Achievement & Opportunity Gaps; Bullying; Climate and Culture; Discipline; Engagement; Health & Well-Being; LGBTQ Youth; Mental Health; Resilience & Trauma-Informed Practice; Safety; Social-Emotional Learning; Student Voice; Tobacco Use; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter
 Achievement & Opportunity Gaps

Role of Socioeconomic Factors. A Georgetown University report finds that affluent children with low test scores have a 71% chance of becoming affluent adults at age 25, while poor children with high test scores only have a 31% chance.  The disparity becomes more severe when broken down by race. Recommendations are made on how schools can help narrow this opportunity gap.


School Buses. This national study shows 25% of school officials see bullying as a common problem on buses.

Gender Differences. YRBS data indicates girls are more often bullied than boys and are more likely to consider, plan, or attempt suicide.
 Climate and Culture
Resources. A Parent and Educator Guide to School Climate Resources from the US Department of Education provides best practices and resources to achieve a positive school climate, lower disciplinary issues, and enhance school safety.

School Kindness Challenge. Students at General John Striker Middle School in Baltimore County were named the "National Middle School Kindness Challenge Champion," a distinction honoring their efforts to improve school climate.

School Climate as Strategy. American adults surveyed in a Gallup poll about improving school discipline tended to favor supportive solutions, like school climate efforts and additional training for teachers, over stricter practices like detentions or suspensions.

Suspension Practices in Arizona. Black and Native American students are suspended from Arizona schools at higher rates than white students, according to The Arizona Republic.

Equity Issues. Trend analysis of the 2018 Civil Rights Data Collection finds that nationally black students and students with disabilities remain more likely to receive out-of-school suspensions, despite overall declines.
Learning to Shape Students' Motivation. A Mindset Scholars Network report finds new educators have inconsistent training on what helps spark motivation to learn, including the role of relationships and social psychological factors. 
 Health & Well-being

Data Mapping by State. A new mapping tool visualizes data on how school health policies differ from state to state.

 LGBTQ Youth
Addressing Needs. California school districts are inconsistently implementing new laws to prevent bullying, strengthen suicide prevention, and cultivate inclusive learning environments for LGBTQ students, according to a new report-card style analysis from the Equality California Institute. 

See also California Corner.
 Mental Health
Mental Health Awareness Month. May is a time to raise awareness of the needs of those living with mental or behavioral health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many experience.

Grappling with Rising Teen Rates. Education Week discusses implications of new research showing rates of mental-health incidents among teens have arced upward over the last decade while relatively unchanged for older adults, including that educators need to become more versed in warning signs and engage students themselves in solutions.

Teen Athletes and Depression. When high-school sports replicate the training methods and intensity seen at the college level, players feel the toll.

Oregon Students Propose 'Mental Health Days' Be Excused Absences. A student-supported Oregon bill proposes adding "mental or behavioral health" to a list of reasons for excused absences, alongside physical sickness. Students for a Healthy Oregon also supports annual student mental health screenings.

Summary Learning Institute Opportunity. The Pacific Southwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center is offering five no-cost sessions for the mental health workforce, including school-based, at its Summer Learning Institute, June 24-25.

Mindfulness to Address Stress. A Child Trends blog reviews the research on the effectiveness of mindfulness in helping students cope with stress.
 Resilience & Trauma-Informed Practices

Strategies. Child Trends summarizes practices which enable a broad range of programs to incorporate trauma-informed care into their services and help children build resilience.

See Resources.


Annual Federal Data Released. The new report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety from the US Departments of Education and Justice show reports of student fights, bullying, and other forms of victimization have continued a decades-long trend of decline.

Public Perceptions. About 67% of respondents to the AP/ORC poll said schools have gotten less safe in the last two decades. 

Arizona School Safety Task Force. The head of public schools in Arizona is creating a task force on preventing school violence.

Principals’ Concerns. About half of principals in a national survey said they were the sole decision-makers about some safety and security procedures in their buildings.

New School Safety Center. To help schools nationally make better decisions about creating safer environments, Johns Hopkins University has created a cross-disciplinary Center for Safe and Healthy Schools.

Effects of Law Enforcement. A WestEd review finds that the presence of police in schools fails to have a school safe effect and is associated with a greater likelihood in the use of exclusionary disciplinary actions toward students.

See Resources.

 Social-Emotional Learning
Strategies. Education Week sketches seven suggestions “that just might help SEL's champions deliver on the idea's promise.”

Concerns over Pathologization. Read an Education Week discussion of whether SEL can push us to view children as trauma victims and teachers as therapists. 
 Student Voice

Civic Engagement. Education Week summarizes a chat on what schools could do to improve their teaching on civic engagement and respect the rights of students and give them a say in what happens at school, a starting point for good civics education.

 Tobacco Use

Vaping. A language gap is making it harder for US health officials to measure a teen-vaping epidemic, as teens do not see use of JUUL devices as vaping.


 LGBTQ Bullying

Bullying Trends in CA. CHKS trend data shows that homophobic bullying rose in the period preceding the 2008 referendum on California’s Proposition 8, which enacted a ban on gay marriage, and declined afterward, indicating LGBTQ students are bullied more at school when the society around them is immersed in heated political debate about their rights.
CalSCHLS Helpline:  888.841.7536
SCCN #77  05/23/19
In this issue:

 Achievement &
     Opportunity Gaps
 Climate and Culture
 Health & Well-Being
 LGBTQ Youth
 Mental Health
 Resilience &
     Trauma-Informed Practice
 Social-Emotional Learning
 Student Voice
 Tobacco Use
 California Corner
Upcoming Events


SCCN updates and other resources are posted on CDE's School Climate Website by Topic Category
 Upcoming Events

Free Training

Trauma-Informed Training in Los Angeles
Wed, May 29, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
An immersive workshop that explores how we can better support students through a trauma-informed, stigma aware lens.
Information and Registration

FBI School Safety Symposium in Sacramento
Fri, May 31, 8:30 am - 12 pm
Facilitates conversations between law enforcement and schools/ communities about the threat they face.
Information and Registration

Youth Mental Health First Aid training from CDE
Information  &  Flyer

FREE Webinars

Webinar Series:

Mental Health and Student Learning Outcomes

When There is One School Counselor: Strategies to Reach All Students Nevertheless
Tues, Jun 18, 3:00 pm (PT)
Information & Registration
The School Climate Connection Newsletter is provided monthly by WestEd under contract from the California Department of Education (CDE). Its purpose is to disseminate current information on school climate practices, policies, and resources to empower schools on improving school safety, conditions for learning, and pupil engagement and well-being. It includes up-to-date information on California's School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey (CalSCHLS) System (see

Find more tips and resources on improving your school climate on CDE's Safe and Supportive Schools website at  Subscribe to the e-newsletter at or, or click on the link below.
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