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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

97 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center has provided both conceptual and practical leadership in bringing greater understanding to the importance of climate in school reform and student development. The center operates in a genuinely collaborative spirit that invites and capitalizes on best thinking and practice from a variety of educators and experts. Making a positive difference in kid's lives is always at the heart of the Center's agenda.

1 peerabuse

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The National School Climate Center does a fantastic job in educating others on the problem of bullying in schools. Whether it be parents, teachers, children or anyone else in the school, I highly recommend this group. Elizabeth Bennett

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The National School Climate Center is an amazing resource for schools, teachers, parents, and students to help create and sustain a healthy school climate. They also work to stop bullying by offering many resources on their Bullybust site.