What makes your K-12 school or district appealing to families? In this third installment of a five-part series on why and how families choose schools, you’ll learn why school climate and culture is the most critical piece of student retention.
School climate and culture hold immense power over student academic performance, family decisions, and student retention — all of which affect student enrollment and thus a school’s financial sustainability.
In fact, a school’s climate and culture is the number one reason whether a family will keep their child enrolled with that school or look for a new one.
Why is a positive climate and culture important?
How does it affect teachers?
What do families want?
Read on for all these answers and more.
The Importance of Having a Positive School Climate and Culture
A positive school climate and culture is fundamental to attracting and retaining students and faculty. Families want schools that provide safe, caring classrooms with a focus on student support and positive relationships.
Research shows that the following traits correlate with a positive school climate and culture:
Strong relationships between teachers and students
Clearly articulated expectations and supports for students
Consistent, fair, and equitable discipline responses
Systematic positive reinforcement of behaviors
Proactive, regular feedback from and engagement by leadership
These factors help create a predictable, safe environment for students — and therefore they will enjoy coming to class.
“Positive learning can only take place in a positive culture. A healthy school culture will affect more student and teacher success than any other reform or school improvement effort currently being employed.” — Gary Phillips, 2016
By contrast, schools with high rates of discipline issues and suspensions typically have a poor climate and culture.
Families will pull their children from these schools and seek places with low rates of discipline issues as well as positive approaches to helping students learn and exhibit appropriate behaviors.
What This Means for Teachers
Studies also show that teachers are more likely to remain in the profession if they are in schools with PBIS systems in place.
Additionally, teachers in positive climates with a focus on instructional coaching, professional development, and principal support — as opposed to an evaluation focus — will grow their skill set and feel supported, which makes them more likely to remain in the profession.
This support has a trickle-down effect into the classroom. When a teacher feels supported in their role by administration, they are:
Can be more effective in the classroom
Have a more joyful, meaningful experience at work
Student achievement and teacher effectiveness — which will be explored in this blog series as another reason as to how families choose schools — exist in tandem.
You can’t have one without the other.
Solutions for Creating Positive Classrooms
A positive classroom is an engaged and productive learning environment where students and teachers alike feel safe, supported, and motivated to achieve.
Since a positive climate underpins a great deal regarding student achievement and outcomes, SchoolMint offers three solutions that can help you support teachers’ growth, manage students’ SEL needs, and collect data to guide decision-making.
SchoolMint Grow is a teacher coaching and observation platform that makes it easy to give and receive feedback and bring out the best in every teacher.
With an all-in-one digital platform, Grow eliminates the need for manual processes, boosts your efficiency, and can help you see trends in your coaching practices. With Grow, you get:
Quick feedback and time-stamped notes
Lesson plan feedback and video integration
Customizable rubrics and forms
Personalized action steps
One place to manage it all
SchoolMint Hero is the answer to school-wide behavior management. Easy to use and effective, Hero unites your entire campus behind one PBIS behavior plan.
Turn disciplinary infractions into learning opportunities. Build trust through fair and equitable discipline policies. Reduce tardiness and chronic absenteeism. With Hero, you can:
Reward positive behavior
Track behavior trends with built-in data reporting
Support PBIS initiatives and students’ SEL needs
Help teachers manage classrooms
Communicate with families
Empower your school with data. Schoolrunner by SchoolMint is a comprehensive management system that provides a solution for your evidence-based teaching and learning needs.
For single-site school leaders who want as much robust data as possible to guide decision-making and create a positive school climate, Schoolrunner is the right choice and offers:
Custom-built behaviors and dashboards
Powerful, in-depth data reporting
Messaging in a family’s at-home language
K-12 Strategic Enrollment Management
Today, enrollment is more than just registering a student in a class. Enrollment is now a strategic process, one that includes several components, which we will continue to outline in the coming weeks.