Learning Culture and Environment

Published: 3/20/2017 9:59 AM

The mission of the Learning Culture and Environment key core work process is to assist schools with creating safe, inviting and engaging learning environments through the implementation of a continuum of school-wide, evidence-based practices that are matched to each student’s individual needs. Through environments that foster effective instruction, sound interventions, and data-based decision making, achievement gaps can be by closed by reducing the rate of novice performance – resulting in improved outcomes for all students.   

Click on the image below to enlarge.

Click here to access George Sugai's PowerPoint from which this image came.

Why Is School Climate Important?
A positive school climate is associated with:
  • Academic Achievement
  • Student Engagement
  • Positive Social Skills
What is School Climate?
“School Climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School Climate is based on patterns of students’, parents’, and school personnel’s experience of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal interactions, teaching and learning practices and organizational structures.” -National School Climate Center (NSCC)
Does my school have a positive school climate?  How do I know?
The National School Climate Council and NSCC suggest there are four major areas that any school climate assessment should include:
  • Safety
  • Relationships
  • Teaching and Learning
  • External Environment
Video: PBIS Culture at Pulaski County High School (PCHS)

Julena Edwards, Youth Service Center Coordinator, and Annie Conner, Special Education Liaison at Pulaski County High School, describe how Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) has had an impact on the culture and environment of the school and how it gave everyone at the school one common focus. The video includes a great story to demonstrate how students have been affected by the implementation of PBIS. Click on the image below to view the video. Total time 2:13.

According to the National School Climate Center (NSCC), school climate has 12 dimensions that may be measured.  To determine the climate of your school, you may refer to The Twelve Dimensions of School Climate Measured, provided by the NSCC.

Which cycle represents my school climate?

Consider the two images below and decide which cycle best represents your current school climate. Click on the images to enlarge.


Click here to access George Sugai's PowerPoint from which these images came.

How Do I Improve My School Climate?

In order for students to be academically successful, school must start with a school climate that is safe, inviting, and engaging for students and staff.  The 30-60-90 Day Plan listed at the top of the right hand column is designed to help schools begin the process of improving the school climate.  Additional resources are available to assist schools throughout the process.

Gretta Hylton
Office of Next-Generation Learners
Division of Learning Services
500 Mero Street, 18th Floor CPT
Frankfort, KY 40602
(502) 564-4970
Fax (502) 564-6721