Caring Communities: Linking School Culture and Student Development

Caring Communities: Linking School Culture and Student Development

A positive school environment and explicit instruction in social, emotional, and cognitive skills tend to reinforce each other, resulting in better support for children’s learning, a report from the finds. Based on a case study of an elementary school in Missouri, the report, (12 pages, PDF), found that a safe and supportive school learning environment and clear, consistent expectations tend to promote greater student engagement and stronger academic achievement. For instance, a high school in Nevada raised its graduation rates by encouraging and helping freshmen develop stronger connections with their teachers as well as the organizational skills needed to succeed in high school. And a Chicago school that was on probation for poor academic outcomes worked with the at the to match mentors with struggling and at-risk students, help social workers and school counselors develop their leadership skills, and create the kind of school culture, systems, and structures necessary for students to succeed.