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Mission Driven Schools, Positive School Climates

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School climate plays an important role in academic achievement in Pittsburgh.

Download “Mission Driven Schools and Positive School Climates” (PDF)

Join the conversation on twitter about ways school climate are impacting student outcomes today, August 19, 2015 at noon by using the hashtag #pghschoolclimate.

Based on our extensive research, here are our recommendations for how we can make improvements to school climate:

Recommendations to Schools and the District

In order to create positive school climates where adults consistently support every student’s social, emotional, and academic success,

Schools should:

Demonstrate High Expectations for Students

  • Increase academic rigor by holding students to high standards and encouraging effort
  • Teachers and other school staff should  model the school’s behavior expectations and teach students how to replace inappropriate behaviors with appropriate ones
  • Implement a plan for developing students’ social and emotional learning skills (i.e., managing emotions, conflict mediation, etc.)

Emphasize Accountability, Building Character, Making Amends, and Keeping Students in School

  • Remove students from school only when there is a real and immediate safety threat to the school community
  • Eliminate zero tolerance policies and replace them with restorative practices
  • Provide training, support, and time for schools to implement restorative practices that reduce the number of disciplinary actions taking students out of class
  • Provide support for parents and students to understand and use restorative practices

The District should:

Create stable environments for principals to lead, teachers to teach, and students to succeed

  • Support visionary leaders who develop strong instructional cultures that help all teachers improve and increase students’ academic success
  • Empower principals to hire their own team and hold them accountable for outcomes

Take part in the conversation at noon on twitter to find out what you can do to help us make these recommendations into policy. If you can’t join us, sign up for our biweekly email to stay informed about this and other initiatives we have to improve outcomes in Pittsburgh Public Schools.