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Colorado's School Climate Approach

School Climate Transformation Design Collaborative

During the spring 2020, a group of 13 districts came together to help define and identify the components that best lead to a positive school climate, assess the extent to which a comprehensive school climate framework exists, and put forward recommendations to CDE about how to best move forward with our school climate work. Here is what they put forward:

  1. Outline the best practices to create a positive school climate. This is being done in conjunction with Colorado State University, Prevention Research Center through a literature review.
  2. Create common definitions for key terms including: social emotional learning, equity, and belonging.
  3. Integrate school climate best practices into existing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
  4. Put forward useful tools and resources that provide additional guidance on implementation.
  5. Provide relevant training and coaching to support implementation of all components of a positive school climate.

**Please review the school climate web page to see how we are putting these recommendations into action.

How to Improve School Climate

At the same time of the Design Collaborative, our partners at Colorado State University was completing a Literature Review to identify best practices for creating a positive school culture and climate. The best practices identified in the Literature Review were also shared as the best practices that districts who participated in the Design Collaborative had identified. The following resource is a culmination of the research and practice perspectives that lead to a positive school climate (Please note that this resource will be expanded upon during the 2020-21 school year):

School Climate Improvement Strategies

Spotlight on Schools 

In 2020, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Department of Human Services - Office of Behavioral Health (CDHS-OBH) combined efforts to investigate ways to promote the increased use of equitable, student-centered discipline in Colorado schools. Evaluators at the Evaluation Center at the University of Colorado Denver conducted four brief case studies with Colorado districts/schools to learn from their experience in successfully implementing strategies to support positive school climate and discipline. The case studies are highlighted in the link below. 

Four Case Studies 

Implementation Fidelity and Adaptation

In order to measure implementation, it is important to assess fidelity. This resource outlines why it's important to assess fidelity of programs and frameworks and how to carefully make adaptations to fit the unique context of your school or district.

Measuring Fidelity