Environment and Support

Learning Culture and Environment

Published: 5/20/2019 3:26 PM


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. Reference School Climate, PBIS, and MTSS PowerPoint.

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)

In the YouTube video featuring 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. Total time 2:13


According to the National School Climate Center (NSCC), school climate has 13 dimensions that may be measured.  To determine the climate of your school, you may refer to The Thirteen Dimensions of School Climate Measured, provided by the NSCC.

Which cycle represents my school climate?

Consider the Coercive Cycle and the Positive Reinforcement Cycle from School Climate, PBIS, and MTSS PowerPoint and decide which cycle best represents your current school climate.

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 under related resources is designed to help schools begin the process of improving the school climate. Additional resources are available to assist schools throughout the process.

Susan Greer
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-5130
Fax (502) 564-8149

Related Resources

30-60-90 Day Plan for Learning Culture and Environment

Web-based modules created by the KDE and KET in response to 704 KAR 7:160

Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports Website

Kentucky Center for Instructional Discipline

University of Louisville’s Academic and Behavior
Response (ABRI) to Intervention

Kentucky Behavior Response to Intervention

Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on School Discipline Disparities and Positive School Climate and Culture

Environment and Support
Principal Tim Schlosser highlights strategies he has implemented at Franklin Simpson High School to strengthen excitement about learning and high levels of students success. Activities such as the Senior Walk, People Choice Awards, and Student of the Week recognition are just some of the many happenings that occur at FSHS to encourage student and community involvement and engagement. Environment and Support YouTube video - Total time 4:56

Annie Conner, Special Education Liaison at Pulaski County High School, shares why the Positive Behavior Intervention System was implemented. Ms. Conner tells the story on this intervention and the impact it has had on the school’s culture. Why PBIS? YouTube video - Total time 1:03

Cultural Leadership
This video translates the importance of cultural leadership in order to improve the instruction and learning of a school through cultural development.  Emphasis is placed upon the use of a compelling vision/mission along with the shared symbols, icons, celebrations, recognitions, and stories and personalized beliefs, values, and assumptions that form the culture of their organization. Cultural Leadership YouTube video - Total time 8:42

Agents of Change
Watch how Franklin-Simpson High School revolutionizes their school culture through the implementation of strategies and activities which promote positive changes throughout their educational environment. They call themselves “Agents of Change” and pledge to only promote positive changes to influence student and teacher engagement in their school. Agents of Change YouTube video - Total time 2:59

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