The Institute’s commitment to building unity in schools and communities across the nation continues year-round. To hit the ground running in 2011, the Institute and partners have formed the School Climate Consortium— a national collaborative of youth-serving nonprofits, community-based organizations, and local education agencies. The Consortium’s guiding principle is that positive school climate is essential to creating an environment in which youth can learn and thrive.
The School Climate Consortium (SCC) was established with the mission of promoting the integration of positive school climate as a guiding principle in school thinking, planning, and funding. Positive school climate is essential to developing a learning environment where all students feel welcome, included, and both physically and emotinally safe— a school free of cruelty, bullying, and violence.
When school staff, the surrounding community, and especially students are empowered to create a positive school climate, all stakeholders profit from an environment where students feel welcome, included, and physically and emotionally safe. The participating schools realize increased attendance, fewer disciplinary issues, and greater academic achievement schoolwide.
This model represents a break from the traditional paradigm of zero tolerance and "outside-in" approaches; these have had some success in responding to and dealing with symptoms of bullying, but have had little success preventing it. With the introduction of an "inside-out" paradigm, students become active participants in improving the environment in which they learn, and with a personal stake in their school’s climate, these students become empowered to prevent bullying before it starts.
SCC also strives to ensure the commitment of the surrounding community in cultivating a culture of safety and unity. Download the SCC Policy Proposal, [link] “Creating a Positive School Climate through Empowered Communities,” to learn more.