School climate coalition to launch in August
Thank you for attending our Nothing but Blue Skies: A Pep Rally for School Climate Change event last week. We were joined by national experts from the Aspen Institute and ExcelinEd, who presented policy recommendations from the Creating Conditions for Student Success: A Policymakers’ School Climate Playbook. Youth advocates from the Colorado Youth Congress also shared their experiences and understanding of school climate, including the importance of connectedness at school, experiences related to their racial/ethnic identities and the important feelings of safety and belonging for students in schools today. School and systems change leaders from the Colorado Education Initiative and Mountain View High School shared successful initiatives they are currently leading, such as the Freshman Academy, to create safe, welcoming and inclusive school environments for all. Erica Manoatl, the Children’s Campaign’s Manager of Research Initiatives, reviewed recommendations from the report alongside Colorado statistics where they were available. However, our understanding of what school climate looks like in Colorado remains limited due to the types of data we are currently not collecting statewide.
School climate describes the quality and character of school life and the experiences of students, teachers, and other staff within a physical school or online learning environment. We know that positive and healthy school climates enable learning by providing students with strong adult-student relationships, rigorous expectations for learning, and conditions of mental and emotional safety and belonging—all of which are essential to student success.
Integrating and centering school climate in the fall will be paramount as kids and school staff prepare to re-enter their schools. The time is ripe for advocates and state-level leaders to take a proactive role in helping schools create a positive learning environment for all students and teachers. Join us as we launch the School Climate Coalition to explore what’s possible in Colorado.
You can find the recording from the event and other relevant materials here.
Join us for our first School Climate Coalition meeting on August 9 from 3:30-5 p.m. Please email Stephanie@coloradokids.org for more information.