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 Positive School Climate

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​"For Georgia’s reform strategies aimed at improving education to take hold and succeed, students must be engaged and excited about going to school. School climate is the foundation of a successful school and positive educational outcomes for all of our students." 

-Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education​​


The National School Climate Center defines school climate as “the quality and character of school life” that is based on the “patterns of students’, parents’, and school personnel’s experiences of school life.”[1] Research has found that schools with positive school climates tend to have better test scores and graduation rates; in contrast, schools with negative school climates as a result of unsafe or hostile environments tend to have lower academic performance.[2]

A sustainable, positive school climate supports people feeling socially​, emotionally and physically safe. In a positive school climate people are engaged and respected.  By contrast, disruptive and aggressive behavior such as threats, bullying, teasing and harassment creates a hostile school environment that interferes with academic performance.  A hostile school environment fosters increased absenteeism and truancy because students feel unsafe at school.  If a child is not physically and emotionally in attendance, learning cannot take place.
[1] National School Climate Center. (2014).School Climate. Retrieved from 
[2] Thapa, Amrit, Jonathan Cohen, Shawn Guffey, and Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro. 2013. “A Review of School Climate Research.” Review of Educational Research 83(3): 357-385.


Students learn best when they are in a school in which they feel safe, supported, connected, and accepted. Research shows that when schools and districts focus on improving school climate, students are more likely to engage in the curriculum, develop positive relationships, demonstrate positive behaviors, and progress academically. Learn more​​...



In order to address truancy and attendance, as well as school climate, Georgia state law (O.C.G.A. Section 20-2-690.2) now requires that communities and schools work together to address school climate and truancy through the recommendations of their local Student Attendance and School Climate Committee. Learn more​...


The School Climate Star Rating is a diagnostic tool within the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) to determine whether a school is on the right path to school improvement. Learn more​...

Get Georgia Reading (GGR) Campaign partners developed a clearly defined framework to create the conditions for every child in Georgia to become a proficient reader by the end of third grade. Find out more about the process used by our partners to create the Campaign’s framework, which consists of four research-based pillars that work together to provide a platform for success.  

GGR's third pillar: Positive Learning ClimateAll educators, families, and policymakers understand and address the impact of learning climate on social-emotional development, attendance, engagement, academic achievement, and ultimately student success.  Learn more...​


Coping with Grief During Holidays and Celebrations

It’s normal to think about the people we love more around holidays and in times of celebration. For many people, thinking about those we love brings happiness and joy. However...


National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement


The work of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB) has become increasingly important, as concerns about school shootings and large-scale natural disasters are increasing in the U.S. Crisis and loss can have unforeseen, lasting psychological, emotional, academic and developmental effects on the well-being of children. Classroom educators and other school professionals are well-positioned, but too often are unprepared to support students and promote long-term recovery and resilience. The NCSCB is here to help. Our vision is a nation of resilient schools, prepared to appropriately respond to and support their students in times of crisis and loss.

The Center's services include:

  • Crisis Response Free, immediate technical assistance as well as training to schools and communities that are responding to crises, with a focus on supporting their students in the short term and throughout long-term recovery.
  • Education and Training Free education materials, as well as expert consultation and trainings for school professionals and communities preparing for or responding to crisis events.
  • Advocacy and Research Promote policies that encourage best practices in crisis response and grief support in schools, and research in the fields of childhood bereavement and disaster preparedness.


Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)​    

​Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based, data-driven framework proven to improve school climate by increasing a school’s sense of safety, reducing disciplinary incidents, and supporting improved academic outcomes. Learn more​...


 Contact Information

Jason W. Byars 
Program Manager
Phone: (404) 657-9953
Sharon Champion
Administrative Support
Phone: (404) 463-9238
FAX: (404) 651-6457
Please contact GaDOE's School Climate Team for more information on ways to improve school climate.