What is School Climate?
School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is based on patterns of students', parents' and school personnel's experience and reflects goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures. School climate does not happen by chance but is the result of a collective effort by the members of a school’s community. The collective school community's belief system helps shape the culture of a school and ultimately serves as the measure of school climate.
A school community that exhibits a sustainable, positive school climate in which all members of the school community feel safe, supported, and challenged in non-threatening and social learning environments, is more likely to foster student development and is less likely to engage in negative disciplinary action.
Harassment, Hazing and Bullying
Harassment, Hazing and Bullying Prevention Advisory Council
Per Act No. 129 of 2012, the Secretary of Education established the Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying Prevention Advisory Council (HHB) to provide advice and recommendations on harassment, hazing, and bullying prevention strategies and resources, and to coordinate statewide activities related to the prevention of and response to harassment, hazing, and bullying.
Model policies provide guidance, direction and recommended standards to help school administrators develop general school policy statements. Policies may be developed based on requirements of state or federal laws or at the request of the State Board of Education or the Vermont Legislature.
- HHB Model Policy
- HHB Model Procedures
- Memo from Secretary Holcombe on Model HHB Policy and Procedures
Designated School Staff to Recieve HHB Complaints
Annually, each Supervisory Union must designate two or more people at each school campus to receive complaints of Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying.
The Independent Review offers a process in which a neutral third party takes a second look at the school's handling of harassment complaints.
School districts are required to collect data on the number of reported incidents of bullying and the number of incidents that have been verified and to make such data available to the Secretary of Education and to the public.
It is important to help schools develop effective strategies to respond to challenging student behaviors. The Agency and its interagency partners provide training and technical assistance to increase schools' capacities to implement strategies to benefit entire school communities.