School climate surveys, cultural scans, or audits provide opportunities for collaboration and dialogue, and starting points for reflection on the existing culture within a school. The Safe, Caring and Inclusive Schools (SCIS) surveys offer a series of questions to help assess school culture/climate with regard to safe schools, character development, equity and inclusion, and variables that contribute to a healthy school environment.
A positive learning and teaching environment is essential if students are to succeed in school. Research shows that there is a direct link between students’ success and the school environment in which learning takes place. Students are more motivated to do well and to realize their full potential in schools that have a positive school climate, where they feel safe and supported.
A Safe, Caring and Inclusive School is a place where all partners – students, staff, parents, and community members treat one-another fairly, with respect and kindness, and act in a socially responsible way towards all members of the school community. It is an inclusive community where diversity is affirmed within a framework of common values, and where all members participate in decision making and cooperate to promote the well–being of all. High expectations exist so that students are engaged academically, socially and intellectually. Studies emphasize the contribution of a positive learning environment to student success.
Before schools can build and/or strengthen a safe, caring and inclusive school culture, they need to get greater insight to the existing culture. Safe, Caring and Inclusive Schools surveys will assist schools in understanding and describing the current school culture while identifying areas for improvement. It is important to ensure that representatives from all sectors of the school and its community participate in any type of survey or assessment. To get an accurate picture of the school culture, it is essential to gather data from students, since research about bullying suggests that adults in a school may not witness the majority of this student behaviour.
The Safe, Caring and Inclusive Schools surveys and report templates are intended to provide a general understanding of school climate. The results should assist in identifying the strengths and challenges of the school’s climate and allow resources to be focused on areas that may need improvement.
The generally accepted factors that comprise school climate include: relationships between students, and between students and faculty; teaching and learning environment; school safety and the physical school environment.
There are five surveys available:
• one for students in grades 3 and 4
• one for students in grade 5
• one for students in grades 7, 9 and 11
• one for school staff
• one for parents and guardians
All surveys are available in electronic format known as Survey Monkey and a link to these surveys will be placed on this website May 1, 2014.
For more information, please see the following: