School climate refers to the atmosphere in the classroom or school, and how everyone – students, teachers, administrators, families and others feel about being in the school. Is the school environment conducive to learning? Do parents feel welcomed? Do teachers feel they have a supportive leader who respects their work and opinion? These are some questions asked in ascertaining school climate. There is no universal definition of school climate. However, there are many aspects that make up school climate, including:
- The physical environment and characteristics of the school (i.e., physical appearance and structure such as whether the school building is clean, orderly, and welcoming)
- Perceptions of safety (i.e., rules and norms relating to physical safety and emotional security/well-being)
- The social interactions and interpersonal relationships of students, staff, families, and community members (i.e., feelings of mutual support, trust, and respect)
- The organizational structure, management, and leadership style (i.e. how policies are determined and enforced)
- Atmosphere of the learning environment (i.e., the extent that teachers and administrators believe students can succeed and the encouragement, constructive feedback and individualized attention students are given)
How important is school climate? In a school with a positive climate – based on the perceptions of students, educators and families – students feel good about coming to school, so it is not surprising that studies indicate that a positive school climate contributes to learning and achievement, and has been linked to educational, social, and psychological benefits for all members of a school-community. In contrast, negative perceptions of school climate have the potential to interfere with learning. Put simply, students in schools with a positive, nurturing climate not only feel good about being in school, they actually perform better. Can the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum contribute to school climate? Read More...