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The Current State of School Climate in Public Schools

Between teacher turnover, mental health challenges, threats of violence, and increasing politicization, today’s K–12 education system faces a host of challenges that comprise students’ ability to learn and thrive. That’s why fostering a positive school climate has never been more critical. Between 2018 and 2022, leaders from 30 U.S. school districts commissioned Hanover Research to conduct a K–12 school climate survey in hopes of better understanding their stakeholders’ perceptions of their districts’ climate and culture. The resulting data — gathered from more than 150,000 respondents — reveals a wealth of insight into the school climate-related challenges that districts and their stakeholders face.  

Lacking a positive school climate, the challenges faced by K–12 schools only grow more complex and deep-rooted, ultimately resulting in higher staff turnover and poorer student outcomes. Times of crisis — such as a pandemic or traumatic school violence — can have a detrimental impact on school climate, with students facing a greater risk of negative emotional responses that can interfere with both their learning and their daily lives. But, by focusing on the social-emotional well-being and mental health of students and staff — all critical elements of a positive school climate — districts can better foster feelings of safety, connection, engagement, and, ultimately, success. A school climate survey is an important tool for building and sustaining an effective school climate and culture.

Download the whitepaper to learn more about the state of school climate in K–12 districts around the nation.

A positive school climate is critical for everyone's success. Find out the state of school climate in K–12 districts around the nation.

See how your school climate compares to national trends

Our hope is for readers to better understand how they can measure and track school climate and how their local experiences compare to the national trends outlined in this report.

Download the report to see the successes and challenges of school climate at U.S. schools.

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