Positive School Culture and Climate

A positive school culture and climate is grounded in HA where everyone feels like they belong, barriers are removed, and student success increases.

An inclusive school climate draws upon these practices and more to create a school environment in which every child belongs and is able to learn.

Visit any school or classroom and you will know if they are successful in creating this environment. You may immediately feel welcomed, accepted and important to the group or uncomfortable and hesitant based on the school climate. In thousands of conversations with students, parents, and educators, the defining characteristic of inclusive schools must go far beyond the banners that proclaim each school’s mission statement to the quality and intent of daily human interactions.

Elementary students forming a small circle to make a team hand stack.

Culture and Climate Standards of Practice

Elementary students gathering together and smiling.

1.1. Remove barriers that prevent student integration in areas such as:

      • physical environments
      • instructional activities
      • scheduling
      • adult needs

2.2 School staff provide opportunities for all students to work and learn together.

2.3 The voices of all students are equal and valued. Students provide input on what they learn, how they learn, and where they learn.

2.4 Peer interaction initiatives are implemented (e.g., Circle of Friends, Peer Buddies, etc.).

2.5 Support is provided to students with disabilities who want to participate in school leadership roles.

Resources to Improve Your Practice

"Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation to make something of themselves."

John F. Kennedy