School climate and leadership: levers for school improvement efforts

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Southern New Hampshire University
This qualitative study considers which aspects of school climate support or inhibit student achievement as each aspect relates to school leadership and school reform efforts. Due to the increased responsibility and accountability which schools face during these challenging times, school climate and the role of the school principal formed the basis of this study. It is important to determine what successful schools are doing in order to address student achievement gaps. This will help to inform practices and serve as models for others as school leaders consider school climate as it relates to student achievement. Interviews, surveys, and a collection of documents from three designated Schools of Excellence were used to triangulate data and bring understanding to these complex research areas. Fullan’s (2014) Three Keys of Leadership and the National School Climate Framework (2009) were the two theoretical frameworks that served as the lenses for looking at school climate and leadership. It is with great hope that these Schools of Excellence will provide our schools and leaders with insight about which levers will lead to increased student achievement. (Author abstract)