Mental Health; Underserved Youth; Achievement Gap; Suspension Trends; Re-engaging Dropouts; Student Health; School Safety; SEL; Teacher Participation; Setting Expectations; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter
 Mental Health

Student Film Contest
California Middle and High school students, in partnership with a club or a class, can create and submit a 60-second film on student mental health or suicide prevention for a film contest. Great learning experience with prizes! Winning students will be paid to attend an award ceremony in May. Deadline for submission is March 1, 2018. Go to the Directing Change website for more information (

 Underserved Youth

Homeless Youth
More than 4 percent of adolescents and 10 percent of young adults nationwide were living on the street, in cars or shelters, or couch-surfing at some point in the last year, according to a University of Chicago study.

Understanding how California Serves its Homeless Children:
A Quick Guide
As California’s housing shortage intensifies, the number of homeless children is expected to climb. Since 2014, the number of homeless youth in California has jumped 20 percent, to more than 202,329, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of the overall public school population. Homeless children are enrolled in nearly every district in the state, according to the California Homeless Youth Project. An EdSource special project explored the issue in detail, and includes a map showing the number of homeless students in California schools.

Note: The CHKS provides an estimate of the percentage of homeless secondary students based on student self-report. Districts can request a CHKS report on the characteristics and needs of their homeless youth.

See additional resources in sidebar.

 Achievement Gap

Latino Students Face Steep Inequities Compared to White Peers
Latino youth in California make up a majority of the student population but face daunting obstacles in schools, including less access to quality preschools, honors classes, and college counseling than their white peers, according to a report by Education Trust-West. For further information on racial-ethnic inequities in student supports, engagement, and well-being in California, see CHKS Factsheet #9.

 Suspension & Expulsion Trends

Suspension, Expulsion Rates Fall Sharply in Public Schools
School suspensions and expulsions in California have dropped dramatically among all racial and ethnic groups over the past five years but a significant gap remains for African American students, according to new state data.

Searchable Database of Suspension and Expulsion Rates
Here is a look at the five-year suspension and expulsion rates by school throughout the state. In this searchable database, susp. stands for suspension and exp. stands for expulsion.

 Re-engaging Dropouts

The National Guard Youth Challenge Program (NGYCP), which operates in 28 states and Puerto Rico, helps high school dropouts get back on track for graduation. Sunburst Youth Academy, an NGYCP on the Joint Forces Training Base in Orange County, enhances life skills, education levels, employment potential, and prospects for the future by providing the opportunity for participants to obtain their high school diploma, GED, or return to high school.

 Student Health

A new National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) publication highlights the achievements of states and local school districts/schools related to the implementation of 1305 school-based State Public Health Actions. 

 School Safety

New School Safety CHKS Analysis
A new school safety study involving a sample of 49,638 students who participated in the 2010–2012 California Healthy Kids Survey examined the association between two characteristics of school climate (sense of community and teacher support) and students’ feelings of being unsafe at school.

The findings revealed that, at the individual level, students perceiving higher levels of sense of community and teacher support at school were less likely to feel unsafe within the school environment. At the school level, sense of community was negatively associated with unsafe feelings, whereas there was no association between school-level teacher support and feelings of being unsafe at school.

Sexual Violence
While there's been a spotlight on sexual violence on college campuses in recent years, sexual assault and harassment are also problems in elementary and secondary schools and warrants more attention, a panel of experts told a congressional task force on sexual violence. Learn more.

 Social-Emotional Learning

U.S. Students Work Better in Teams
American teenagers performed above the international average in a new test of collaborative problem-solving—and "much better ... than would be expected based on their scores in science, reading, and mathematics." That was one finding of the Program for International Student Assessment's (PISA) first test of collaborative problem-solving.

Program Implementation
Principals like SEL but struggle implementing SEL strategies. Principals see a lack of time, inadequate teacher training, and funding as barriers to carrying out social-emotional learning in their schools, a nationally representative survey found.

 Meaningful Teacher Participation

California teachers, more than peers in other states,  feel empowered to voice their opinions and say they have influence over decisions and policies in their schools. In increasing numbers, they say they are satisfied with the instructional materials they are using and the school based, peer-led training they are receiving.

 Setting Academic Expectations

The idea that positive expectations influence performance positively is known as the Pygmalion effect. But do teacher expectations have much impact on student motivation and performance? This article, from a series on how psychology research can inform teaching, discusses results from a study on teacher expectations and its impact on the classroom.

CalSCHLS Helpline:  888.841.7536
CalSCHLS Helpline:

SCCN #62  11/28/17
In this issue:

 Mental Health
 Underserved Youth
 Achievement Gap
 Suspension Trends
 Re-engaging Dropouts
 Student Health
 School Safety
 Teacher Participation
 Setting Expectations
Upcoming Events


Free Training
Youth Mental Health First Aid training from CDE
Information  &  Flyer

Archived Webinar
Strengthening Campus and Community Collaboration to Address Student Health and Safety
Recording, Slides, Q&A

 Upcoming Events

FREE Webinars

ESSA and State Report Cards
Wed, Nov 29, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Leveraging ESSA, Perkins, and WIOA to Support a College- and Career-Ready Workforce
Wed, Dec 13, 10:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Restorative Practices: An Overview and Roadmap for Successful Implementation
Wed, Jan 17, 10:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Webinar Series: Hosted by WestEd's School Climate and Wellness Partnership

Numbers Tell a Story: Using School Climate Data to Drive Student Engagement and Motivation
Wed, Nov 29, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Refueling Mid-Year: Self and Collective Care for School-Based Staff 
Wed, Feb 20, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Crossing the Finish Line: Student Wellness and End-of-Year Transitions
Wed, Apr 11, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Webinar Series:
Homeless Youth and Schools

Determining McKinney-Vento Eligibility under ESSA
Mon, Dec 4, 11:00 am (PT)

Paving the Way to College for Students Experiencing Homelessness
Fri, Dec 8, 11:00 am (PT)

McKinney-Vento School Selection Rights Under ESSA
Wed, Dec 13, 11:00 am (PT)

Supporting the Education of Unaccompanied Homeless Students under ESSA
Fri, Dec 15, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration


PACE Conference
Fulfilling the Promise of the Local Control Funding Formula
Fri, Feb 2, 2018
Tsakopoulos Library Galleria
Information & Registration
The School Climate Connection Newsletter is provided through a partnership between the California Department of Education and WestEd. Its purpose is to disseminate current information about, and provide educators with, learning supports for school climate assessment and intervention, including up-to-date information on California's School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey System (CalSCHLS).

Find tips and resources on improving your school climate on the Safe and Supportive Schools website at
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