Our approach grows out of NSCC’s experience in working with schools, districts, school networks, state departments of education, as well as research findings. NSCC’s school climate improvement process is a data-informed, people-driven, and a cyclical five-stage process. The five stages are: preparation, evaluation, understanding findings and action planning, implementing plans, and re-evaluation for continuous improvement efforts. The process supports shared leadership that encompasses the entire district, including the school building, classroom, individual students, and the broader community:
- District: Supports the development of school climate-informed policies that will engender stronger relationships within the school that both prevent issues and help adults respond more effectively when issues do arise.
- School Building: Builds the skills, knowledge, and capacity of school leadership to effectively address areas for improvement, develop more positive school climate, and implement “bottom-up” as well as “top-down” strategies; teaches schools to use robust assessments- including student, parent/ guardian, and staff school climate perception data to define their strengths and challenges, drive key decisions for improvement, and create targeted plans to address areas of need
- Classroom: Provides a variety of pedagogic strategies to create a classroom climate for learning and positive youth development; teaches restorative classroom discipline strategies that support classroom management and promote core social, emotional and civic learning; provides opportunities for teachers and administrators to reflect on how they support and institutionalize respect and an appreciation for diversity; provides planning and implementation supports for curricula that fosters academic, social, ethical, and civic learning outcomes
- Student: Supports youth to become meaningful leaders in the school climate improvement process; builds an authentic sense of ownership for their efforts to create a stronger school climate; creates opportunities to strengthen community bonds through youth-led engagement efforts; and strengthens youth and adult partnerships
- Community: Recognizes the multiple stakeholders in a school community and strengthens relationships within the school between students, staff, and parents, as well as the school’s relationships with the larger community i.e. neighborhood associations, local business, non-profits, government.