SCHOOL CLIMATE AND CULTURE

An enduring positive school climate and culture are essential conditions for fostering learning and positive youth development that results in productive and fulfilling lives. The NJDOE supports school efforts to assess, develop and maintain positive school climates and cultures and other conditions that affect student learning and growth.

Government Agencies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

United States Department of Education, Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center

U.S. Department of Justice (USDJ)

Statutes

Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:37-21) requires the school safety team in each school in the district "… to develop, foster, and maintain a positive school climate by focusing on the on-going, systemic process and practices in the school and to address school climate issues …" and to "review and strengthen school climate and the policies of the school…")

Reports

A Comprehensive Approach to Promoting Social, Emotional, and Academic Growth in Contemporary Schools. Osher, D., Sprague, J., Weissberg, R.P., Axelrod, J., Keenan, S., Kendziora, K., and Zins, J. (2007). Best practices in school psychology V, Vol. 4. National Association of School Psychologists.

Altering school climate through school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports: Findings from a group-randomized effectiveness trial. Bradshaw, C., Koth., Thornton, L., and Leaf, P. (2009). Prevention Science, 10(2), 100-115.

A Meta-Analysis of Research on the Mediated Effects of Principal Leadership on Student Achievement : Examining the Effect Size of School Culture on Student Achievement as an Indicator of Teacher Effectiveness Bulris, Mark Ellsworth (East Carolina University, 2009). Dissertation.

The effects of school culture and climate on academic achievement. MacNeil, A.J., Prater, D.L., and Busch, S. (2009). International Journal of Leadership in Education, (12)1, 73-84.

The Expect Respect Project: Creating a positive elementary school climate. Meraviglia, M.G., Becker, H., Rosenbluth, B., Sanchez, E., and Robertson, T. (2003). Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18(11), 1347-1360.

The impact of enhancing students' social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., and Schellinger, K.B. (2011). Child Development. 82(1), 405-432.

Improving academic achievement through improving school climate and student connectedness. Osher, D., Spier, E., Kendziora, K., and Cai, C. (2009, April). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.

The interface of school climate and school connectedness and relationships with aggression and victimization. Wilson, D. (2004). Journal of School Health, 74(7), 293-299.

Long-Term Effects of the Seattle Social Development Intervention on School Bonding Trajectories

National school climate standards: Benchmarks to promote effective teaching, learning and comprehensive school improvement. (Available on A new model of school culture: A response to a call for conceptual clarity. La Tefy Schoen and Charles Teddlie. School Effectiveness and School Improvement. Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2008, 129-153.

Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Bryk, A.S., Sebring, P.B. Allensworth, E., Luppesco, S., and Easton, J.Q. (2010). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Peer Victimization in Schools: A Set of Quantitative and Qualitative Studies of the Connections Among Peer Victimization, School Engagement, Truancy, School Achievement, and Other Outcomes

Powerful learning environments: the critical link between school and classroom cultures. Finnan, C., Schnepel, K., and Anederson, L. (2003). Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk, 8(4), 391-418.

School climate and implementation of a preventive intervention. Gregory, S., Henry, D.B., and Schoeny, M.E. (2007). American Journal of Community Psychology, 40(3), 250-260.

The School Climate Challenge: Narrowing the Gap Between School Climate Research and School Climate Policy, Practice Guidelines and Teacher Education Policy

School climate factors relating to teacher burnout: A mediator model. Grayson, J.L. and Alvarez, H.K. (2008). Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(5): 1349-1363.

School climate predictors of school disorder: Results from a national study of delinquency prevention in schools. Gottfredson, G., Gottfredson, D., Payne, A. and Gottfredson, N. (2005). Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 42(4), 412-444.

School climate: Research, policy, teacher education and practice. Cohen, J., McCabe, E.M., Michelli, N.M., & Pickeral, T. (2009). Teachers College Record, 11(1), 180-213.
School climate research summary – January 2010. School Climate Brief, 1(1).

School Climate Research Summary. Thapa, A., Cohen., J., Higgins-D'Alessandro, A., and Guffey, S. (2012). School Climate Brief, No. 3. National School Climate Center, New York, NY.

Social competence, social support, and academic achievement in minority, low-income, urban elementary school children. Elias, M.J. and Haynes, N.M. (2008). School Psychology Quarterly, 23(4), 474-495.

There Isn't a Moment to Lose: Report of the New Jersey Commission on Bullying in Schools

What works in character education: A report for policy makers and opinion leaders. Berkowitz, M.W., and Bier, M.C. (2005).

Whole school improvement and restructuring as prevention and promotion: Lessons learned from STEP and the project on high-performance learning communities. Felner, R.D., Favazza, A., Shim, M. Brand, S., Gu, K., and Noonan, N. (2001). Journal of School Psychology, 39, 177-202.

Youth perceptions of life in school: Contextual correlates of school connectedness in adolescence. Whitlock, J.L. (2006). Applied Developmental Science, 10(1), 13-29.

Zero tolerance, zero evidence

Resources

AbilityPath.org: Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs

The Center for Healthy Schools, Families and Communities
Character Education Partnership

Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning

Committee for Children

National Center for School Engagement

National Registry of Evidence-based Programs (NREPP)

New Jersey Positive Behavior Support in Schools

National School Climate Center

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice

Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools Expert Panel, United States Department of Education

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

PeaceBuilders: Creating Safe, Positive Learning Environments

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Preventing Drug Abuse Among Children and Adolescents: A Research-based Guide for Parents, Educators and Community Leaders, National Institute on Drug Abuse

The Resiliency Center

Resiliency in Action

Safe and Sound: An Educational Leader's Guide to Evidence-Based Social and Emotional
Learning (SEL) Programs, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

Search Institute: Discovering What Kids Need to Succeed

Sopris

Stanford University, John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities

UCLA, Center for Mental Health in Schools

Data Collection

Regulations

N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(a), Code of Student Conduct (District boards of education are required to "… to develop, adopt and implement a code of student conduct which establishes standards, policies and procedures for positive student development and student behavioral expectations …")

Case Law

New Jersey Department of Education School Law Decisions (Commissioner of Education decisional law affecting education; School Ethics Commission decisions; State Board of Examiners decisions)

New Jersey Government and Legal Resources

L.W. v. Toms River Regional Schools Board of Education (A-111-05) 

Professional Associations

American School Counselor Association

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

Association of Student Assistance Professionals of New Jersey

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Character Education Partnership

Council on Chief State School Officers

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Association of Secondary School Principals

National Association of Pupil Services Administrators

National Association of School Psychologists

National Education Association

National Parent-Teacher Association

National School Boards Association

National Association of School Psychologists

New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional and Character Development

New Jersey Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

New Jersey Association of Pupil Services Administrators

New Jersey Association of School Administrators

New Jersey Association of School Psychologists

New Jersey Association of School Social Workers

New Jersey Education Association (NJEA)

New Jersey Parent-Teacher Association

New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association

New Jersey School Boards Association

New Jersey School Counselors Association

School Social Work Association of America