CSF 6: Improve School Climate

The connection between school climate and student achievement has been well established in research. Focusing on the development of a campus’ climate as a learning environment is fundamental to improved teacher morale and student achievement (Namura, 1999). Formally assessing and addressing school climate is essential to any schools’ effort toward successful reform, achievement, and making a difference for underprivileged student groups (California P-16 Council, 2008). Indicators of a positive school climate and welcoming learning environment are increased attendance and reduced discipline referrals. Increased attendance in extracurricular activities is another sign that students feel supported by an affirming school climate (Scales & Leffert, 1999).

Supporting Components

Key strategies establish the foundation for each Critical Success Factor. The activities supporting each CSF must be thoughtfully developed by stakeholders to ensure each campus initiative is successful. The strategies noted here, when implemented correctly, can support the development of each Critical Success Factor. While the following is not a definitive list, the evidence-based components provided here are proven to show a high rate of success.

  • Increase Attendance
  • Decreased Disciplline referrals
  • Increased Involvement in Extra/Co-Curricular Activities

ESEA Turnaround Principle: Improve School Environment

Establishing a school environment that improves school safety and discipline and addressing other non-academic factors that impact student achievement, such as students’ social, emotional, and health needs



Web pages


  • Social Policy Report
    This issue of Social Policy Report proposes that schools should take a new approach: integrating the teaching and reinforcement of Social Emotion Learning (SEL) skills into their daily interactions and practices with students. It explains that research warrants a new perspective and highlights a range of new approaches and support strategies that are designed to be time-efficient, low-cost, and integrated with (rather than distracting from) academic curricula.
  • School Climate Research Review
    The documents creates an overview of School Climate research conducted by the National School Climate Center.
  • Guide to Creating Mission and Vision Statements
    ASCD’s guide to creating a school’s Mission and Vision Statements.


  • Circle Forward: Building a Restorative School Community  by Carolyn Boyes-Watson (Author), Kay Pranis
  • Making Things Right: Activities that Teach Restorative Justice, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Discipline That Restores Includes 32 Detailed Lesson Plans with Prepared Projections and Handouts Paperback – February 10, 2015 by Dr. Ron Claassen (Author), Roxanne Harvin Claassen
  • Discipline that Restores: Strategies to Create Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in the Classroom Paperback – October 26, 2008 by Ron Claassen (Author), Roxanne Claassen (Author)
  • Transforming School Climate and Learning – Bill Preble and Rick Gordon
  • Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division – Anthony Muhammad