Positive Climates for Learning

A Framework for Success

Student achievement is our core business… I challenge us to think of student achievement as reflecting both academic success and personal well being. These aren’t in competition. They are synergistic and integrated.
Ken Thurston, April, 2010

How do we address both?

Through a positive climate for learning!
There is a growing body of research showing that a sustained positive school climate predicts multiple key outcomes:
ASCD Whole Child Academic achievement website

Teacher retention Students’ healthy development
Violence prevention
ASCD Whole Child Website

Positive Climates for Learning and Working are…
• • • • Equitable and inclusive Safe and supportive Respectful Caring


Ontario’s Vision
An inclusive education system in Ontario is one in which: • All students, parents, and other members of the school community are welcomed and respected; • Every student is supported and inspired to succeed in a culture of high expectations for learning

“Our Work”
Support the implementation of the Ministry Equity and Inclusivity Strategy
Support the implementation of the Ministry’s Safe Schools expectations Adopt and implement initiatives and activities that support your school improvement plans. Ie: • • • • • equity and inclusive education and practice social, emotional and academic learning bullying and violence prevention healthy and active schools and workplaces character development

School Responsibilities: 2010 - 2011
Schools will: • develop school improvement plans that are aligned with Ontario’s equity and inclusive education strategy; • review classroom strategies and revise them as needed to ensure they are aligned with and reflect school-wide equity and inclusive education policies.

We believe…
Equity and inclusion form the groundwork for the development of a positive climate for learning and working.

The purpose of our work is to support equity of outcome for each member of the school community.

PC4L Teams
• In York Region, each school has a Positive Climates for Learning and Working Team. • Membership:
– – – – – – – – Students Parent Teaching staff Non-teaching staff member Community Partner Administrator Staff Member - Chair

Step 1

• Form your Positive Climates for Learning team (PC4L). • You may wish to consider the professional training opportunity PC4L: An integrated approach, TRIBES training, Using a Restorative Mindset: A Classroom Focus and / or SEAL: An In depth Look at a Social Emotional and Academic Learning Skill Development Tool

Step 2

• Review your SPCI and/or SEF goals to guide your work. • Review your baseline data (begin with what you know from informal processes) to determine what areas of climate/culture you would like to focus on as your team goals. • Once you receive your system survey data revise your goals as appropriate. • Be sure to include the Ministry mandated Safe Schools and Equity and Inclusion activities among your goals.

Step 3

• Create a list or map of all the activities that are currently happening in your school that support the building of a positive climate for learning. • Categorize these activities based on whether they are focused on supporting individual students, classrooms or school wide implementation, and consider new activities as needed (see the Tool Kit and PC4L Quilt). • Review the YRDSB bully prevention program continuum to determine appropriate resources and programs for implementation in your school. • Examine each of the activities you are currently using or intend to use in your school through the PC4L roots lenses to determine if they fully support the building of a positive climate. Adapt or discontinue activities that do not meet the PC4L roots test. • Provide access to professional learning resources developed for all staff in responding to bullying incidents and the use of the SEAL document.

Step 4

• Continue building capacity among your staff, students and community in understanding and participating in the work of the PC4L team. • Consider using the PC4L reflection tool to inform future revision and planning for your team.

More specifically, it is the responsibility of each school and their positive climate for learning and working team to:
– support and conduct a climate survey every two years – support the development of a positive climate for learning that is safe, respectful, inclusive, equitable and caring – support teaching strategies that focus on developing healthy relationships

Why Positive Climates?
When schools have a positive climate for learning and working:
– Sense of belonging leads to inclusive and vibrant learning communities – Learning in community increases engagement – Increased engagement leads to improved achievement and personal well being

The PC4L Quilt

Student Engagement

The PC4L Web Page

Learning Page
• Screen Capture

Upcoming Training
Equity and Inclusivity Symposium

Agenda: • Introduction by Ken Thurston • Co-learning time with Jennifer Abrams • Presentations: Two school teams and PC4L • Facilitated team working session Where: Sheraton Parkway - March 29th Who: School Teams (administrator, PC4L equity designate, additional staff member)

Other Examples of Available Training
Bullying and Harassment Prevention for the Classroom Teacher SEAL: An In Depth Look with a focus on IEP and Report Card Links

Using a Restorative Mindset: A Classroom Focus
Youth Forum – School Mapping Stand Up Speak Up - Student Training and Conference

Role of the Board, schools, students, parents, family and community…
• The saying, ‘It takes a community to raise a child’, is perhaps even more a necessity than it was years ago. Together, we are preparing our children and youth for life in a complex, and changing world community. This requires that they feel supported and connected through relationships that are equitable and inclusive. This is our collective responsibility.

PC4L is about all of us… And … it’s about each of us… TOGETHER