Monday, December 14, 2015

Promoting an Inclusive, Nurturing and Safe Learning Environment in High School

Time spent at school, teaches students more than just U.S. History and how to diagram a sentence. Of course kids learn academics but they are also learning a variety of social skills and getting a taste of independence. It is in the high school setting that we are able to give students more control over the classes they take, the extra curricular activities and athletics in which they participate, and sometimes the ability to drive themselves to and from school. This freedom and responsibility bestowed on our students is successful and possible due to a positive school climate. School climate is the fusion of all aspects of the school, including school values, norms, rules, communication, and the building itself that together makes the “quality and character of a school”.  It is the way the school functions on a daily basis and the quality of life and interaction between students, staff and parents.

What Can We Do To Improve School Climate? 

  • Provide open and welcoming counseling center with a variety of support options for students
  • Provide a variety of academic support opportunities
  • Promote a positive, safe and friendly atmosphere
  • Conduct a variety of school spirit days/weeks, friendly class competition 
  • Promote school spirit at athletic events and extra curricular activities
  • Encourage student and staff participation in all activities
  • Display student artwork throughout the building
  • Provide guidance lessons in the classroom
  • Promote student recognition and reward
  • Recognize academic clubs as often as athletic teams

Mitigating Risk and Promoting Resilience

Regardless of the situation that we are presented with, we want to maintain a positive, safe and nurturing environment for students, staff and parents to be a part of. In an effort to do so we can:

  • Always provide a neutral space
  • Conduct needs assessments
  • Provide valuable resources to students, staff and parents
  • Provide individual and group counseling, mediation and skills training
  • Strive for parent partnership
  • School wide communication and collaboration on all levels
  • Give students, staff and parents recognition for their work
  • Provide outside referrals when necessary
  • Encourage student involvement and creativity

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