Student Support Services

Excerpts from Publications Linking School Climate, Attendance and Student Academic Performance

Senge, Peter. (2000). Schools that Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education. New York, NY: Doubleday Publishing.

Children will always need safe places for learning. They will always need launching pads from which to follow their curiosity into the larger world. And they will always need places to make the transition from their childhood homes to the larger society of peers and adults. p. 4

…schools can be re-created, made vital, and sustainably renewed …by taking a learning orientation. This means involving everyone in the system in expressing their aspirations, building their awareness, and developing their capabilities together….parents and teachers, educators and local businesspeople, administrators and union members, people inside and outside the school walls, students and adults – recognize their common stake in the future of the school system and the things they can learn from one another. p. 5

Learning First Alliance (a coalition of 12 national educational organizations). (2001). Every Child Learning: Safe and Supportive Schools. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Washington, DC. (on-line at www.aasa.orgExternal Link)

Our first overarching recommendation is simply to recognize that there is an essential connection between efforts to improve student achievement and efforts to create safe and supportive school communities…. Our remaining recommendations fall into five categories: engaging students, school staff, and the surrounding community; standards and measure to support continuous improvement; professional development for all school staff; structures and supports, research and development. p. 25

Yohalem, N. and Pittman, K. (October 2001). Powerful Pathways: Framing Options and Opportunities for Vulnerable Youth. Discussion Paper of the Youth Transition Funders Group. Takoma Park, MD: The Forum for Youth Investment, International Youth Foundation. (on-line at www.forumforyouthinvestment.orgExternal Link)

A critical ingredient of high-performing, high-poverty schools is a school culture in which teachers, administrators and systems are committed to the success of each and every student. An environment of "no excuses instruction," where educators accept neither poverty, nor race, nor a young person’s attitude toward learning as reasons for not engaging them, is critical to our success in transforming high schools to meet the needs of vulnerable youth. p. 22

Slavin, R. (April, 1997). Sand, Bricks, and Seeds: School Change Strategies and Readiness for Reform. Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk. Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, MD: Success for All Foundation. (on-line at Link)

…This article proposes a typology of schools in terms of their readiness and appropriateness for various reform strategies. "Seeds" schools are ones capable of developing and implementing their own reform models, and only need general principles and support. "Bricks" schools, a much larger category are ones that would be unlikely to co-develop their own innovations, but are capable of faithfully and effectively implementing well-developed models created elsewhere. "Sand" schools are ones incapable of either creating their own models or implementing externally developed models. Means of identifying and then working with each type of school are discussed, and implications for education policies are outlined. p. 1

Lyons, J. (January, 2002). Do School Facilities Really Impact A Child’s Education? Council of Education Facility Planners International, IssueTrak #14; scheduled for release in the March Issue of the Association of School Business Officials International, Journal of Education Finance. (online at Link)

While it has been said, "A good teacher can teach anywhere," a growing body of research literature also strongly suggests a direct relation between the condition and utility of the school facility and learning…

According to a report from the American Association Of School Administrators, "Students are more likely to prosper when their environment is conducive to learning. Architecture can be designed to support greater safety and security. Environmentally responsive heating, air conditioning and ventilating systems, for example, either in a new or renovated school, provide a more comfortable learning environment. Such well-designed systems send a powerful message to kids about the importance their community places on education." p. 7

Last Updated: April 15, 2014