Student Support Services

School Climate

A positive school climate promotes school safety, student self-esteem, emotional well-being, mental health, and lower incidences of substance abuse, student absenteeism, and suspensions. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) continues to promote initiatives to foster student engagement and thereby increase student achievement, safety, and wellness.

As described in New York’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, NYSED will continue to develop and build upon existing guidance and resources to combat harassment, bullying, and discrimination, and to enhance efforts to build and maintain positive and healthy school climates. Efforts will be expanded to provide capacity-building guidance; strategies; best-practice resources; and professional development for school administrators, instructional staff, and non-instructional staff in the following areas to advance these initiatives.

  • Dignity for All Students Act

    The Dignity Act seeks to provide students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying.

  • Social Emotional Learning

    Our Social Emotional Learning materials support the state's ESSA plan priorities and promote a positive school climate. The resources outline benchmarks and frameworks for educators to implement Social Emotional Learning practices in their schools and classrooms.

  • Mental Health Education

    Mental health education can assist young people and their families and result in positive decision-making and life-long success.

  • Trauma Sensitive Schools

    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma can have a negative impact on young peoples’ ability to learn and on school outcomes. SEL can nurture skills that better equip young people to manage responses and improve outcomes.

  • Restorative Practices and Reducing Exclusionary Discipline

    Restorative Practices draw on SEL competencies to help students understand why a behavior is unacceptable and the harm it causes, take responsibility, understand what they could have done differently, learn strategies and skills to use in the future, and understand consequences.

  • School Climate Survey Pilot

    In the 2018-19 school year, NYSED is working with school and district administrators in approximately 100 school districts to implement a pilot of the U.S. Department of Education school climate surveys. Through this collaboration with district and school staff and other partners, NYSED will develop guidance on forming a school climate improvement team, using school climate survey and other relevant data to develop and implement a school climate improvement action plan.
Last Updated: June 6, 2022