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A Night to Remember

By Lauren on January 26, 2009

Thanks to all of the attendees to last week's Bully Buster Cocktail Reception. The night was a great success and CSEE raised valuable support for important educational programs designed to improve school climate and reduce bullying and violence in our children's schools. Our special guest students from Castle Hill Middle School truly made it a night to remember. Over the past couple of months, CSEE has been working closely with Castle Hill Middle School and their extremely dedicated leadership team to measure and improve their school climate through the Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) and school-wide anti-bullying programs. One of the main projects was an anti-bullying essay/poster contest, and CSEE was pleased to congratulate the winners of the contest at the event. We shared their insightful essays with all attendees, and the crowd was truly moved! As part of this program, students also created artwork reflecting their views on the negative effects of bullying and ways to be an upstander in school; hit play on the video below to view some student artwork and hear meaningful excerpts from the students' essays. Kudos to all the inspiring students, parents, and administration at Castle Hill - keep up the amazing work!

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The Challenge of Assessing School Climate

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on December 01, 2008

This month, ASCD's Educational Leadership focused two pieces on the importance of school climate measurement. Below is an excerpt from a piece I wrote along with Terry Pickeral (ECS) and Molly McCloskey (ASCD) that's now available for you to read for free online. Think about how you feel right now as you read these words. Are you distracted? Worried? Sad? To the extent that this is the case, these feelings would naturally affect your ability to concentrate, reflect, and make judgments about what you're reading. And you're an adult with well-developed coping and concentration strategies! Common sense tells us that students who feel safe, connected, and engaged in school are more likely to learn well. In the last 30 years, a growing body of research has confirmed the importance of the learning climate for children and adolescents. Compelling empirical research shows that a positive and sustained school climate promotes students' academic achievement and healthy development. Not surprisingly, a positive school climate also promotes teacher retention, which itself enhances student success (Center for Social and Emotional Education, 2007; Cohen, McCabe, Michelli, & Pickeral, in press; Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004). . .

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