News & Announcements
VDOE and UVA present progress on school climate survey-This is a PDF document. to Board of Education’s Committee on School and Division Accountability.
School communities are tasked with ensuring that their school climate is conducive to effective teaching and optimal student learning. A positive school climate may be defined as a safe and supportive environment that reflects a commitment to meeting and developing the academic, social, and emotional needs of every student.
School Climate Survey
The school climate survey is a tool for schools and divisions to monitor and improve school climate across four areas: nurturing school engagement, developing caring relationships, reaching towards high expectations, and fostering safety.
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), as directed by the Board of Education, in partnership with the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS), is implementing a state-wide school climate survey in Spring 2018. The survey will be administered online to students in grades four through twelve, teachers and staff. Schools can select a three-week window between February 5, 2018 and March 30, 2018 to complete the survey.
Additional information about the survey will be posted to this webpage and distributed to schools in December 2017.
Preview the survey by selecting the links below:
- 2018 VA School Climate Survey Student (G4-5)-This is a PDF document.
- 2018 VA School Climate Survey Student (G6-12)-This is a PDF document.
- 2018 VA School Climate Survey Staff-This is a PDF document.
Survey Instructions in Brief
The survey will be conducted online. Schools will be provided with a password to share with students, teachers, and staff in order for them to access the online survey. The survey is anonymous; participants will not give their names on the survey, and it will not be possible to match survey answers to participant identities. Parents of students should be advised of the survey and offered the option to decline participation.
Additional instructions will be posted to this webpage and distributed to schools in December 2017.
VDOE will oversee the administration of the student and staff surveys in elementary and middle schools or schools with grades 4 through 8. For additional information, contact Jo Ann Burkholder, Director of Student Services at (804) 225-2818 or Joann.Burkholder@doe.virginia.gov or Jennifer Piver-Renna, Senior Executive Director for Research, at (804) 225-3698 or Jennifer.Piver-Renna@doe.virginia.gov.
VCSCS will oversee the administration of the survey at high schools (schools with grades 9 through 12). Questions about the survey in these schools can be directed to Shellie Evers at 804-678-8993 or Shellie.Evers@dcjs.virginia.gov.
How Information Collected from the Survey Will Be Used
Schools will be provided feedback reports within two weeks of completing the survey which could be used to inform school improvement plans and practices. Before the end of the school year, schools will also receive a second report with regional and state comparisons. Results of the school climate survey could be considered by schools within the context of other school-level data, such as student achievement, attendance, and discipline, to identify patterns and establish priorities for resources.
The Office of Student Services at VDOE intends to use survey information to target technical assistance and distribute resources available through the Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports. School climate data will serve as a diagnostic tool to identify priority areas for state assistance and to track progress over time.
The school community is responsible for creating and maintaining a comfortable and orderly physical environment with visionary and supportive leadership that promotes active engagement and communication among and between students, staff, and parents.
- Connectedness is demonstrated by regular attendance, participation in school activities, open communication with students and families, and school spirit.
- Facilities are clean, orderly, and have adequate resources.
- Leadership has a clear vision everyone understands, an open-door policy for all, and supports staff and their development.
The school community is responsible for creating a culturally responsive environment that promotes mutually respectful, supportive, ethical and civil relationships among and between students and staff.
- Respect for diversity is widespread between students and adults, and across the community.
- Adult social support is evident in the form of high expectations for student’s success, willingness to listen, genuine concern for problems, and in welcoming parent involvement.
- Student social support can be found in activities that promote positive peer social relationships, including socializing, problem solving, academic help, and welcoming new students.
- Professional relationships are characterized by working well and learning together.
The school community is responsible for addressing barriers to teaching and learning and for implementing effective teaching practices that promote academic, social, emotional, and civic development of students.
- Learning support can be seen in teaching practices that provide opportunities to show knowledge, think independently, engage in dialogue and ask questions where academic rigor and high expectations for all are the norm.
- Social and civic learning are evident in practices that model and teach good citizenship, effective listening, conflict resolution, emotional states, empathy, personal responsibility, and ethics.
- Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), a component of Virginia Tiered System of Supports
- National School Climate Center on Social Emotional Teaching and Learning
- Collaborative for Academic, Social Emotional Learning (CASEL)
The school community is responsible for creating an environment where all members are welcomed, supported, and feel safe in school: socially, emotionally, and physically.
- Rules and expectations on discipline and behavior are developmentally appropriate, communicated clearly, and enforced fairly.
- Virginia Board of Education Student Conduct Policy Guidelines-This is a PDF document.
- Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline-This is a PDF document.
- Implementing School Discipline Practices that Create a Positive School Climate
- Creating a Positive School Climate: Implementing Equitable and Effective School Discipline Practices (webinar December 2013)
- Supportive School Discipline – Communities of Practice
- VDOE School Climate Reports
- Restorative Justice in Action: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Physical security at school and school events involves planning in five major categories: prevention, protection, response, recovery and mitigation.
- Social-emotional security is evident when students and staff feel safe from verbal abuse to exclusion – or any form of bullying and harassment.
- Bullying Prevention
- Model Policy to Address Bullying in Virginia’s Public Schools
- Bullying Prevention in the Promotion of a Positive School Climate: Effective Principles and Practices (Statewide Anti-Bullying Conference held June 20, 2012)
- Substance use does not occur on school grounds or among students.
- Wellness is promoted through the availability of health food choices and health supports.
Models for Implementation
- Virginia Tiered System of Supports
- Creating an Integrated Framework for Improving School Climate
- Student Assistance Programming: Creating Positive Conditions For Learning
- Conditions for Learning Seminar – William & Mary
Other Resources & Publications
- Virginia Secondary School Climate Study – UVA Curry School of Education
- Youth Violence Project – UVA Curry School of Education
- National School Climate Center
- Positive School Climate: Information for Educators (National Association of School Psychologists)-This is a PDF document.
- Safe Supportive Learning Technical Assistance Center-This is a PDF document.
- Measuring Student Engagement-This is a PDF document.