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Districts that need to address school violence or bullying and raise test scores may want to look more carefully at what they can do to foster positive relationships among all members of the school community. It turns out that promoting a seemingly “soft” value like respectful relationships can lead to improvements that show up in hard, academic data.
The entire school community, from the bus driver to the principal, can participate in establishing the best possible conditions for learning:
- Students are safe. Not just physically, but also emotionally and socially. 
- Students are supported. They have meaningful connections to adults and acceptance from their peers.
- Students are challenged. The school sets high expectations and offers rigorous academic opportunities.
- Students are socially capable. They are cooperative team players who contribute to the school community.
Consciously working to create a culture of respect can pay dividends—in less bullying and in improved student attendance, test scores,    and graduation rates, as well as higher rates of teacher satisfaction.
We encourage you to explore our website for further information. Here are a few of our listed resources that address enhancing positive relationships:
 Gottfredson, G., & Gottfredson, D. (2001). What schools do to prevent problem behavior and promote safe environments. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 12, 313– 344.
 Wentzel, K. R. (1998). Social relationships and motivation in middle school: The role of parents, teachers, and peers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 202–209.
 Osher, D., Sprague, J., Weissberg, R. P., Axelrod, J., Keenan, S., Kendziora, K., & Zins, J. E. (2008). A comprehensive approach to promoting social, emotional, and academic growth in contemporary schools. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.) Best practices in school psychology V, Vol. 4 (pp. 1263–1278). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
 Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students' social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405-432.
 Becker, B. & Luthar, S. (2002), Social-Emotional Factors Affecting Achievement Outcomes Among Disadvantaged Students: Closing the Achievement Gap. Educational Psychologist, 37(4), 197-214.
 Fenzel, M. L., & O’Brennan, L. M. (2007, April). Educating at-risk urban African American children: The effects of school climate on motivation and academic achievement. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago.
 Klem, A., & Connell, J. (2004). Relationships matter: Linking teacher support to student engagement and achievement. Journal of School Health, 74, 262–273.
 Grayson, J.L. & Alvarez, H.K. (2008). School climate factors relating to teacher burnout: A mediator model. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(5): 1349-1363.