Tagged “School Climate”

Kristen Pekarek

Stand Up for Others

According to current statistics, more than 30 percent of our school-age young people—approximately 5.7 million children—are bullied in schools, on playgrounds, and in recreational facilities each year. Research shows that these numbers can be reduced by nearly half through the use of effective bullying prevention programs.

During the month of October, in observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, schools and organizations across the country will join STOMP Out Bullying to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying and to increase awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on children. As part of the observation, the week of October 21, 2013, is dedicated as STAND UP for Others Week. It's a week-long commitment to stand up for victims of bullying that ends on Friday, October 25, the internationally observed STAND UP to Bullying Day.

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Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: What Do You Feel Should Be the Primary Goal of Improving School Climate?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. Recently the ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked about the important topic of school climate.

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Start Empathy

Empathy? An Ethos Born in the Staffroom

Post written by Vinciane Rycroft for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization. Originally published in the Times Educational Supplement Pro.

Girl Reading Ian, aged 8, throws his younger brother Robin on the ground. Tears and screaming. It's the fifth or sixth time already today. (I'm strong; I'm superman!) Both of them have just lost their mother after two years of a very painful illness. As educators, we witness this very human story again and again, every day. It shows clearly the process of bullying. How do we respond?

Daniel Favre is a teacher, teacher trainer, and professor in both neuroscience and education. His work studies the process of youth violence. It also shows how supporting teachers in cultivating empathy can break the cycle of youth violence and improve maths results. His 50-hour programme trains educators to minimise students' fear of learning and dogmatic perceptions. Regardless of their subject, teachers learn six different skills: to clearly distinguish error and fault when giving feedback to students, encourage emotional literacy, facilitate team work, emphasize our common humanity, establish a nonviolent mode of authority, and strong personal listening skills and empathy.

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Start Empathy

Image vs. Reality: A Lesson for the 7th Grader in All of Us

Post written by Emily Cherkin for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

When I tell people I work with 7th graders, I often hear, "Oh, wow. ... I'm so sorry!" They tell me how miserable their seventh grade year was. Sometimes I hear, "It takes a certain person to work with that age group..." before their voice trails off, uncertainly.

I am usually bemused, at turns slightly offended, but mostly, I understand. Because I remember how hard 7th grade was for me, which is exactly why I so love working with this age group now.

As a part-time teacher and a full-time mom, I have been working with 7th graders for the past few years on a curriculum focusing on media literacy and anti-bullying.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

What Resources Have Helped You Implement and Sustain School Climate Improvement?

To improve and create more effective resources, whole child partner National School Climate Center, in partnership with whole child partner Character Education Partnership and the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, is invested in assessing and understanding educators' professional learning resources and needs in two ways:

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Richard Cardillo

One of the Biggest Bullies

The vast majority of our work at the National School Climate Center (NSCC) revolves around three core efforts:

Yet, when I first speak to people about what we do, the inevitable conclusion or connection made is that "you're the guys that do bully prevention." Indeed, NSCC has robust and comprehensive bully-prevention resources that are student centered, aligned with core curriculum standards, and (amazingly!) free. And we work arduously and continuously to make sure our bully-prevention efforts align with a larger framework to promote safe, supportive, welcoming, civically engaging, challenging, and joyous schools for all students. One metaphor I use to capture the idea that bully prevention is part of a broader school climate effort is to compare bullying to the proverbial "canary in a coal mine." I tend to believe that if there are bullying issues present in a school community, it is a symptom of other deeper issues.

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Emily Buchanan

Defining a Positive School Climate and Measuring the Impact

Last month (April 2013), the National School Climate Center and Fordham University concluded that "sustained positive school climate is associated with positive child and youth development, effective risk-prevention and health-promotion efforts, student learning and academic achievement, increased student graduation rates, and teacher retention."

Having gained increasing potency in the lexicon of education reformers of late, a glut of studies has cemented the concept and significance of the school climate. However, having considered more than 200 research papers that all pointed to the aforementioned conclusion, the Fordham University study uncovered one major issue: What actually constitutes a "positive school climate?"

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Implications of the New “Poor”

Post written by Pam Capasso, Sara Gogel, Tracy Knight, and Janine Norris of Holly Glen Elementary School in Williamstown, N.J.

Holly Glen Elementary School serves approximately 580 students with one-third on free or reduced-price meals. Our school houses English language learners, students with autism, and students from low-income housing. In the past, Holly Glen comprised various socioeconomic levels ranging from upper class to lower income.

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Klea Scharberg

Does Better Recess Equal a Better School Day?

In a new study released Tuesday, Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University rigorously evaluated the Playworks program and found that it improved outcomes in the areas of school climate, conflict resolution and aggression, physical activity, and learning and academic performance.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Student Voice: How a Community School Became an Oasis in South Central Los Angeles

Post written by Martin J. Blank and Ryan Fox, Coalition for Community Schools

Kevin Valiencia

Walking through the halls of John C. Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles with senior Kevin Valiencia, one finds an unexpected inner city public school in one of the most maligned neighborhoods in the country.

A climate of cooperation, enthusiasm, unity, and endless possibilities permeate throughout school. A strong juxtaposition with the surrounding community in which neighborhoods blocks apart from each other are often at war. Kevin himself has seen a friend stabbed, drive-by shootings, and police raids near his home.

It's not that the troubles found in other schools don't exist inside Fremont. Less than 40 percent of its students graduate in four years and test scores still lag behind state averages. But the angst and conflict found in many other struggling urban schools is minimal at Fremont. The suspension rate at Fremont is far below the rates at other high schools in the district. While the dropout rate is still very high, those numbers are gradually improving. Nearly 85 percent of those that did graduate in 2009 and 2010 continued on to a postsecondary education.

"There's unity (at Fremont)," Kevin said. "We're all in this together."

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