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September 21, 2010

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September 21, 2010

Dr. Jonathan Cohen's established National School Climate Center is an essential non-profit for educational reform efforts. His research, best-practice efforts, and truly collaborative spirit as a leader in this field have allowed easy access for all educators - practitioners, researchers, policy advocates alike - to what used to be traditional ivory tower intellectualism. The trickle down of theory into practice is a challenge; however, the Center, as a non-profit, is transparent in its efforts to serve educators, parents, school board members - anyone interested in improving their school climate. Access to current research and best-practice is key in this Assessment era - and Dr. Cohen's expertise in School Climate Assessment, leadership, and collaboration in this effort is top notch. I look forward to continuing to learn from and collaborate with the National School Climate Center as school climate efforts increase across the nation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The National School Climate Center offers best-practice research, assessment, and resources that have informed my policy efforts and designing professional development opportunities for educators at www.school-climate-consulting.org.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Dr. Jonathan Cohen and The National School Climate Center provide quality leadership in School Climate assessment, research, best-practice strategies, and collaboration.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dr. Jonathan Cohen is an expert in applying educational theory to best-practices. Rather than sit in an ivory tower, he brings his research into applicable arenas for practitioners to easily utilize to improve their own school climate efforts.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

More funding to this organization would result in more outreach and programs in schools. A National School Climate Assessment could be more easily distributed, and result in a better understanding of the relationship between school climate & learning.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 20, 2010

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September 20, 2010

As anyone who works in and with schools knows, negative school climate harms and positive school climate facilitates the well-being of all involved. The National School Climate Center is focused on ways to abate the negative and engender the positive. It is working with others across the country to make this happen, and it has already played an essential role in developing standards and other resources to stimulate school improvement. And, we echo what others have said about the Center’s leadership being innovative and open to input. NSCC is a welcome and potent addition to the efforts to address barriers to learning and teaching and re-engage disconnected students.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 20, 2010

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September 20, 2010

The mission of NSCC is to help students in every classroom across America to dealing with social and emotional issues, but in some sense, the advocacy crossed over the countries and nationalities. BI-TO is a Chinese EQ school for children. In 2009, my colleagues and I looked everywhere for latest information and knowledge to improve the teaching strategy and curricula, NSCC gave it’s hands, Dr. Cohen sent so many comprehensive knowledge to us, helped to improve the school climate and teaching strategy. As Chinese, we appreciate the selfless assistance of NSCC. Dr. Cohen and his staff not only educate the minds and hearts for the children in US, but in the world. We applaud NSCC for his commitment and integrity, and He is a true Great Non-profits!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

improving the school climate and teaching strategy in our chinese EQ school.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 20, 2010

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September 20, 2010

During two summer institutes organized by Dr. Cohen, our task force learned about programs and procedures for integrating and infusing social and emotional learning throughout the school. Their work and expertise in identifying the critical factors in effective programs was most helpful to us in our work. Rather than promoting a particular approach or curriculum, NSCC (then CSEE)focused on the conditions necessary for social and emotional learning to flourish as well as the process needed to enable social and emotional education to become an integral part of the school culture. Thus, we could create plans tailored to the needs of our particular situation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing our school become committed to a comprehensive approach social and emotional education.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their ability to focus on building programs that are effective and sustainable.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

knowledgeable, helpful, and dedicated.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005

September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

NSCC is a leader in applying rigorous science to promoting schools that are healthy for students and for society. Their work on school climate is cutting edge and their focus on advocacy and policy promises to make it more than a think tank, and to impact schools nationally. With few resources they have already made a big splash in educational reform from the national to the state to the local level.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Organizing effective conferences; creating cutting edge policy statements; creating scientifically valuable assessment instruments and research reports.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

The National School Climate Center is a unique organization. The NSCC’s staff works collaboratively with all who are interested in improving school climate. They provide highly effective tools (such as the School Climate Inventory and the School Climate Challenge White Paper) that are based on the latest research in the field. The NSCC, in collaboration with the National School Climate Council, offers a clear vision of school climate goals over a five year period and proposes concrete steps needed to achieve these goals. Jonathan Cohen, the director, is always open to new ideas and perspectives that may differ from, or even challenge, his own. This is how social justice movements are successful: clear vision and goals, thoughtful planning, collaborative work, and authentic, open-minded leadership.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The NSCC collaborated with my organization a year ago to conduct a daylong meeting with equity experts from around New England to review a draft of the National School Climate Standards. The final version incorporated many of of our concerns.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 15, 2010

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September 15, 2010

NSCC has produced state-of-the art materials and practices to assist schools, school districts, and policy-makers enhance the social and emotional climate of schools. With the perfect mixture of academic rigor, practical knowhow, and sensitivity to the needs of educational professionals, NSCC has added immensely to our understanding of the nature and dynamics of school climate, and more importantly, has created guidelines and processes for improving school climate. Not only has NSCC developed one of the most comprehensive and psychometrically sound survey instruments for students, staff, and parents (with results presented in multiple and easy-to-understand formats), the Center has also developed a non-threatening and respectful process to empower all members of a school community to work effectively and confidently in recognizing its strengths and addressing its challenges . I would highly commend the Center to any school or school district interested in improving school climate, a process that is sure to improve academic results and reduce absenteeism.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reviewing its work in states throughout the country.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 15, 2010

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September 15, 2010

The work to improve school climate is gaining national steam; the proverbial “fly wheel” is finally moving, after generations of advancements in schooling and education in general fueled by sound research. Schools have always focused on building student character and conscience, albeit tempered by changing political interests. There has always been a belief that the more affective and “soft” side of schooling matters, but only recently has there been the research-base to support these beliefs with data. Civic education/civics, character/moral education, anti-bullying programs and so on are finally coming together in what is known as School Climate. There is important justification for having this term represent the final umbrella, because school climate includes both skill development/role modeling AND systems and structures that must align to improve the quality and character of school life. And, it is incontrovertible that having a positive school climate is the foundation of and prerequisite for high quality learning. Establishing and supporting an organization whose role it is to support schools, districts, states and the nation is essential. The National School Climate Center (NSCC) has already shown great leadership in this area and ought to be applauded for raising its visibility and outreach. The NSCC already provides essential and cutting edge information to schools, districts and states with research sharing and best practices. Understanding both what school climate encompasses and what practices ought to be implemented is not yet widely known in a comparable way as say how to teach early literacy or numeracy. If school climate is truly to be improved at any/all levels, then front line educators, policy developers and school administrators must have the ability to locate such cutting-edge information and choose/implement principles, practices and strategies that are recognized as being expert, effective and sustainable over time. The NSCC has as its mission to do just that and I wish to add my strong voice that this organization has the potential to change the lives of children in schools in profound and foundational ways. The vision of NCLB was to accomplish literally that. However, the translation in practice focuses exclusively on narrow aspects of academic achievement. Without comparable attention on the quality of the school climate, academic aceivement and overall student success is compromised. I am a person who has worked in this “field” for my entire professional life of about 35 years and am now at the State Department in Connecticut for the past five (school climate improvement being my exclusive charge). I know first hand how helpful the National School Climate Center has been and will continue be in furthering both the goals of improving school climate and, more importantly, the actual practice of doing so. Over the years, working to improve school climate has been a relatively lonely job, and I know of others similarly educated in the field and as passionate about the work as am I who have experienced the same thing. I cannot do this work alone, and neither can anyone else. We need each other to share and disseminate information and to provide the kind of guidance educators both need and want. No longer can improving school climate be a contextual “check off box.” Improving school climate can no longer be seen as an “add-on.” In order to insure this paradigm shift and help the flywheel move faster, a well-respected National School Climate Center is essential. Such a Center can provide the information and guidance that educators/policy makers require to move theory to practice. Having National School Climate Standards is a huge positive development. These standards will remain hallow until they are fully translated into sound and obtainable practice and once that is done, everything must be shared and communicated widely. The NSCC has the expertise to do this work and as their visibility and resources increase, the work to improve school climate at all levels and in every school district in the country (as well as the subsequent international reach) will continue to be profound.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The work that I do on a daily basis and the educators who contact me and I refer to them and/or provide information that I have received from them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only "change" I would make would be to enhance the visibility and insure that sufficient resources exist so that the organization can do the best job possible.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They embrace and seek out excellence in the field of school climate improvement. They are inclusive in this regard but have very high and appropriate standards.

Ways to make it better...

I

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 14, 2010

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September 14, 2010

As my team members and I meet with various stakeholder groups we continue to take Dr. Cohen's message to them to begin to establish a state-wide voice around social emotional education. Dr. Cohen has provided a sound base for our state work through his summer institute and he and his colleagues have been instrumental in helping us move our work forward. We have not found any other site that provides the comprehensive information we need, all in one place, that supports the philosophy and work we are committed to do. I applaud Dr. Cohen and his staff for their commitment, integrity and will to change the lives of our nation's youth and provide them with the safe, healthy caring learning environments they all deserve!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my work as a state department consultant.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 14, 2010

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September 14, 2010

I have been in the field of education for over 35 years in the capacity of teacher, computer coordinator, dean of students, middle school assistant principal, elementary principal, middle school principal, and now as an educational consultant that works with school districts and professional associations. The National School Climate Center is the professional association that has had the greatest impact on my professional career. Many times throughout my career, I had opportunities to reflect on the needs of the students in hope of creating opportunities that would meet their diverse needs. Through reflection and dialogue, I formed a very strong opinion that our system of educating students from K-12 was incomplete. I was confident that educators designed curriculum, classroom activities, and hands-on experiences that challenged, excited, and enriched a student’s mind. However, I felt that what was lacking was the ability to provide students with the necessary tools, strategies, and resources that would allow them to understand their emotions and the emotions of others. I had a vision that if each student would participate in counseling experiences as part of their K-12 education we would have a better and safer society that was grounded in ethics, values and positive attitudes. Unfortunately, I did not have the power or the authority to make such a vision a mandatory component in each child’s education. During the summer of 2001, I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Center’s Summer Institute. The expertise shared by Jonathan Cohen and the presenters at the institute provided me with an incredible professional growth experience that allowed my vision to become a reality. I was grateful that I decided to take this institute for graduate credit because the assignments enabled me to further develop my skills as a reflective practitioner. I reexamined, rethought, and realigned my professional vision and created an action plan that would allow me as the middle school principal to naturally integrate social and emotional literacy into the fabric of our school community. As the principal of a renowned Middle School on Long Island, I believed that an important port of entry was to redesign our Middle School New Teacher Orientation Program. I invited teachers to be part of a steering committee that would redesign the program so that it clearly illustrated the sense of professionalism that existed in the school community. The steering committee worked collaboratively and was able to build bridges among the staff’s past accomplishments, programs that were presently working well, and SEL goals and expectations for new teachers. At the same time, teachers were exposed to what SEL is and why it is necessary. They were invited to pilot and explore SEL in their classrooms and throughout our school. We soon realized that SEL integration was an ongoing process that became our passion. Each year I continued to pursue professional growth opportunities offered through the Center and whenever possible I took staff members to conferences and summer institutes. By participating and presenting at the workshops we continued to strengthen our capacity to be reflective practitioners who were part of a professional learning community that was committed to learning, growing and achieving together. We were passionate about creating an SEL Middle School that would educate hearts and minds. After my retirement from Jericho in July 2006, I continued to pursue my passion for SEL as an educational consultant and faculty member for the Center. In the meantime, the students, staff, and parents at Jericho Middle School are immersed in SEL and the impact on the school’s culture is evident to all who visit the school. I am confident that the National School Climate Center will continue to touch the minds and hearts of many educators in the years to come. These efforts will allow educators to internalize SEL strategies and allow us to understand that . . . “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” – Gandhi Cecile Wren, President Matters of the Mind and Heart

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the resuls of this organization through the sustainability of the program implementation in the Middle School where I was principal before my retirement.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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