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National School Climate Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Philanthropy, Public Foundations, Student Services

Mission: We can all remember childhood moments when we felt particularly safe (or unsafe) in school, when we felt particularly connected to a caring adult (or frighteningly alone), when we felt particularly engaged in meaningful learning (or not). These are the school memories that we all tend to vividly remember: good and/or bad. It is not surprising that these kinds of experiences shape learning and development. However, school climate is larger than any one person's experience. When people work together, a group process emerges that is bigger that any one person's actions. A comprehensive assessment of school climate includes major spheres of school life such as safety, relationships, teaching and learning, and the environment as well as larger organizational patterns (e.g. from fragmented to shared; healthy or unhealthy). How we feel about being in school and these larger group trends shape learning and student development. Peer-reviewed educational research has consistently demonstrated that a positive school climate is associated with academic achievement, effective risk prevention efforts and positive youth development. * 1 in 10 schools is a “drop-out factory,” a high school where only 60% of freshmen or fewer make it to senior year. Measuring school climate reveals areas of risk for dropouts. A positive school climate increases student engagement (how committed a student is to their school), effectively reducing the risk for dropouts and violence. * Nearly 50% of new teachers leave the profession by the end of their fifth year A democratic, safe and supportive environment (where all voices are honored) helps keep teachers happy – which increases teacher retention – a real problem in many urban schools. NSCC helps schools focus professional development training where it's needed most, so staff are better supported and engaged. * Almost 30% of youth in the United States are estimated to be involved in bullying as a bully, target of bullying or both Results from NSCC’s CSCI (and other research) shows that school climate directly affects academic achievement – when kids feel safe and supported, they perform better in school. * 50% of the nation's unemployed youth are functionally illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs A positive school climate is directly linked to improved academic achievement and provides students with the prosocial skills - like flexible problem-solving, teamwork and conflict resolution - that lead to life success. Together We Can Turn These Statistics Around! Mission Statement NSCC's mission is to measure and improve the climate for learning in schools to help children realize their fullest potential as individuals and as engaged members of society. NSCC achieves this through: * Advocacy and policy * Measurement and research * Educational services Advocacy and Policy Advocacy is a central part of NSCC’s work through publications, resource development and educational outreach. NSCC also takes a leadership role in consultation and communications efforts to State Departments of Education, national educational organizations, policy makers and concerned citizens, and works closely with the the National School Climate Council, a group of policy and practice leaders. Measurement and Research NSCC has developed a research-based school climate survey that can be used as a needs assessment and springboard for school improvement planning. The Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) has been used with schools, districts, and networks of charter schools across America and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). NSCC continues to work with school teams across the country to effectively measure and improve school climate. Educational Services NSCC provides comprehensive educational support services to school faculty, staff, administrators and parents, which include: workshops, on-site coaching, and an annual summer institute. Topics include: measuring and improving school climate; breaking the bully-victim-bystander cycle; infusing social, emotional and civic learning into school curriculums; understanding diversity and respect for differences; and many more. For more about how we help school communities view our programs and services online at www.schoolclimate.org/programs.

Results: Garnering endorsements for the School Climate Standards (www.schoolclimate.org/climate/standards.php)- At this point, the following organizations have endorsed the School Climate Standards: • American School Health Association • American School Counselor Association • ASCD • Character Education Partnership • Committee for Children • iKeepSafe (Internet Keep Safe Coalition) • Family Violence Prevention Fund • Fair Test • Institute for Educational Inquiry, Seattle, Washington • National Association of School Psychologists • National Center for Student Engagement • National School Board Association • School Mental Health Project, Center for Mental Health in Schools, Dept. of Psychology, UCLA • Search Institute • Public Education Network Conducting a national State Department of Education policy/law scan that will reveal how all States are working to (i) prevent bullying and (ii) improve school climate. Partners 1. NSCC has been invited to become a Technical Partner for the National Center for mental health Promotion and Youth Prevention (National Center). 2. Thanks to the funding and support of the following partners, BullyBust is able to provide critical resources and programs to directly support schools-in-need nationwide. * Wicked the Musical * Flip Video * YouTube * Google * Staples Through our Professional development work, the Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) survey and the Partner School Program for BullyBust, we are reaching hundreds of thousands of students throughout the country.

Target demographics: NSCC offers a variety of professional development programs and services to K-12 schools, educators and parent advocate groups

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Almost 30% of youth in the US (over 5.7 million) are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying or both. Every seven minutes a child is bullied in the playground -- and 85% of the time there is no intervention. Bully-victim-passive bystander behavior is the most common behavior that undermines feeling safe in schools. It is critical that schools get the support they need to move from a culture of passive bystanders to a culture of upstanders -- community members who notice bully-victim behavior and learn to 'stand up' -- directly or indirectly -- and say "no" to this toxic behavior.
BullyBust is NSCC's back-to-school bullying awareness campaign designed to help students "stand up" to bullying and become part of the soultion to end harmful verbal harassment, teasing and violence in our nation's schools. Engaging students and promoting excitement in this program is of utmost importance. Statistics show that cracking down on individual bullies is seldom effective, but a school-wide commitment to end bullying can reduce the problem by 50%. This past fall, NSCC launched a viral "Stand up to Bullying" YouTube contest within schools nationwide wherein groups of students have been able to sharetheir video messages, stories and words of support. The school prompting the best video will win a special symposium dedicated to bullying awareness.

Community Stories

83 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a researcher and scholar on school and youth violence, I believe that the National School Climate Center has not only enhanced the theoretical dialogue about school-related violence but, more importantly, has contributed in innumerable practical ways to assess and strategically enhance a school's social-emotional climate, including but not limited to the development of psychometrically sound and usable (i.e., reasonably short) instruments to assess school climate from the perspective of students, staff, parents, and more recently, from community residents. Moreover, the Center has developed practical guidance in interpreting the data derived from these instruments and facilitated strategic planning sessions for the school community to take the lead in identifying priorities and improving those aspects of school school climate that need to improve. School climate, in my opinion and the opinion of many scholars in the field is the key to understand and improve the school experience for all, resulting in the long-run in reducing bullying, harassment, and other forms of school aggression and in improving the overall experience and relationships within the school.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

For more than a decade, the National School Climate Center has worked with the academic community - teachers, administrators, school-based mental health professionals, students and parents - to provide advocacy, policy, research and measurement tools which improve the climate for learning and help children realize their fullest potential. I'm extremely proud to to be affiliated with NSCC.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Over the last few decades there has been an explosion of research that has confirmed what good teachers have always known. Children who are frightened or ashamed (or hungry or hurt) aren't as likely to learn whatever it is we hope to teach them be that poetry, history or algebra. I have known Jonathan Cohen for over 20 years and greatly admire what he and others have created in NSCC. It is an organization dedicated to providing teachers, schools and educational leaders with the tools, resources, research data and other support to help us all make schools work for all children.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jon Cohen's edited volumes introduced and persuaded many educators, including myself, to the field of social, emotional and character education. I have since become an avid reader of Jon Cohen's scholarly articles and his work in defining, assessing and improving school climate.

NSCC and Jon Cohen have been building the capacity of the schools to establish and maintain positive school climates through their work creating and conducting assessment and professional development. At the 2014 NSCC Summer Institute I had the pleasure of presenting to staff from public, charter, and private schools. The quality of the work of NSCC is nationally recognized and valued by educators working in all types of school configurations. This speaks to the importance of NSCC's mission and the professionalism of their staff.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have consulted and collaborated with Jonathan Cohen and NSCC over the last 10 yrs. Most recently we co-authored with Amrit Thapa, NSCC, and Shawn Guffey, Fordham University, a paper on the core dimensions of school climate in Review of Educational Research, 2013 which is one of their top 5 most cited papers.
Currently a student of mine is working at NSCC on one of their projects, conducting research and writing state reports on school climate and enhancing school safety. I have had other students also work with them.

The NSCC staff is very bright, professional, and wonderful to work with. They are open, interested in new ideas, and very productive.

The most impressive thing about NSCC is that as an institute it is self-reflective, always engaged in improving its services, its school improvement protocol, and its measures of school climate to better serve schools, districts, and state education departments. I rank it as the top among institutes offering school improvement prac tices and evaluative research in school climate.
Ann Higgins-D'Alessandro PhD
Professor of Psychology
Fordham University
Educational Consultant and Evaluator

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jon Cohen and his team at NSCC are the prime organization for research, promotion, and advocacy for developing positive school climates in the nation's schools. They are exemplary in their research methods and provide both outstanding reports and presentations. It has been a pleasure interacting with NSCC over the past few years.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a professional colleague with the team at NSSC, I have had the opportunity to benefit from dialogue and collaboration with Jon Cohen and others over the course of the last few years. The carefulness and research-based approach taken by NSSC is of the highest quality. NSSC staff demonstrates authentic passion to advance best practices for students and adults to create positive and productive school environments. This is an exemplary agency to supply resources to educators and concerned citizens for the important work of school improvement.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have become familiar with Jonathan and his staff's work over the past several years as an advocate for promoting pro-social behavior in schools in Colorado. I have found the NSCC staff to be professional, responsive and competent. It is clear they put children's welfare above all else but are also sensitive to the inner workings of schools so that their tools, processes and guidance is adapted to each setting. There are many assessment tools being used in schools but few are valid and reliable. Even fewer leadership in districts/schools accurately interpret the data and develop an action plan to respond to what the data is telling them. The NSCC provides this very much needed comprehensive facilitation.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For the past two-plus years, I have been in conversation and collaboration with the NSCC and its staff to explore the nexus between civic learning and school climate reform. I've benefited immensely from attending the annual summer institutes, along with the resources offered by the NSCC web site. I look forward to finding ways for the NSCC to help us strengthen schools' civic learning programs in the Chicagoland area through comprehensive school climate reform.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the former superintendent of the state technical school system in CT and now as superintendent of Westbrook, CT public schools, my work to promote and sustain positive school climates has only been possible through the shared efforts of the NSCC. I can say most emphatically, that unlike many organizations that promote themselves, the NSCC has student benefit at its core and the cadre of professionals who offer their services are totally dedicated to serving the needs of the school community. It is rare in this world to find an entity like NSCC which is dedicated to offering resources and opportunities for the taking. The NSCC is a must in any work to truly impact schools and communities, children and adults, in pursuit of the tools necessary to be successful in the improving the quality and character of the school experience.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been aware of the work of NSCC for over a dozen years. I have seen presentations,attended the institute and used their climate inventory with our schools in Plainview-Old Bethpage, New York.They have great resources online and their Comprehensive School Climate Inventory provides a wealth of data for diagnosis and prescription. I highly recommend their services.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

The team we work with at NSCC is so delightfully involved in the project we are working on together, both intellectually and functionally. They are eager to learn, show respect for the expertise of the client, yet are so well prepared and researched that they add a level of insight and innovation to the thinking that is exceptional. They are responsive and professional and fun. What more could you ask for?!

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been learning from and working for the NSCC for the past two years and they have the most comprehensive resources on school climate out there. Some organizations want to make money off of schools but NSCC really wants to help schools improve their school climate.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with the National School Climate Center (NSCC), Jonathan Cohen, and several of NSCC's staff for the past few years on a number initiatives ranging from training and technical assistance to research and evaluation. First and foremost, it is obvious that the NSCC's staff care about students and improving their school contexts and environments. Second, they offer first class services and are experts in the field of school climate improvement. The Comprehensive School Climate Inventory is a high quality tool and the report is very comprehensive and yet easy to use in supporting school climate improvement. Finally, I have attended NSCC's annual School Climate Institute twice and highly recommend it for school improvement teams.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The NSCC has a wealth of resources, which I have found extremely useful in developing presentations to my local school board, informing the planning and implementation of our District's S.U.M.M.I.T. grant (which seeks to better coordinate district and community mental health resources) and in developing school climate standards for Pennsylvania's state Board of Education.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in the field of education for the past 37 years as a school counselor and a professional developer in the field of school improvement. I have seen first hand what climates are like in schools and work directly with teachers and administrators on improving their schools. Lack of positive school climate and trust among the adults in a building are experiences I have had and as a result my own focus has been on school climate. I was so excited to find the National School Climate Center and Dr. Jonathan Cohen about 3 years ago. The Center is doing such fantastic work teachimg schools the 5 step process for school improvement. It is a systemic change process that takes between 3-5 years at a minimum. They have the expertise, research, personnel and dedication to help any school learn how to improve their climate. I have watched them use deep listening, creative problem solving and collaboration as well as data collection and research to successfully aid schools in their improvement.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

i have watched this organization grow and mature over the last five years and seen it's focus refined to reflect one of the most important elements of school improvement--school climate. In these days when parents must be confused by claims about schools and education understanding how the role of school climate in creating an environment where kids are likely to learn is something to be considered carefully. Every parent should encourage the schools their children attend to be concerned about climate--how people treat each other, how learning is supported, spaces that students find safe to learn in--which often means making mistakes at first.

If I had to identify a single element to help us understand the success of schools and make schools better it would be school climate--a concept that brings many complex elements into an understandable form. And, to do school climate improvement successfully there is no better set of educators that I know of than those associated with this Center. In full disclosure, I have advised the group as a volunteer and apply my professional perspective to make this judgment. Every cent funneled through the center has real potential for improving schools for our children. And I especially encourage policy makers at all levels to look at this model as a way to make progress in this area so critical to the future of our nation.

Nick Michelli
Presidential Professor
Ph.D. Program in Urban Education
City University of New york

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have spent my career working to improve the quality of education for children, especially in urban areas. My focus has been on deep academic knowledge and learning what it means to live in a democracy, including learning to argue for one's beliefs, listening to others with empathy, and learning to compromise. These are difficult qualities to measure. i have found nothing as powerful as the work of the National School Climate Center for understanding how the culture of a school impacts learning either positively or negatively. The Center's work is research based, allows for assessment and progress, and is very effective in enhancing school climate and therefore the lives of children, and I might add teachers. I believe that studies will show that when school climate is optimum teacher attrition is reduced. We already know that it leads to stronger learning outcomes.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was so impressed with NSCC and their work that I dropped off of the Board of another organization and joined this one. This is a rare organization where "the cause" still takes priority over the organization itself. Schools are so focused on just grades these days that they lose the most important element of human relations and mutual empathy, things that actually correlate better with success than grades. Bully prevention is one element but this is more -- a school's entire environment is analyzed and improved using NSCC's services. This helps keep students motivated and happy, helps then connect with school employees, it helps them make friends, and yes, it helps grades and graduation rates. NSCC applies a quantitative customized analytical approach to a qualitative subject, and measures their impact, so it is not "soft". Schools continue to ask for more budget, or make hard decisions on how to cut costs to deal with smaller budgets -- but how do they know they are spending the money in the most effective way? NSCC gives pointers that have measurable impact upon a schools learning environment, while boosting kids' social and emotional well being. Thnis will help focus spending effectiveness. NSCC just needs more people to know about them, their programs and staff, and their deep expertise. Their impact will have a multiplier effect, making the children's lives better, as well as those they touch.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an education consultant in an international organization. While choosing an institute to provide us with technical support on implementing the project of social emotional learning (SEL), I have found that NSCC offers a comprehensive and in-depth theoretical framework and a systematic plan for carrying out SEL in primary and secondary schools. More specifically, the theory NSCC presents is of great help for us to promote quality education under the condition of exam-oriented teaching. NSCC also stands out in improving school management and long-term development.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a teacher education professional and work extensively with a range of schools serving very diverse populations. When I work with teachers and/or school administrators, questions about school climate are often on the forefront of their minds. I have found that the National School Climate Center is an excellent resource for both theoretical and practical materials. For example, they have an exceptional tool for assessing school climate that helps identify areas of strength and areas of weakness. More importantly, they offer a comprehensive strategy that takes a school step-by-step through a process of school climate improvement. This process has been refined through years of research and practical experience.