
    • In schools where students perceive a better structured-school, fair discipline practices, and more positive student-teacher relationships, the “probability and frequency of subsequent behavioral problems” is lower.
    • Safe, caring, participatory, and responsive school climate fosters greater attachment to school and provides the optimal foundation for social, emotional, and academic learning.

Please take 10 minutes to complete the survey if you have not done so already.  In the coming weeks we will be sharing results with you and sharing information about our action steps. Unique survey links have been sent to you via e-mail from your principal and unique links have been sent to you via text and push notifications.

Thank you for your continued support of Staunton Schools.