The increasing awareness of school climate is seen in the national press in conversations about suspensions and safety. This increasing interest is happening as schools and communities realize that children cannot learn if they do not feel safe and respected. This interest led to a BERC report on school climate entitled Positive School Climate: What It Looks Like and How It Happens: Nurturing Positive School Climate for Student Learning and Professional Growth. During the drafting of that report Baltimore City district staff began to discuss the many instruments used in the district to capture data for schools. This report follows up on those interests through the examination of the multiple tools Baltimore City Schools is using to capture and think about school climate.
Now, six months later, BERC is pleased to release its new report, Measuring School Climate: Using Existing Data Tools on Climate and Effectiveness to Inform School Organizational Health. The report reviews each data collection tool, its strengths and weaknesses and proposes a measure that is highly correlated to attendance, reduced suspension. Read the full report.