School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process 

Data-driven decision making is key

When schools join the School Climate Assessment and Improvement Process (SCAIP), they embark on a three-year individualized school improvement process with the guidance and support of experts in the field of school climate and social-emotional learning.  SCAIP, which is provided through the School Culture and Climate Initiative (Initiative), was developed on the premise that schools can only achieve being healthy and engaging learning environments when a comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach is taken.  

The Initiative has been a trusted resource for over ten years. The schools we have partnered with have realized significant changes through SCAIP.  While some school communities choose to navigate the waters alone, our partner schools will attest to the fact that having a guide on this journey makes it less time consuming and easier to keep the momentum going. Relationship-building is a key component to the change process, and it reflects one of our core values – collaboration and respect. We are committed to creating a safe place where every person within the school system feels valued, welcomed, respected and heard and where all are encouraged to contribute. 

Timeline and Target Milestones

Year One

During year 1, SCAIP schools are guided through the following:
  • Relationship and trust-building
  • Forming school climate staff and student teams
  • Establishing a clear vision for the school’s transformation
  • Obtaining commitment and buy-in from all key stakeholders
  • Conducting a school climate survey and gathering other baseline data to inform goal setting
  • Identifying strengths and opportunities that will form the basis for school improvement plans

Year Two

During year 2, SCAIP schools are guided through the following:
  • Implementing 6-8 week-long school improvement plans created based on identified strengths and opportunities
  • Increased focus on understanding and infusion of social-emotional learning into the classroom and throughout the school community
  • Conducting periodic evaluations of the school climate assessment and improvement process

Year Three

During year 3, SCAIP schools are guided through the following:
  • Establishing protocols and cycles for data review and continuous improvement
  • Establishing the necessary supports for sustainability
  • Conducting a school climate survey and gathering other data to compare to baseline established in year one

Post Year Three Support

Throughout the three-year process, schools will be connected with other SCAIP schools and organizations that can lend support and promote positive changes. After the formal three-year process is complete, SCAIP schools are encouraged to sustain their improvement efforts by participating in the SCAIP Professional Learning Community and School Support Network Meetings.  The Initiative also offers assessment services and ongoing professional development that schools can access as needed.

What Success Looks Like

For participating schools, a successful three-year process results in:

  • School and district-wide shared values and goals
  • A school environment where students and staff feel safe and supported as demonstrated by significant increases in positive ratings on school climate surveys
  • Reduced disciplinary infractions, absenteeism, aggressive behavior, and emotional distress
  • Increased student feelings of belonging and connection with the school
  • Increases in staff morale, perception of leadership support, and overall job satisfaction 
  • Increased engagement and school pride amongst students, staff, parents and the wider community

SCAIP Professional Learning Community (PLC)

In 2019, the first ever PLC dedicated solely to SCAIP schools was launched.  This PLC is appropriate for schools that:

–  are just beginning to participate in SCAIP

–  are currently participating in SCAIP

– or have completed the three-year process

All school levels (elementary, middle and high school) are encouraged to attend. This is an excellent opportunity for schools at all stages of the process to have their questions answered and share insights with others while connecting in a dynamic professional learning community. For schools who have completed the process this is an excellent opportunity to connect with other schools and find out how they are sustaining their work on school climate as well as an opportunity to mentor schools just beginning the process. 

The idea of the PLC generated from a gathering of participating schools.  Many of the attendees, who were representatives of their school culture and climate teams, shared they found the opportunity to network, ask questions and learn from one another very beneficial. In response, in the spring of 2019 the SCAIP PLC was officially launched. The PLC will meet quarterly and will be hosted by participating schools.

For more information, please contact Liz Warner at 

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