Making Positive Gains in School Climate—Why It Is Important, and How CSD Is Doing It

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Colchester Middle School continues to gain positive ground in creating and fostering a stronger sense of school community, most recently demonstrated at their pep rally honoring student contributions to the school community. As part of the pep rally, Assistant Principal Dovid Yagoda and music teachers Emily Brennan and Bridgette Tozzi debuted the CMS rally song they’d crafted. (Click here to see the rally song lyrics.)

The school’s administration and educators are working hard to increase the sense of identity and pride in accomplishment through a number of ongoing, collaborative efforts. By building school pride and keeping a positive momentum going among the entire school community, administrators and teachers hope to elevate the overall climate at CMS, creating a quality, healthy, and academically rich environment for learning and development.

Creating and maintaining a positive academic environment is everyone’s responsibility, and doing so also works to everyone’s benefit. It is vitally important, because along with promoting greater opportunities for meaningful and powerful learning experiences, positive learning environments help to foster healthy relationships and a sense of community and fair play. Community members—both within and surrounding the school—can develop a greater sense of pride, which in turn encourages neighborly relationships in which everyone gets to know and looks out for one another, thereby creating safer places to grow and learn. Research has indicated that students are more likely to succeed in school when they experience a positive sense of belonging and when they feel that they are part of something greater, and parents and citizens are more likely to take active roles in their schools when they feel that the overall atmosphere is positive, inviting, and inspiring. Working hard to improve school climates has important, far-reaching implications for entire communities.

For all of the schools in the district, in fact, fostering healthy, positive learning environments and developing a greater sense of community is a priority. Porters Point School is successfully implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) into its curriculum as part of its strategy to enhance school climate, and Union Memorial School recently hosted the NED Show, the ultimate purpose of which is to assist with improving schools’ overall academic climate in a variety of ways. Malletts Bay School has a mindfulness curriculum in place and is home to the community gardens, and Colchester High School hosted a charity hair-cutting event at their pep rally earlier this year in support of raising funds to benefit children battling cancer.

Elevating and maintaining the climate of our schools and our entire community is vastly important, and the benefits are equally vast. Kudos to our educators and to our dedicated parents, students, and community members for their efforts to make it all happen.

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