Monday, July 08, 2013

It's Time for Another Blog Series!

Last week’s community convening with members of the Anti-Bullying Task Force and the DC Office of Human Rights really got us thinking about some important issues that bullying contributes to and BOOM! an idea for a new blog series was born. So, without further adieu we introduce you to our latest blog series on ... SCHOOL CLIMATE!

The American Psychological Association defines school climate as:

"the overall quality and character of school life, including teaching and learning practices, organizational structures, norms and values, and relationships"

Pretty simply put, school climate includes everything that happens in a school, but it's important to recognize school climate IS more than just the sum of its parts. School climate is really all about how the component parts of a school work together to achieve something greater.

As any youth development advocate will tell you this is an extremely important feature of any school or program. This is because everything, even programming options for children and youth, has at least some good component parts. However, these parts don't always combine in a way that we achieve an intended outcome. For instance, sometimes good elements of programming don't outweigh bad ones (having really great curriculum won't necessarily help if good staff aren't in place to utilize it), or good elements just fail to achieve synergy with other good elements of programming and they mute or negate one another. These occurrences shouldn't be especially shocking. Even as individuals, how often do we decide we don't like a bar or restaurant because it has a weird vibe or know we dislike a new person we meet but can't quite put our finger on why? These all have to do with the effect that occurs when various parts come together to form a whole, but sometimes the whole ain't so great.

There is a vast and ever growing body of research on the effect of school climate and negative outcomes for young people and its for that reason that we are dedicating an entire blog series to this subject. Furthermore, we're always excited to highlight and feature the exciting work of the DCAYA membership so expect plenty of guest blogs in the upcoming month about all the different facets of this exciting, but often hard to grasp concept.

We'll be kicking off the series with a guest blog from our friends from DC Lawyers for Youth so stay tuned for some more great information on school climate later this week!

Anne Abbott is a Policy Analyst at DC Alliance of Youth Advocates and is currently writing a report on disconnected youth in the District. 

To read more about youth issues in DC you can FOLLOW us on Twitter, LIKE us on Facebook and VISIT us at

If you have an interest in guest blogging or contributing to a future blog series or post please contact DCAYA's Communications Associate, Angela Massino.

No comments: