School Climate and Equity
Equity is intrinsic to all aspects of school climate work. It is not a separate issue. The National School Climate Center defines this to be the quality and character of school life that fosters children’s, youth’s, and families’ full access to:
- Appropriately supported, high expectations for learning and achievement
- Emotionally and physically safe, healthy learning environments
- Caring relationships with peers and adults
- Participation that meaningfully enhances academic, social-emotional, civic, and moral development.
An equitable school climate responds to the wide range of cultural norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, leadership practices, and organizational structures within the broader community.
Schools can create more equitable communities through the following promising strategies:
- Encourage reflective practice and build cultural awareness in students and adults
- Increase understanding of diverse cultures
- Keep diverse schools physically and emotionally safe
- Make high expectations culturally responsive
- Design multiple pathways to meaningful participation
- Demonstrate caring by knowing students’ unique emotional needs