Bullying; Climate; Discipline; Health; Mental Health; Safety; Staff Working Climate; Trauma; California Corner; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter

Prevention. WestEd has posted a short overview of Current Trends and Promising Practices in Bullying Prevention.

Prevention and Social-Emotional Learning. A new study identifies the most effective approaches to bullying prevention, making the case for a systemic integration of evidence-based practices of social and emotional learning.

Islamic Students. Muslim students (ages 11-18) in California are more likely to be bullied compared to their peers.


Georgia School Ratings. Georgia has released the 2019 School Climate Star Ratings, calculated by using individual school data from surveys as well as attendance and discipline records.

Minnesota Survey. The 2019 Minnesota Student Survey shows declines in how safe and engaged students feel at school as well as their mental and emotional well-being.

Diversity and Belonging. A teacher describes a five-step exercise on identity and belonging that helps middle school students appreciate differences—in themselves and in their peers.

Inclusion. A new California law guarantees all students will receive lunch even if their parents or guardians have not paid their meal fees, ending any school lunch shaming.

Addressing Needs of Black Students. Oakland USD’s program designed to wrap black male students in a culturally rich and supportive environment in order to boost academic success and life outcomes has raised graduation rates by about 3%.


Alternatives to Suspension. More California schools are allowing disruptive students to serve suspensions on campus instead of sending them home. But experts say educators need to provide those students with high-quality behavior counseling for that approach to be successful.

Wilfull Defiance Suspension Ban. Mixed results are evident from Los Angeles USD’s ground-breaking ban on suspending students for wilfull defiance.

Disparities. A new Stanford University study documents a direct link nationally between unequal rates of achievement and unequal rates of discipline for black and white students.

Recess as Punishment. Edutopia discusses the importance of recess for a child's social and academic development and argues it is a serious mistake to withhold it as punishment for misbehavior or to accommodate more seat time.

Using Data. WestEd has published a brief on using data to build a foundation for school discipline reform.


Early Start Time. California is the first state to require middle and high schools in urban areas to delay start times to allow students to get more sleep, not without controversy. EdSource discusses whether the requirements impinge on the state’s system of local control.

Vaping Prevention. Read about what schools in California are doing in response to the student vaping epidemic.

 Mental Health

National Suicide Trends. The CDC reports that suicide rates nationally increased by 76% for 15-19 year-olds between 2007 and 2017 and nearly tripled for 10-14 year-olds.

Bus Driver Training. Bus drivers in Miami-Dade County public schools, and elsewhere in Florida, are receiving “Youth Mental Health First Aid” training so that the first adults who see kids in the morning can recognize signs of mental distress.

Suicide Ideation. California Healthy Kids Survey data reveals that 1 in 5 of California high schoolers have considered suicide.

State Legislation. The Education Commission of the States has released a review of legislative activity addressing student mental health and wellness.
  California has enacted three new laws aimed at preventing bullying and suicide. "The Safe Place to Learn Act" requires that children in K-6th grade have easy access to suicide prevention materials, including on the internet.

University-School Partnership. University of Utah graduate students are equipping teachers at one middle school with the knowledge and skills to better address students’ mental health needs through a Well-Being Team initiative. Eighty-one percent of students who received individualized counseling services say their experiences were helpful or very helpful.

Prevention in Arizona. Read what Arizona schools are doing to prevent youth suicides.

Teens Under Stress. CPR News has undertaken a months-long examination of the pressures adolescents are under and what can be done about them.


Shootings. Effects: Drugs, depression, and discipline problems surge in the months after school shooting tragedies.

Shootings. Evidence-based Practice: Read about Five Common Misconceptions About School Shootings and using evidence to inform school safety policy and practice.

Shooting Prevention. Research indicates that policy responses to school shootings have not prevented them and tend to exacerbate racial and ethnic discipline disparities, but restorative justice shows potential.

Strategies. The October issue of ASCD Express is devoted to Making School’s Safe both emotionally and physically. 

Student Voice. The high school students behind March For Our Lives Arizona want to see more counselors and fewer police officers in their schools.

Federal Funding. The DOJ has awarded more than $70 million in grant funding to bolster school security. These grants are in addition to the funding to the National Association of School Resource Officers to expand and update their curriculum to better support training programs. The U.S. Department of Education awarded $71.6 million to improve school safety and student access to mental health resources under four grant programs.

 Staff Working Climate

Staff Misconduct Reporting. The Clark County School District will launch an anonymous EthicsPoint Incident Management system that allows staff to report harassment, mistreatment, and misconduct they see while on the job.
ACE Negative Outcomes. Nearly 16% of adults in a CDC study reported four or more types of adverse childhood experiences, which were significantly associated with poorer health outcomes, health risk behaviors, and socioeconomic challenges. The report recommends addressing the problem by creating safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments that can prevent adverse childhood experiences and could potentially prevent negative adult outcomes.

School Rating Systems. The LAUSD board rejected use of an overall rating system (1-5) for schools but agrees to make data on how students perform year to year on standardized tests more easily available. California is one of only two states that is not measuring student learning growth as part of their accountability systems for elementary and middle schools.

LCFF Accountability. Auditors say it's impossible to tell whether the 2013 school funding overhaul is working and the Local Control Funding Formula money intended to help low-income children and other targeted students is being correctly spent. 

School Spending. A lengthy brief from Children Now concludes that California is woefully underspending on education, including student support services, particularly for students with the greatest needs.

Vaping Lawsuit. LAUSD has filed a class-action lawsuit against the vaping company Juul for marketing to youth and misrepresenting the health consequences of vaping and requiring the district to redirect spending that could be better spent on teaching and learning.

CalSCHLS Helpline:  888.841.7536
SCCN #83  11/25/19
In this issue:

 Mental Health
 Staff Working Climate
 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

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

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