State Administrators

State administrators work with districts and schools in managing federal and state grant programs and implementing state policies and regulations.  Duties include planning and funding, providing technical assistance, monitoring and compliance, and reporting and evaluation.  

School climate improvements require support from staff at all levels, from the educators in the classroom to the administrators at the state level. State administrators have the ability to bring partners together and leverage resources to thoughtfully support districts and schools.

State administrators can be strong advocates for improving school safety, school environment, and school engagement in the ways they guide policy and implementation.

State administrators who focus on administering grant programs aimed at improving the learning environment as a whole or in its parts (environment, safety, or engagement) can provide specific guidance on measuring school climate and implementing evidence-based programmatic interventions. With their guidance, districts and schools can become empowered to make learning environment improvements. They also can work with other administrators and partners to consider how elements of safe, supportive learning environments;can be integrated into the work on the other grants and programs.

States can utilize school climate measurement systems to assess learning environments.

By assessing the perceptions of school climate, educators and education agencies can identify key issues in need of reform. Once needs are identified, data from school climate assessments can be used to set goals and priorities and choose programmatic interventions. When measured over time, school climate data can be a powerful tool to track progress toward goals. Data also can be used to compare and contrast schools with one another.

States can support the implementation of evidence-based programmatic interventions.

Once areas of need and improvement have been identified by school climate measurement systems, those data must be applied to make an informed decision about which programmatic interventions are most likely to improve student outcomes. State administrators can provided support for the following activities integral to the successful implementation of selected programmatic interventions:

  • Conducting professional development and training activities
  • Providing access to technical assistance and support
  • Conducting regular monitoring of progress throughout the year
  • Providing feedback about progress
  • Assessing needs of implementers and responding as needed

The planned and intentional application of evidence-based programs greatly increases the potential for positive student outcomes.


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Featured Resources

Cover of report - Strengthening Assessments of School Climate: Lessons from the NYC School Survey

Summarizes a variety of lessons of administering the New York City School Survey and presents both the Research Alliance’s and the NYC DOE’s reflections about the process of improving the School Survey. 

The Research Alliance for New York City Schools
Pencil checking off a EDSCLS box.

Provides surveys for middle and high school students, their parents, teachers, instructional staff, non-instructional staff and administrators on a web-based platform. The surveys can be downloaded free of charge and provide user-friendly school climate reports back to users. Local education agencies administering the survey will be able to store the data locally on their own data systems.

U.S Department of Education
Cover page of the Mitigating Hazards in School Facilities resource

Guides school facilities staff and administration through the process of assessing the safety and security of school buildings (and surroundings), creating a hazard mitigation plan, and then implementing that plan. This tool also contains links to additional information about safe school facilities.

Cover image - Michigan Department of Education Safe and Supportive Schools Final Report

Presents findings for Michigan's Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Contains grantee progress and highlights: 65% of schools reported improved school safety scores, 52% of schools reported a decrease in bullying, 30% of Safe and Supportive Schools received "Reward" status, and 70% of S3 2010 Priority schools moved off the Priority List. This final report also presents trends in statewide graduation rates over the course of the grant, previews key initiatives, and details lessons learned.

Michigan Department of Education
Cover page of Leveraging National Service in Your Schools toolkit

Presents a toolkit for superintendents, principals, and other education stakeholders to determine the best ways for them to leverage national service resources in schools. This toolkit helps stakeholders identify how national service resources can help meet schools' needs, match schools' needs to an AmeriCorps and/or Senior Corps program, and apply for Corporation for National and Community Service resources or partner with nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, city agencies or mayors' offices.

Corporation for National and Community Service
First page of the Assessments 101: A Policymaker’s Guide to K-12 Assessments document

Supports State leaders’ understanding of assessments by first classifying and categorizing assessments, and then providing an overview of common terms used when choosing and utilizing assessments.

Julie Rowland Woods