A School Climate initiative is paramount for all involved… but how do you create a lasting school climate? Sustainability.
Creating a school climate that positively impacts students, teachers, administration, and the community it serves is a high-achieving goal for most school leaders. With the teacher exodus in full swing and mounting parent concerns, among other hardships, this is the time to build or repair the bridge to communication, wellbeing, and overall improvement.
Often, educational leaders take on their leadership roles because they desire to do the hard work of making a real impact on the lives of many students. The opportunity to influence puts them in a position to raise issues while pointing to solutions, create real possibilities for their staff and build promising changes for all.
Research has shown that a healthy school climate promotes greater student achievement and improved mental wellness while providing a voice for your staff and your community. By utilizing a change management approach and an easily digestible step-by-step plan, everyone can work harmoniously to get your school(s) to where you envisioned it to be - thriving.
Change management vision for a better school climate
Assessment and vision
What is your school's current state or climate? Discuss school culture, policies, procedures, and student and staff perceptions. Take a step back and note where it's at and where you would like it to be.
When new ideas roll out, not all voices are heard in the process, which can lead to frustration. Use this step to engage all stakeholders about the new initiative, including students, teachers, parents, and the greater school community. This is a vital opportunity to let them know about your vision, why it’s essential to the school, and what it will bring.
Develop a plan
Next, you’ll want to develop a plan for how you would like to see the climate initiative implemented. Think about the resources you’ll need, a timeline that works for the school, and a communication plan for your stakeholders.
How will you update them? Communication is the key to success in any initiative, implementation, or trusting relationship. Set up a plan for communicating the process of what is happening and when it will occur, including any changes or updates.
Now, it’s time to turn your vision into action. With this step, it’s important to remember the resources needed to support the change in your school. Will staff and students need support? Will new policies and procedures need to be developed? How will new starters integrate into this, and do I have a plan set up for that? These are important action items to keep track of as you want this to be sustainable with each passing year.
Monitoring and evaluating
Once the climate initiative is implemented, you will want to monitor and assess the progress for actionable insights to determine the next steps for improvement.
You have the vision and benefits; now you’ll need the how-to steps
- Start from where you’re at; think about what initiatives you currently have in place
- Evaluate what is working and what is not or what needs developing
- Ask the following questions:
- Do we have an evaluation system in place? If so, is it warranting the results we want or need?
- If you don’t have an evaluation system in place currently, make a list of what you want from one? How will it help you reach your goals?
- Refer back to the vision and benefits above to keep on track
- Use this model to prepare for new initiatives and ensure all goes as planned
Implementing a climate initiative using a change management approach sets a strong foundation for sustainability and success. Wouldn’t it be great if year two, three, four, etc., was as sound and successful as year one?
Information and district insights on Satchel Pulse Climate
Satchel Pulse can assist you and your district with valuable insights about your staff, students, and parents. We make identifying issues and successes throughout your schools and communities easier, yielding growth, staff retention, and inclusiveness.
“We liked that we could gather feedback frequently in smaller intervals; this will help us keep a beat on perception throughout the year.”
- Dawson County School District
"We are utilizing Pulse data to develop an entire Culture/Climate plan to address teacher/staff morale in the district. All of the committee's work is based upon data we gathered with Pulse. It is such a great data source because we have trend data over the last few years of use. We would not be able to identify issues without this data. It has been a valuable tool, and I would highly recommend the tool to another school district."
- Riverside Community School District
“I have never seen anything that gives me this data about how my staff are feeling in the way that Pulse does.”
- Hickman Mills C-1 School District
Author: Whitney Ballantine
Posted: 02 Mar 2023
Estimated time to read: 4 mins