School Climate Collaborative
2023/24 School Year
We are accepting applications on a rolling basis.
“A safe and supportive environment consists of the welcoming, acceptance, awareness, and celebration of many different cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds.”
– Julian Berkowitz-Sklar, Member of the California Center for School Climate Youth Advisory Team
School climate is defined as the qualities of a school environment experienced by students and staff, encompassing relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures. Schools with positive school environments engage and authentically collaborate with students, staff, families, and community members.
As part of the California Center for School Climate (CCSC), CDE and WestEd are offering the opportunity for a select number of California LEAs to participate in no-cost School Climate Collaborative during the 2023/24 school year.
About the School Climate Collaborative
The CCSC will work with select LEAs to improve school climate and build local capacity through our year long intensive and collaborative partnership. Partner LEAs will identify a small school climate leadership team (typically 3-5 people) to improve LEA systems and support and implement a set of events co-led with CCSC staff throughout the year.
Together, CCSC and Partner LEAs will examine school climate improvement from the individual, collective, and systemic levels to:
- Identify local assets and needs;
- Prioritize equity and inclusion;
- Cultivate student voice and leadership;
- Engage families and communities;
- Address disparities in supports and outcomes (with particular attention to BIPOC, special education, LGBTQ+, and other historically and currently marginalized groups); and
- Build a culture of respect, safety, and collaboration.
LEA School Climate Leadership Team
Each LEA brings together an existing or new team of district and/or school leaders who work closely with CCSC coaches to guide the yearlong partnership. This School Climate Leadership Team, with virtual coaching and technical assistance from CCSC, identifies school climate needs and assets, selects and supports pilot sites, collects and analyzes data, makes LCAP and other systemic connections, and develops recommendations for sustainable school climate improvement efforts.
Each participating LEA, through their School Climate Leadership Team, may choose to implement up to three of the following School Climate Collaborative events, co-led onsite by the LEA and CCSC. Events may be district-wide or site-based and are meant to strengthen the LEA’s school climate efforts.
- Professional Learning Session: Professional Learning Sessions are focused on relevant school climate topics that align with LEA needs. Topics include: educator well-being, brain-based strategies for teaching and learning, school climate data use, building strong relationships, and safe and supportive classrooms.
- Family Forum: Family Forums provide opportunities for family members to share their unique experiences and perspectives on critical school climate and culture issues through dialogue sessions and participatory action planning.
- Student Listening Circle (Grades 6-12): Student Listening Circles (SLCs) meaningfully engage students in school climate efforts, provide insight and qualitative data to adult participants, encourage reflection and collaboration, and integrate student perspectives into strategic action. SLCs flip the traditional top-down approach to student/staff relationships and provide structured opportunities for students to share experiences and opinions while staff listen and learn. Students and staff have opportunities to work with peers (students with students and staff with staff) and engage in large- and small-group collaborative action planning to elevate student voice as essential to school improvement efforts.
- Youth Summit (Grades 6-12): Youth Summits build on the capacity of middle and/or high school students to lead school climate improvement efforts at their sites and strengthen collaborative relationships between students and school staff. Student participants engage in high-energy, interactive skill building experiences and topic-specific workshops. Staff participants reflect on their own practices, identify areas for improvement, and commit to exploring new strategies for meaningful relationships with students. At the end of each Youth Summit, students and staff work together to develop school climate action plans and identify next steps.
More details about the CCSC School Climate Collaborative including event descriptions, time commitments, ideal participants, and planning timelines can be found here.
Who should apply?
- Local Education Agencies (LEAs) best suited to successfully participate in the School Climate Collaborative have the following practices, systems, and supports in place:
- Close working relationships with local districts or schools and a solid understanding of their needs, challenges, and strengths as they relate to school climate
- Demonstrated commitment to prioritizing school climate at the LEA and school-site levels
- Culture of collaboration, reflection, and growth
- Local Education Agencies (LEAs) best suited to successfully participate in the School Climate Collaborative will commit to implementing the following practices, systems, and supports:
- Demonstrated support from LEA leaders for participation in the School Climate Collaborative
- Alignment of School Climate Collaborative work with existing LEA priorities, plans, and systems
- Appropriate amounts of time and resources allotted for School Climate Collaborative events and activities
- Commitment to support effective planning and implementation of School Climate Collaborative events
- Willingness to learn from experience and improve school climate practices in sustainable ways
Is your district team interested in being part of the School Climate Collaborative for the 2023/24 school year? The CCSC can support a limited number of districts for this opportunity so apply now! We are accepting applications on a rolling basis.
For more information, contact CCSC at [email protected].