Professional Development

Examining Your School's Climate

Use the following resources to assess your school's climate.

According to a survey conducted by Learning for Justice, then Teaching Tolerance, the National Education Association and the Civil Rights Project, the vast majority of teachers say their schools are free of racial and ethnic tensions. Yet, federal reports show that one in four students are victimized in racial or ethnic incidents in the course of a typical school year.

Students of color aren't the only victims, either: nearly 70 percent of girls say they've been sexually harassed, 75 percent of gay students report hearing anti-gay slurs at school, and more than a third of gay students say they've been physically harassed.

School Climate Questionnaire (PDF)

This simple one-page questionnaire can be used to uncover differences in teacher and student perceptions, as an activity to open professional development programs related to school climate and safety, or as part of larger school-climate assessments that also include interviews, focus groups and other tools. It also can be adapted for use with parents.

Map It Out

Teachers and students draw maps showing where they think social divisions exist at school, and compare views of the community as a whole.