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Improving School Climate To Support Student Achievement: Creating “Climates of Respect” PowerPoint Presentation
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Improving School Climate To Support Student Achievement: Creating “Climates of Respect”

Improving School Climate To Support Student Achievement: Creating “Climates of Respect”

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Improving School Climate To Support Student Achievement: Creating “Climates of Respect”

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  1. Improving School Climate To Support Student Achievement: Creating “Climates of Respect” Jo Ann Freiberg, Ph.D. CT State Department of Education Marta Koonz, PCC One Caring Adult®

  2. ISC Basic Goals • Develop a basic understanding of the importance of creating a positive school climate • Develop a basic awareness of various strengths-based that enhance school climate • Start to create a shift to the impact of adult behavior on student success

  3. ISC Basic Learning Objectives • Explored the impact of School Climate on student success and engagement • Discussed various Strengths-Based Models and the potential impact of their implementation on improving school climate • Examined the impact of Adult Responsibility & Role Modeling on the development of a safe & respectful professional learning community

  4. ISC Basic Topics • School Climate • School Climate Development Model • Bullying & Bullying Roles • CALI Model / SRBI • Strengths-Based Models • School Connectedness • Circle of Courage • Resiliency • Adult Responsibility & Role Modeling • CT Code of Prof. Responsibility • Restorative Discipline • Conflict Cycle

  5. A Statistical Perspective • Every day in the U.S. 160,000 public school students stay home out of fear of being “picked on” • 2,222 full school buses of children • Between 5% and 30% of students engage in “bullying” behavior in the school context • Between 5% and 30% of adults engage in “bullying” behavior in the school context • As children become adults…the same behaviors persist

  6. A TOXIC School Concept: A True Conversation Closer • No school wants to have any of it • No parent/guardian will admit their child is one • No child will own up to being one • Everyone avoids these terms except the Target’s family

  7. If Only It Was This Easy!

  8. Lessons Learned • Over seven years worth of CT data…trends are clear • Bullying knows no demographic boundaries • Bullying takes ALL forms without patterns • Bullying affects all grade levels • Very slight increase in the middle school years • Bullying overwhelmingly involves children with special needs (IEPs & 504 Plans) • Children who are “different” • The family perceptions about what is happening to the child is in a separate universe fromwhat is objectively happening at school

  9. Bullying Defined • 49 States have Bullying Laws and define bullying • There are 49 different definitions of bullying • Even the “experts” don’t agree on what bullying is

  10. Solving “Bullying” by Passing State Anti-Bullying Laws Missouri’s Law only pertains to “Cyber-Bullying” CT and WY: Only two that combine Bullying and School Climate legislation

  11. The Reason for Legislation Honor the “Spirit” (intent) of the law, not merely the “Letter” of the law to create truly physically, emotionally and intellectually safe and positive learning environmentsfor every single school community member, student and adult alike.

  12. “Bullying” is about Abuses of Power • One person’s “bullying” is another’s… • “Kids will be kids” • “They were only joking around” • “Oh, they’re really friends” • “It’s not bad enough yet” • They’re just roughhousing” • “That is just teasing” • And, so many more…..

  13. ‘BULLY’ and ‘BULLYING’ are OUT!!!“Mean” Is A Better Term/Concept • No one knows what “bullying” looks, feels and sounds like • We miss what is right under our noses • Everyone knows what “mean” looks, feels and sounds like • If “mean” is the standard, we are much more likely to help make it safer If it’s mean…Intervene!!!

  14. A Familiar Nursery Rhyme: Unfortunate Myth…And Reality “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but names will never hurt you.” “Sticks and stones will break my bones…And Words CAN Hurt Forever.” Words DO hurt

  15. The Nature Of Teasing • Good Teasing • Where everyone involved feels respected • Only appropriate when everyone is included • “audience” won’t understand • Unintentional Bad Teasing • Where the teaser doesn’t intend to hurt the other’s feelings • Intentional Bad Teasing • Where the teasing is used to put the person down and/or silence the target • Vehicle of social climbing

  16. Dangerous “Weapons” In School: Direct Negative Impact on Learning • Words! The silent and most devastating weapons used by school community members • Putdowns and slurs • Degrading language heard daily by 90% of school community • Girls/women • Gay/lesbian/bi-sexual/transgender individuals • Students with special needs • Racial groups / students of color • Religious groups • Weight

  17. Sarcasm: “The Tearing of Flesh”

  18. Where Students See, Hear & Learn Hurtful Language…The Culture • From family members and additional mentors • Coaches • Leaders • From popular culture • Media • Idols/celebrities • From other young people • Role modeling is a powerful influence • Capacity to escalate • From words… • To threats… • To physical assaults

  19. Solutions Through Conventional Wisdom: Not Working • Peer Mediation / Conflict Resolution • Simple “Advice” Interventions with Targets; telling them to: • Build confidence • Walk away • Be more assertive • Build self-esteem • Simple “Advice” Interventions with those who are Mean • Counsel to explain and chastise (“you know better!”) • Discipline without educational intervention • Ignore the Majority of the Middle: the Bystanders • Feel “stuck” and powerless

  20. Physical Safety:Safety  Violence Continuum • Early Manifestations by Students and/or Adults • Exclusion • Teasing • Name-calling • Ridicule • Sarcasm • Extreme Physical Violence • Homicide • Suicide Threatening and/or Real “Bullying” Behavior

  21. Ultimate Remedy for Bullying To Create and Maintain Positive School Climate…Environments that do not support any form of mean-spirited behaviors (physically, emotionally and intellectually) Healthy and happy “Climates of Respect”

  22. Perpetrators: Who and Why • Learned behaviors from role-models to get their needs met • Lack empathy • Average or better self-esteem / sense of self • Likely to have negative attitudes towards school • Want/need to control others or gain power • Want to fit in or “be cool” • Often are “popular” students • May have been targets themselves • May want to avoid becoming a target

  23. Targets: Who and Why • Vulnerable • Few or no friends • Poor social skills • Shy, Withdrawn & Quiet • Irritating habits • Poor in sports • Relate better to adults

  24. Bystanders: Who and Why • Experience a sense of guilt • Often feel powerless to do anything • Often afraid to tell someone who could help • Must be able to trust adults so that they will “tell” • Need to practice standing up to others • Become the “caring majority” • Be given permission and empowered to become allies

  25. Known Risk Factors: Everyone Is Affected • Perpetrators of mean-spirited behaviors • More likely to experience failure and crime • Targeted Individuals • More likely to be socially isolated, depressed and absent from school • Those individuals who are “bystanders” • Experience guilt and trauma over feeling powerless to intervene and help

  26. Known Needs and Remedies • Targeted individuals • Develop healthy and meaningful friendships • Do not ask them to change who they are • Do not have to own what is being portrayed • Bystanders • Need to be empowered to become “allies” • Perpetrators • Develop a sense of empathy for others • Must be removed from the social group andearn their way back • Close supervision

  27. Deal With the Individual Who Is Being Mean: Do Not Blame the Target • Isolate those individuals being mean rather than protecting and supervising the target • Social access is required in order to hurt others • Those being mean must earn the right to rejoin the social group • Long term: help them develop empathy toward others

  28. Isolate the Individual… • Bus • Classroom • Recess • Hallway • Cafeteria • Locker Room • Science Lab Not as punishment, as incentive to reintegrate and join the group

  29. “Empathy” As True Antidote For Meanness • Having compassion for others • Includes animals and property • Being able to perceive the feelings of others • Learning to be empathic diminishes levels of meanness • Core concept in both emotional and social intelligence

  30. A Critical Distinction • Bystander: A person who witnesses an act or an event without participating in it • Upstander / Ally: A person who is on your side or helps you in a situation

  31. Tattling And Telling . . . • Tattling (snitching, “narcing,” ratting, etc.) • Getting someone in trouble • A form of teasing • Developmental issues • Telling • Getting someone out of trouble • Dangerous • Hurtful • Adults must listen • Children must be heard

  32. Mapping the Territory: Culture and Climatedistinguished…

  33. “School climate is ‘much like the air we breathe’ – it tends to go unnoticed until something is seriously wrong.” Jerome Freiberg, 1998

  34. Climate: It is All About the Quality of Relationships Defined as: how well the people within the school / workplace treat each other Physically Emotionally Intellectually Actions [+/-] Verbal and non-verbal exchanges [+/-] Use/abuse of inherent power advantages [+/-] Tone of voice [+/-]

  35. Levels of School Climate Personal (one to one interactions) Adult Adult Adult Student Student Student Classroom (tends to have the most positiveclimate) School (tends to have the least positiveclimate) Community (tends not to have enough systemic focus) 37

  36. Strengths Research tells us… Kids THRIVE when we focus on strengths

  37. “School Connectedness”…The Other Bookend Research • Funded by the Military • Looking at “student mobility” • Conducted by • Johns Hopkins University • The University of Minnesota • Occurring simultaneously with the research on the rampage school shooters

  38. School Connectedness: Simple Measures • I feel close to people at this school • I am happy to be at this school • I feel like I am part of this school • The teachers at this school treat students fairly • I feel safe (physically, emotionally and intellectually) in this school

  39. Factors Associated with School Connectedness • The school • Size matters (over 1,200) • Class size does not matter • Type or location does not matter • Classroom Management • Positive school climate matters most • School policies • A climate of “harsh discipline” works against connectedness

  40. Mapping Friendship Groups… Segregation = Low Connectedness

  41. Mapping Friendship Groups… Integration = High Connectedness

  42. School connectedness is higher for all students when... • Social cliques in the school are overlapping and students have social ties to multiple cliques • There are multiple, reciprocated friendships • The most popular students in a school are academically motivated and get good grades • Friendship groups are integrated by race and gender