School Climate Improvement Reference Manual

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Reference Manual on Making School Climate Improvements

The way students, families, teachers, and other school staff experience the school and school-related activities affects student attendance, learning, and achievement. Students in positive learning environments that are safe, supportive, and engaging are more likely to improve academically, participate more fully in the classroom, and develop skills that will help them be successful in school and in life. 

This comprehensive Reference Manual on Making School Climate Improvements is designed for individuals or teams who want detailed information on how to make school climate improvements.* The manual includes five overarching sets of activities for improving school climate:

  1. Planning for School Climate Improvements;
  2. Engaging Stakeholders in School Climate Improvements;
  3. Collecting and Reporting School Climate Data (for both EDSCLS and non-EDSCLS users);
  4. Choosing and Implementing School Climate Interventions; and
  5. Monitoring and Evaluating Overall School Climate Improvements.

For each set of activities, the Reference Manual includes action steps and objectives. For each objective, it presents a clear purpose and strategies that can help schools and districts develop an infrastructure to promote and sustain their efforts. It also includes related resources to learn more if needed.

The Reference Manual on Making School Climate Improvements is one tool, among a diverse collection of tools within the School Climate Improvement Resource Package, commissioned by the Department of Education Office of Safe and Healthy Students.

*This document provides strategies applicable to public schools and districts, including charter authorizers, charter management organizations, education management organizations, individual charter schools, and charter local educational agencies.

American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

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