School Climate

School climate refers to a number of factors that affect students’ experience at school, including its physical features, the academic environment, the quality of school relationships, and participation in school-related activities. A positive school climate is one that is characterized by “trust, respect, mutual obligation, and concern for others’ welfare” (Manning & Saddlemire, 1996, p. 41). 

Factors related to school climate include the availability of physical and mental health supports and services, the fairness and adequacy of disciplinary actions, and the health and safety of the school setting, including the presence and use of alcohol and illegal drugs, bullying, harassment, and violence (U. S. Department of Education, 2010). 

Outcomes associated with a positive school climate include (a) fewer emotional and behavioral problems; (b) greater academic success; and (c) greater job satisfaction among school personnel (Haynes & Comer, 1993; Kuperminc et al., 1997; McEvoy & Welker, 2000; Taylor and Tashakkori, 1995).

By ChildTrends



Sources Cited

Haynes, N. M., & Comer, J. P. (1993). The Yale School Development Program process, outcomes, and policy implications. Urban Education, 28(2), 166-199. 

Kuperminc, G. P., Leadbeater, B. J., Emmons, C., & Blatt, S. J. (1997). Perceived school climate and difficulties in the social adjustment of middle school students. Applied Developmental Science, 1(2), 76-88. 

Manning, M. L., & Saddlemire, R. (1996). Developing a sense of community in secondary schools. National Association of Secondary School Principals. NASSP Bulletin, 80(584), 41-48. 

McEvoy, A., & Welker, R. (2000). Antisocial behavior, academic failure, and school climate: A critical review. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8(3), 130- 140. 

National School Climate Council (2009). National School Climate Standards. Benchmarks to promote effective teaching, learning and comprehensive school improvement. New York: Center for Social and Emotional Education.

Taylor, D. L., & Tashakkori, A. (1995). Decision participation and school climate as predictors of job satisfaction and teacher’s sense of efficacy. Journal of Experimental Education, 63(3), 217-227.

U. S. Department of Education, (2010).  Office of Safe and Drug-Free School; Overview Information; Safe and Supportive Schools; Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2010.  Federal Register, 75(131), 39504-39510.