School Climate

School climate refers to the collective experiences and feelings about the campus environment of the people who are part of the community. The strength of relationships among members of the community, the quality of their interactions, the values and norms they hold in common, and the structures in place that guide all of the above are part of what makes up a school’s climate.

General School Climate

This video describes how morning meetings help build community in classrooms and schools.
This link provides further information on how to hold morning meetings.

This video gives an example of how to provide students with more leadership around their education. These resources provide more information on how to run student-led conferences.

This video discusses the importance of relationship building with students and provides strategies for doing so.

Discipline Strategies

Discipline has often been viewed as punishment, which does not provide the ment for people to understand how their actions affect others.  Another way to look at discipline is as guidance for positive behavior, allowing people to take into consideration any harm they have committed and to make amends.  These resources provide information on how to create discipline policies and practices that guide students toward building whole relationships and community.  

  • Addressing the Root Causes of Disparities in School Discipline - This toolkit aids schools in understanding their discipline data, including any disproportionalities, and coming up with an action plan to improve their discipline policies and procedures. This page provides additional resources for the toolkit above.
  • Advancing School Discipline Reform - This report looks at the effects of punitive discipline policies and offers promising alternatives.
  • DSC Model Code Comparison Tool - This guide provides the types of questions to ask about a school discipline code, as well as answers from the perspective of a model code.
  • Fix School Discipline - This document provides lots of information on improving school discipline policies and procedures, with versions for educators and administrators. 
  • School Crime and Too Much Punishment - This Nick News segment looks at the failure of current punitive discipline policies and the promise of restorative discipline and practices in schools.
  • The School Discipline Report - This report discusses discipline practices and how they affect students, and lists approaches for keeping young people focused on their education and out of the juvenile justice system. 

Restorative Practices

Restorative practices in schools consist of policies and processes that focus on building relationships and community.  They address harms that are committed in the school through bringing together everyone who has been affected to come up with solutions.  This allows people who contributed to the situation to accept accountability and repair their harms.


  • Discipline That Restores - This website provides information for implementing a program based on the Discipline that Restores model.
  • Restorative Justice Programs - This website is created by the Oakland Unified School District and includes their personal strategic plan as well as additional resources.

General Overview

Colorado High School Replaces Punishment with "Talking Circles"

This video shows how one high school is using restorative practices to change the culture on campus. 

Restorative Welcome and Reentry Circle                  

This video shows how circles can be used as a way to bring students back into the school community after they participated in a harmful event.

Restorative Justice in Oakland Schools: Tier One. Community Building Circle

This provides an example of a circle used for community building in a classroom setting, with students leading the process.

Implementation Tools


Classroom Management Tools

Classroom Management refers to the methods educators use to create spaces for students to learn. The following resources provide information on classroom management practices that promote safe and welcoming spaces for learning.

Trauma-Informed Schools

Trauma-informed or trauma-sensitive schools understand the affects of trauma on brain development and use practices and policies on their campuses that promote effective and supportive interactions among students, educators, and parents/guardians.

This TED Talk by Dan Seigel discusses the importance of focusing in schools on the social emotional three Rs of Relationship, Reflection and Resilience as well as the academic three Rs of Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic in order to maximize brain development.

  • EdSource - This website talks about schools bringing the trauma-informed approach to their campuses and what that looks like.
  • Grieving Students - This website provides comprehensive information on how educators can help grieving students.
  • Helping Traumatized Children Learn - This guide provides frameworks for advocating for and building trauma-sensitive schools.
  • Thrive Initiative - This website has free webinars on trauma-informed practices, including those in schools.
  • Trauma & Resilience - This website is a comprehensive resource on trauma and resilience related to under 18.
  • Trauma Module Videos - These nine approximately 10 minute webinars provide information on how trauma affects students at schools and methods for making classes and campuses trauma-sensitive.
  • Trauma Sensitive Schools - This website has lots of information on how trauma affects learning and interactions at school, how to create a framework for building a trauma-informed and sensitive school, and other resources.
  • Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development - This article talks about stages of brain development and how maltreatment can affect this development, as well as intervention strategies. 

Social Emotional Learning

Social-emotional learning emphasizes the importance of focusing on relational and emotional understanding and management in schools as well as traditional academics. It addresses research that shows students learn best when they feel safe and welcome in their classrooms.

  • Learning by Heart - This executive summary based on studies of high schools integrating social-emotional learning into their campuses discusses the main elements important for success in these endeavors, as well as implications for policy.
  • Momastery - This blog post provides an interesting idea for teachers to keep track of how their students are doing social-emotionally.

Violence Prevention

Violence prevention looks at ways to prevent and intervene in violence. It often uses the public health approach, which views violence as a disease that can be studied and addressed in the same way as other illnesses.

  • Veto Violence - This website focuses on the public health approach to violence prevention, and provides resources including a short online training.