School Climate: What Is It? And Why Does It Matter?

Monday, December 13, 2010 - 2:00pm to Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 5:00pm EST
The Atlantic Philanthropies, 75 Varick Street (at Canal - NW corner), NYC.
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A Philanthropy New York Collaborative Program, presented with the Donors' Education Collaborative, The New York Juvenile Justice Initiative and the Black Male Donor Collaborative.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: All interested funders.


Everyone agrees that teachers can’t teach and students can’t learn in chaotic, disorganized schools.  As the NYC Department of Education puts it, “Effective teaching and learning can only take place in a safe, secure and supportive school environment in which students and staff members work collaboratively for the well-being of all members of the school community.”*  But there is not so much agreement on what constitutes a safe and supportive school environment and, in practice, there are widely disparate approaches to achieving it: Zero tolerance?  Metal detectors? Restorative justice?  How can schools best achieve a school climate conducive to successful teaching and learning?

We invite you to come talk with researchers who have analyzed the impact of diverse programs and policies on students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach.  They will lay out their findings on the impact of disciplinary policies on student engagement and success in schools, and on programs that raise the quality of teaching throughout entire schools.  Joined by a NYC principal and student from a school where restorative justice is the norm, they also will discuss the kinds of interventions that can make schools in New York City – and beyond – communities that develop well-educated and thoughtful citizens.  And together we will explore what a safe and supportive school climate is and why it matters.

*Elayna Konstan, Best Practices Standards For Creating and Sustaining a Safe and Supportive School, New York City Department of Education (2010).


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