Site Index | CDE Offices | Staff Directory

 

* * CDE will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 25 and Friday, Dec. 26 for the Christmas holiday. * *

Assess and Enhance School Climate

Institutional Change

Assess and Enhance School Climate

"Structural change that is not supported by cultural change will eventually be overwhelmed by the culture, for it is the culture that any organization finds meaning in stability." - Phillip Schlechty

A school's climate has a strong influence over students and staff. Assess the school's climate and working to increase positivity and collaborative efforts is essential for institutional change from a systems perspective. Shaping and influencing a school's culture and climate can and should be intentional. (Elbot & Fulton, 2005) A positive school climate consists of:

  • Relational Trust
    • How well each key stakeholder (students, parents, teachers, administration) believes that members of the other groups are fulfilling their role and obligations.
  • Supportive Leadership
    • Shared mission and goals, instructional guidance and staff feeling validated and that they have a voice.
    • Organizational change, roles, and expectations clearly defined. Having clear and fair policies, procedures, and practices that are clearly defined and consistent.
  • Trust and Respect
    • Positive rapport and relationships built between key stakeholder groups.
  • Professional Development
    • Staff feels valuable, knowledgeable, and prepared.
  • Expectations, Trust, and Accountability
    • Having high expectations that are consistently followed through, however, expectations need to be accompanied with trust and accountability. Collaborative and shared conflict resolution efforts will increase consistency and build trust and a positive school climate.
  • Physical Environment
    • School safety policies and cleanliness impact culture and climate.
  • Markers, Rituals, and Transitions
    • Creating an event/assembly/tradition to positively reinforce successes, effort, and accomplishments for students as well as staff.

Resources

Schools that Beat the Odds, 2005, McRel

Discusses common factors for successful schools.

http://www.cde.state.co.us/DropoutPrevention/downloads/pdf/CGP_Beat_the_Odds.pdf

Identifying Differences Between Two Groups of High-Needs High Schools, 2008, McRel

Discusses the differences between high performing and low performing high needs schools, specifically significant
differences in various factors.

http://www.cde.state.co.us/DropoutPrevention/downloads/pdf/CGP_HighNeedsHighSchools.pdf

STEM: Establishing a Culture of High Expectations

This webinar is part of an on-going webinar series from NASSP's Breaking Ranks Framework, a comprehensive
framework for school improvement that can support all schools in the K-12 continuum. This webinar is presented
by Trevor Greene, Principal, Toppenish High School, Toppenish, WA. Nestled on the Yakama Indian Reservation
in southern Washington, Toppenish serves a high-minority (95%), high-poverty (99%) student population, and
boasts 28 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classes. Listen as Trevor discusses how
he has transformed Toppenish into a high-performing place of learning and brought a renewed sense of hope to
rural Washington. Learn how this rural school has increased higher-level math and science enrollment through
implementation of engineering and biomedical science classes. A child of the reservation, Trevor's goal for every
member of his community is to "be bold enough to do what other don't even dream."

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/116449577 (webinar)

Transforming School Culture

This webinar is part of an on-going webinar series from NASSP's Breaking Ranks Framework, a comprehensive
framework for school improvement that can support all schools in the K-12 continuum. This webinar is presented
by Laurie Barron, Principal, Smokey Road Middle School, Newman, GA. Names as only one of five middle
schools in the nation to be selected as a 2011 MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough School, Smokey Road
Middle School adheres to the student-centered comprehensive framework for school improvement and reform as
outlined in the NASSP publication Breaking Ranks in the Middle. This webinar demonstrates how focusing on the
areas of collaborative leadership, personalizing the school environment, and curriculum, instruction, and
assessment, can increase student achievement and foster a culture of continuous improvement by developing
significant relationships with students, making classes more relevant, and increasing instructional rigor.

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/823974824 (webinar)

Quick Links

 

Contact Us

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

CDE Hours
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See also: Licensing Hours

Educator Licensing