Summer Institute 2013
Promoting Moral/Ethical Learning, Democratically-informed and High Achieving K-12 Schools
July 12, 2013—Post Institute Workshop (optional): Creating a School Climate that Engages the Gifts and Talents of Students with Learning Disabilities
The National School Climate Center’s (NSCC) Summer Institute is grounded in the notion that effective school reform must honor and support the whole child and the whole school community. This three-day Institute is designed to support school, district and state teams, as well as other school, family and community leaders, in developing school climate improvement plans.
A growing body of empirical research demonstrates that effective school climate improvement efforts increase student achievement, reduce high school drop out rates, prevent violence, and promote students’ healthy development. As a result, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends school climate reform as a data-driven strategy that promotes healthy relationships, school connectedness, and dropout prevention. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) includes school climate as a strategy for drop out prevention. The U.S Department of Education recommends school climate reform as an evidence-based strategy to prevent violence. A growing number of State Departments of Education, foreign educational ministries, the UN Children’s Fund and the World Bank are supporting school climate reform efforts.
The Institute is grounded in our current understandings of the tasks and challenges that helpfully shape the process of planning and preparation, assessment, action planning, implementation and beginning the continuous process of school climate renewal anew.
Promoting ethical and moral schools will be an explicit and new focus for our 16th annual summer institute. Although issues of ethical and moral development have always been important aspects of NSCC’s work, this has often been an implicit aspect of our teaching and learning. This year, we will focus on a series of explicit and essential questions throughout the Institute. These questions include: What is a ‘moral’ school? If student, educational, parent and community leaders are truly committed to ethical/moral learning, how can and should this shape our understandings of the tasks and challenges within the five stage school climate improvement process? How do I interact with others in ways that either promote or interfere with their feeling empowered?
The Institute will provide research-based school climate and instructional guidelines, “best practices”, and resources for school teams and individuals to reflect on and enhance current practice. We will support individuals and teams to develop new or enhance existing plans that promote equitable, healthy and democratically informed schools in general and reduce bully-victim-bystander behavior in particular.
Attendees will receive a number of text-based and on-line practice and policy resources, which provide guidelines and tools to support leadership teams and school communities addressing the tasks and challenges that define each of the five stages of the school climate improvement process. Additionally, research resources and best practice materials from the educational equity community will be included.
Participants will learn about:
- A school climate improvement model and implementation strategy that recognizes and mobilizes the whole school community to support the whole child.
- Readiness assessments that support you—as an individual or a team—understanding “where are we now?” and “what are next steps that may be most useful to consider?” as you continue building effective school climate improvement efforts.
- Recent research and best practices in prosocial education (SEL and character education) and school climate improvement efforts that support effective bully/harassment prevention, pro-Upstander behavior, and student engagement and academic achievement.
- Practical classroom, school-wide, and school-home-community interventions and tools that support moral-ethical learning, equity, safety, engagement, supportive and respectful relations and democratically informed communities.
- The range of ways that we can and need to engage youth as leaders and how we—as adults—can model strategies that support student engagement/ leadership.
- What other classroom, building, district and state leaders are doing to support evidence-based school climate reform (strand meetings).
- How school leaders embarking on or continuing school climate improvement efforts can promote ethical/moral development and learning within social, emotional and civic learning and democratically informed school communities.
- School Climate Resource Center: Attendees will join a national community of fellow learners/teachers through the School Climate Resource Center (SCRC) (http://scrc.schoolclimate.org). The SCRC includes a range of resources and forums.
All participants will receive certification of attendance at the Institute.
In addition, participants will have the option of applying for the School Climate Leadership Certificate Program. For details about the Leadership program, please click here.
This institute will support required training for school staff on state and federal laws designed to provide students with an educational experience free from harassment and discrimination. This includes state laws such as The Dignity for All Students Act in New York, and anti-bullying laws in New Jersey and other states.
This institute supports requirements of The Dignity for All Students Act, including training about anti hate and harassment policy development, staff professional development, student instruction on civility, citizenship and character education, and responding to equity-related violations of the code of conduct.