The Positive Learning Climates KnowledgeBase

Element 1: Understand the Law

Purpose: In addition to addressing academic rigor, instructional strategies, teacher qualifications, and class size, the learning environment plays an equally important role in improving student academic achievement. The first step in creating a positive learning climate is understanding the laws addressing school safety. Element 1 offers basic information on the legal aspects of school safety.

Activity 1: Become Familiar with the Legal Aspects Concerning Safer Schools

Activity 2: Understand Legal Implications for Schools and School Personnel

Element 2: Know Your School and Community

Purpose: Assessing the school's learning climate involves looking at student behavior, school culture, physical environment, family and community involvement, and interactions with other government agencies. Element 2 outlines the tasks involved in creating a profile of the school's learning climate.

Activity 1: Take a Snapshot of School and Community

Activity 2: Identify Focus Areas

Sub-task 4: Cyber Bullying


Chatdanger

The Chatdanger website informs young people about the dangers and methods of keeping safe in interactive areas online, such as chatrooms, instant messenger, online games, email, and mobile phones. As noted at the website, "the aim of the site is very much to inform and empower users of these services, so they can use these services safely, and not at all to discourage people from using these services."


Manners, Cyberbullying, and Ethics

This CyberSmart resource provides a lesson plan on online manners, cyberbullying, and ethics.


NetSmartz.org

As noted at its website, "The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource that teaches kids and teens how to stay safer on the Internet. NetSmartz combines the newest technologies available and the most current information to create high-impact educational activities that are well received by even the most tech-savvy kids. Parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement also have access to additional resources for learning and teaching about the dangers children may face online."

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

This link is to the text of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The act institutes regulations regarding the collection of data from children online.

Cyberbullying Research Center

As noted at its website, "the Cyberbullying Research Center is dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents. Cyberbullying can be defined as 'willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.'"


Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

This link is to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force website funded by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.


Text Messaging, Shorthand & Acronyms

This Netlingo.com resource provides a list of acronyms and shorthand commonly used in text messaging on a cell phone, instant messenger chats, blogs, and newsgroup postings.

Element 3: Create a Comprehensive Positive School Climate

Purpose: Addressing school climate is an important aspect of improving academic performance. Taking a comprehensive look at a school's climate addresses focus areas that merit attention and communicates intended methods and strategies to the staff members, students, and other relevant constituent groups. Element 3 outlines the tasks involved with creating a positive school climate.

Activity 1: Plan to Act

Activity 2: Develop Methods and Strategies

Activity 3: Identify Resources Required to Accomplish Goals

Activity 4: Document Methods and Strategies

Element 4: Implement Strategies

Purpose: Improvement is achieved through the effective implementation of chosen strategies. To be successful, the principal should monitor the school's progress towards implementing the selected strategies. Element 4 outlines the steps for implementing the strategies aimed at improving a school's climate.

Activity 1: Manage Implementation

Activity 2: Accomplish Change

Activity 3: Evaluate Outcomes

Element 5: Communicate with School's Constituencies

Purpose: What happens in school is community news and sometimes even draws national attention. A district's and school's communication strategies should address how behavioral incidents are handled. Element 5 provides information on communicating with the school's constituencies.

Activity 1: Develop a Communications Strategy

Activity 2: Execute Communications Strategy