Attendance; Bullying; Discipline; Facilities; Mental Health; Physical Health; Safety; Social-Emotional Learning; California Corner; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism. Policy Analysis for California Education provides examples of local efforts to improve student attendance and steps to build the capacity of schools and communities to keep students in school.


Impact on Suicide. An analysis of data from 48 countries (predominantly low- and middle-income) across multiple continents finds that being bullied may increase the risk of suicide attempts among young adolescents by approximately three times worldwide and the greater number of days adolescents reported being bullied, the greater likelihood of a suicide attempt.


Willful Defiance Suspension Ban. California has expanded its ban on 'willful defiance' suspensions in schools to include grades 4 and 5 (in addition to the previous grades 1-3) and temporarily restricted them for grades 6-8 until 2025 (effective July 1, 2020).

Trauma-informed Discipline. A new Tennessee law requires taking into account trauma in determining discipline measures.


Upkeep. States' spending to build, upgrade, and equip school buildings has fallen over the last decade.
 Mental Health

On-Campus Centers. Evaluation of on-campus mental health centers at three Austin Independent School District high schools indicate improvements in grades, behavior, and overall happiness among trauma-exposed youth under direct treatment.
Colorado Hotline Calls Increase. Tips about potential dangers to students to Colorado’s Safe2Tell hotline increased 75% between August 2018 and 2019, with suicide threats a top concern.

Addressing Needs of Rural Schools. Students at a rural Wisconsin school district are getting access to mental health services with a new video-conferencing system.

Data-Driven Decision Making. DC public schools use student data to support mental health, including assessing when students need help and tracking interventions.

 Physical Health

Marijuana Warning. The US Surgeon General has released an advisory statement emphasizing the damaging health risks of marijuana use, particularly for youth and pregnant women.

Vaping Warning. The CDC warns against vaping as deaths and illness linked to the practice grow.  

Recess Checkup. During September 23-27 educators can take a three-minute quiz to assess recess. Everyone who takes the quiz will receive a set of unique recommendations to improve recess from Playworks.


Parental Concerns. An August Gallop Poll indicates 34% of parents remain fearful for their child's safety at school but fewer (12%) report that their child felt unsafe at school.

State Strategies. EdNote explores state efforts to improve school safety through threat assessment.

School Climate. The Colorado Education Association (CEA) has released the results of a community focus group emphasizing the best strategy for reducing school-based violence is to ensure that schools are integrated into the community and have adequate counseling, mental health resources, and a positive school climate. 

Wyoming State Survey. To better understand how schools are protecting students, the Wyoming Department of Education sent a survey to administrators across the state.

Strategy Reviews. The June issue of the NIJ Journal reviews strategies for Making Schools Safe for Students. Education Dive has assembled a collection of its discussions about strategies for balancing needs of school security and culture.

 Social-Emotional Learning
Afterschool Partnership. The Oakland USD SEL Team has been working in collaboration with the district’s Expanded Learning team in sharing SEL practices, including an elementary level writing program.  For more information, contact Sonny Kim, Coordinator, OUSD Office of Social and Emotional Learning. 

Resources. The California Afterschool Network newsletter for September highlights SEL resources for parents and afterschool professionals.

School Safety and Wildfires. San Diego County has released a School Protection and Evacuation Plan template that administrators can adapt to plan for the growing threat of wildfires.

School Variations in Safety and Health. According to CHKS data, schools in San Diego vary significantly in the level of perceived school safety and health. Read the analyses in a series of articles from Voice of San Diego, which has also created a searchable database for accessing key results by schools.
NEW: District CalSCHLS Data Dashboard. Districts can now have access to a private data dashboard that displays up to six years of CalSCHLS data for each district school through a two-year subscription. The dashboard provides designated staff with graphical data displays of the district as a whole; all schools in the district on the same page (so results can be easily compared across schools); or a single, individual school, as well as comparison state averages. Users can also make annual and trend comparisons across student subgroups. For more information, call 888.841.7536 or email your CalSCHLS technical advisor at

CalSCHLS Surveys. The few changes made to the 2019/20 CalSCHLS instruments can be view here. Among the changes on the secondary CHKS was the simplification of all questions asking about electronic cigarettes to just ask about "vaping" and moving the questions about gender identity, sexual orientation, and family military-connected status to the demographic part of the survey.

CalSCHLS Helpline:  888.841.7536
SCCN #81  09/24/19
In this issue:

 Mental Health
 Physical Health
 Social-Emotional Learning
 California Corner
Upcoming Events


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

Free Training

School Safety & Mental Health Crisis training from the Project Cal-STOP initiative.
Request Training

Team NAMI: Raising Voices
Multicultural Symposium in Stockton, CA

Sat, Oct 12, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Bridge the gap created by mental health stigma by bringing together Northern California community leaders, providers, and peers from diverse communities
Information & Registration

California PBIS Conference "Leading the Way for Positive and Equitable Schools"
Sacramento, CA
Oct 28-29, 2019
Learn how to establish a social culture that leads to positive academic outcomes, social connectedness, and rewarding student relationships.
Information & Registration

Youth Mental Health First Aid training from CDE
Information  &  Flyer

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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