GovernanceCorner Practical tips from our MIG faculty

The importance of strong school climates and safe environments

As governing boards continue to recognize the correlation between safe school environments and higher student achievement, the board plays a critical role in providing safe environments for students. Emphasis on a positive school climate, including school safety, through the adoption of board policies helps enable students to learn, grow and thrive.

Board members can take action to enhance school climate by regularly discussing school safety in meetings and asking these questions:

  • What does research show about the relationship between school safety and student achievement?
  • How does school safety integrate with the emotional health and well-being of our students and their ability to learn?
  • What statements related to school safety are included in our district’s/county office of education’s visions and goals?
  • What does our data tell us about how students, teachers and staff experience safety in our schools?
  • Are there differences between student populations (gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation) in how they experience safety on their campuses?
  • What prevention programs are in place? Where are there gaps?
  • What supports are still needed that would enhance positive school climate, including school safety?
  • How are students, families, and district and/or county office of education and school staff educated about the plan and the policies and protocols related to safety?
  • How do we measure the effectiveness of safety programs, policies and curriculum?

The board’s role in adopting and monitoring policies provides it with the opportunity to establish guidelines that impact the safety of students, teachers and staff. Find more school safety resources at