Happy New Year! We are excited to kick off 2018 by continuing our dive into the many important parts of Illinois’s new plan that evaluates the quality of schools, reports on their progress, and supports them if needed—it’s the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Last month, we learned the difference between growth and proficiency and why both are important when we evaluate, support, and report on students, schools, and districts.
This month, we will be taking a more in-depth look at school climate and culture. School climate and culture can often times feel difficult to define, but more and more studies show that when schools have a strong climate and culture, students are more likely to succeed.
A strong climate and culture at school will help students:
- perform better academically
- feel safer
- build healthier relationships
- show up to school more often
This is why school climate and culture is included in ESSA and why it’s so important that we understand how to create a strong, healthy, and positive climate and culture.
Making It Simple!
One easy way to understand school climate and culture is to think about school culture as the thermostat and school climate as the thermometer. School culture is made up of the norms, beliefs, and practices that can set the tone for a school community, much like a thermostat sets a temperature. School climate is how it feels to be in that school and reflects the culture, much like a thermometer tells you how a room actually feels. For more real-life examples on school climate and culture visit our Real Learning for Real Life website at reallearningil.org/essa-glossary.