violence prevention and school connectedness climate

Strategies: Positive School Climate and School Connectedness

The following strategies/strategy types have an impact on school climate and school connectedness. These include (click to expand):

Positive Behavioral Interventions...

and Supports (PBIS). A “continuum of evidence-based supports” implemented in schools to improve school climate. The National Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports provides technical assistance to schools, districts, and states.

Additional resources: Positive Behavior Intervention and Support in North Carolina

3 Bold Steps

A framework for creating child and youth-focused, positive social change through community partnerships. 3 Bold Steps can be used to implement comprehensive bullying prevention and to promote social emotional learning.

Programs to enhance SEL

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning). Choose from hundreds of SEL programs, many of which have proven effective in improving student behavior, attachment to school, and academic achievement (Durlak et al, 2011)

Additional resources: CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs, Social and Emotional Learning in Schools: From Programs to StrategiesClinical trial of Second Step middle-school program: impact on aggression & victimization (Espelage et al, 2015)

Policies to improve school climate

School climate is the sum of multiple aspects of a school’s social and physical environments, which are influenced by the norms and values of the surrounding community. Therefore, individual programs to improve school climate are likely to fall short in the absence of supportive policies at the school, district, state, and national level (School Climate: Research, Policy, Practice, and Teacher EducationClimate: Research, Policy, Practice, and Teacher Education).

The Whole Child model

A school-based approach to holistic student well-being. Schools implementing the Whole Child model offer programs and policies to support children in being: healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Additional resources: The Whole Child

Communities That Care

A systematic approach to engage a broad coalition of community partners to prevent youth risk behaviors, delinquency, and violence. Results of a large-scale, multi-state, RCT (n=4407) showed significant reductions of lifetime prevalence of all three outcomes among youth in CTC communities (Hawkins et al, 2014)

Anti-bullying policies and...

programs. Policies and programs to reduce bullying are an essential component of improving school climate. Anti-bullying policies and programs that specifically condemn harassment and bullying based on gender identity and sexual orientation are important to reduce bullying of LGBTQ students (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)).

Additional resources: Bullying, ACLU of NC School Violence Prevention Act Implementation Toolkit

ProgramStrength of EvidenceHomeSchoolCommunityIn NC?Cost
PAX Good Behavior GameEvidence-basedXTell usVaries
Caring School Community (CSC)Evidence-basedXXTell usVaries
Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)Evidence-basedXXTell usVaries by quantity and grade level ordered
Olweus Bullying Prevention ProgramEvidence-informedXXVaries by instructional materials selected and school size
Shifting BoundariesEvidence-informedXXNo charge
Responsive ClassroomEvidence-informedXTell usVaries by workshop, tool
Positive ActionEvidence-basedTell usVaries by kit selected

MORE PROGRAMS to build Positive School Climate and School Connectedness



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