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A Positive School Climate at Green Hills H. S.

A Positive School Climate at Green Hills High School


Education 542:
Professor Persiani
Joy Taylor
November 15, 2015

A Positive School Climate at Green Hills H. S.

A Positive School Climate at Green Hills High School


Ineffective communication causes an interpersonal gap that is experienced in all facets
of life and in all sectors of society. Loneliness, family problems, vocational incompetence and
dissatisfaction, psychological stress, physical illness, and even death result when communication
breaks down. (Bolton, 1979) Over the past few years there has been a widening gap in the
communication between staff, teachers, students and parents alike at Green Hills High School,
which has developed an unstable school climate resulting in an encumbrance of many of the
problems previously stated. Although Green Hills High has been noted for its high academic
standards and API scores, it seems it has come at a cost. Over the last two years, Green Hills
High has had lower student enrollment, has seen the departure of faculty members for various
reasons, has more disgruntled parents than ever before, discipline problems are up by 25%, the
number of volunteers are down 50% so the PTA is having trouble raising funds for important
school functions, and the graffiti and vandalism on campus, including computer theft, has been
on the rise. The current state of Green Hills High is shouting for a powerful reform, and to begin
the process of creating a climate for a positive, healthy and thriving campus, Green Hills must
start with proper communication to foster relationships that will result in extended family bonds
between administrative staff, teachers, students, community and parents alike.
Holding an initial staff meeting to share the vision is the first act of protocol to change the
current state of affairs. As the leader of Green Hills High, the principal must begin the process of
gaining trust by sharing the facts and his concerns with the administrative staff, teachers, teacher
assistants and select PTA members. The principal can introduce ideas for climate change by
giving a short Power Point presentation that gives possible reasons for the current environment
and ideas for change. A short and powerful video of schools that are thriving can be played to

A Positive School Climate at Green Hills H. S.

prepare all for an assignment where they can voice their thoughts, ideas and hopes to make a
change. According to Peter Senge, director of the Society for Organizational Learning that
originated at MIT, a shared vision must emerge from our personal visionsotherwise people
wont be committed to the shared vision (Zakrzewski, 2013). Staff and all involved will have the
assignment of working in small diverse groups (not all from same department) to discuss ideas
and possibilities for making Green Hills a rich place for student and teacher success, for
exceptional family and community involvement where all are excited to be a part of the school
and take pride in and feel ownership of all it entails. Twelve groups will collaborate for four
weeks to come up with a plan of action they will present via Power Point during the next staff
meeting. Each group will have five minutes to address: 1. What will make teaching at Green
Hills desirable, 2. What will make students interested and engaged at school, 3. What will make
the campus inviting, stimulating and uplifting, 4. What will get parents involved in school
activities, volunteering and supporting their teens education. Staff will be advised to first write
their own personal vision to share with their group before collaborating on a final plan of action.
Once all data is collected from twelve group presentations, students will be next to hear the plan
for making school a great place to be. Via inspiring Pep Rallies with inspiring student-made
posters and media showing the benefit of a positive school environment, students will be
prepared to have ideas that can contribute to making their school a place that is safe, fun and
desirable. Students will have the chance to be heard through discussions in class where they can
give thoughtful ideas to their teachers, who then relay the information to the principal. A shared
vision is the only way to making sure everyone is on board with making school a great place to
be.

A Positive School Climate at Green Hills H. S.

Communication that brings positive and lasting change must be implemented. On a


school-wide level, media is the best way to bring this concept to fruition. A large television
monitor must be placed at the indoor entrance of the school and in the multi-purpose/indoor
cafeteria room to display important content. This running content can include teacher and
student of the week, recognitions, important dates, fun activities at lunch such as Karaoke
Wednesday or Monday Game Day (where teachers are obligated to take turns in heading up
the games), inspiring quotes, club activities, and short student or teacher interviews, and raffle
winner of the day (tickets are given to those who are noticed for good citizenship). The principal
must send a weekly e-mail of recognition to one or more teachers and parents alike for their
teaching accomplishment, volunteering or for their childs excellence; teachers must do the same
for their students and co-workers, and teachers must exercise this activity in the classroom where
students give each other recognition regularly. Gratitude has the wonderful effect of helping all
people feel more connected to one another and also gives all a boost in our their own self-worth
both important aspects of a positive school climate (Zakrzewski, 2013). Informal
communication is important on all levels where parents have the opportunity to have coffee and
conversation with the principal and other administrators once a month. This will give parents the
opportunity to learn what is going on at school, how they can get involved and to ask questions.
This will develop allied relationships between parents and staff, along with recruiting more
parent volunteering. A bi-annual thank you brunch can be held for all parent and community
volunteers where gratitude and recognition will be displayed by the principal, administrators and
teachers alike. Teachers and staff must be encouraged to meet outside of work for semi-annual
outings that include a fun house gathering and an outing. This should be done in departments
and with the entire staff for the development of friendships, support and making work a place

A Positive School Climate at Green Hills H. S.

that brings great memories to mind. There are endless ways to express and promote positive
communication to build strong bonds across the board.
Community partnerships are important in giving students resources they need to thrive
and a common purpose to follow. The community recreation department will provide students
with low-cost and free opportunities to experience sports, music and art after school. Big
Brothers Big Sisters Organization will be highly involved in recruiting students to work with
under-privileged kids at the local elementary schools. The city planning department will work
with teachers and students to allow special assignments that involve community service outings.
These outings will include clean-up, helping senior citizens, designing and building beautiful rest
spots, trails, community art and more. In doing this, students will build empathy, friendships,
ownership of community, confidence, pride and self-esteem. Local dance studios will be invited
to display and teach dance steps at lunch time among other local business owners who are
interested in volunteering their time to teach their trade and inspire students. New electives to
stimulate student learning include these same community volunteers. Ideas for these electives
can be voted on by students, teachers and parents alike. They can range from Building and App
for Android to Hip-Hop to Animal Care instructed by a volunteer from the Humane
Society. Bringing community support into the school and students into the community give
students a greater sense of safety, stimulation, care for others and pride on all levels.
Creating a positive atmosphere where students excel on every level (academically,
socially, physically etc.), means getting everyone involved. There must be a shared vision
regarding positive change between principal, staff, parents and students alike. Effective, modern,
and different methods of communication to emit information, thanks and recognitions must be
used daily to promote positive self-esteem, form close bonds, keeping everyone informed about

A Positive School Climate at Green Hills H. S.

important opportunities and to promote positive ideas. Bringing community organizations and
volunteers to the school and brings students to the community develops a sense of belonging,
appreciation and love of being a part of something bigger than oneself. With the shared vision of
making a great school climate, utilizing different methods of communication and bring
community into the lives of students, a school environment at Green Hills High School will
flourish. There are many more ways to help in the creation of a positive atmosphere not
mentioned in this short introduction of researched methods, however, those will be added to a
future dissertation of what was written herein.

A Positive School Climate at Green Hills H. S.


Works Cited
Bolton, R. (1979). People skills. New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc.
Zakrzewski, V. (2013, August 21). How to create a positive school climate. Retrieved from
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_create_a_positive_school_climate