According to the National School Climate Center, school climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is based on patterns of students', parents' and school personnel's experience of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.
A sustainable, positive school climate fosters youth development and learning necessary for a productive, contributing and satisfying life in a democratic society.
Three of the new Council members were part of the Special Olympics Project UNIFY® 2010 Summer Internship Program:
•Brad Efune, Freshman, University of Arizona
•Laura Franzi, Senior, William Paterson University
•Yu Jenny Zhong, Sophomore, University of Pennsylvania
Brad, Laura and Jenny will contribute to the national School Climate campaign by sharing their experiences, insights and suggestions to effectively engage youth in co-creating positive inclusive school climates.
The National School Climate Council, created the National School Climate Standards framework based on research. The five standards are:
1.The school community has a shared vision and plan for promoting, enhancing and sustaining a positive school climate.
2.The school community sets policies specifically promoting practice and infrastructure to address barriers to teaching and learning and engaging students.
3.The school community’s practices are identified, prioritized and supported to promote student development, enhance engagement, address barriers and develop capacity for quality school climate.
4.The school community creates an environment where all members are welcomed, supported and feel safe in schools; socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically.
5.The school community develops meaningful and engaging practices, activities and norms that promote social and civic responsibilities and commitment to social justice.
In addition the National School Climate Council encourages four major areas that school climate assessment needs to include: Safety, Relationships, Teaching and Learning and the External Environment. Each of these areas include a series of sub scales of indicators.
For more information on the National School Climate Council, contact Jonathan Cohen at 212-707-8799 or visit http://www.schoolclimate.org/climate/.