Systematizing Climates that Elevate Student Voice and a Sense of Safety and Belonging

According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ 2017 School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 20.2 percent of students report being bullied, and 46.3 percent of bullied students report the incident. Such bullying—commonly understood as “a form of unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and that is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time”—demonstrates a lack of school safety. To improve school safety and achieve associated positive school and student outcomes, districts must develop school climates and foster strong social-emotional skills and interactions.

A Hanover Research partner has identified bullying and emotional safety as concerns through focus group conversations and in-depth interviews with students. To address these challenges and continue efforts towards a more equitable learning environment, the district would like to understand the reasons why students do not report bullying and how its schools can create climates that promote student voice and emotional security. As such, Hanover presents this report on systematizing school climates that recognize student voices and cultivate feelings of safety and belonging.

This report contains three sections:

  • Section I: Recognizing Students’ Reporting Concerns
  • Section II: Exploring Systematized Structures for Positive School Climates
  • Section III: Implementing Best Practices in Schools and Classrooms

Key Findings

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Systematically integrate students in peer conversations and leadership opportunities around climate

Publicize school safety, discipline, and anti-bullying policies

Provide professional learning opportunities for teachers and staff to build their knowledge, skills, and confidence in successfully cultivating and supporting positive learning environments

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