Creating Safe & Healthy Learning Environments

Students’ health, nutrition, and safety have a huge impact on their education, and our conditions for learning team works to create a seamless approach to meeting these non-academic needs of students and their families. Safe schools, healthy meals, and physical activity are all critical to improving outcomes for students.

Learn more about how the department supports schools in maintaining environments that are conducive to learning:

Key Terms

  • School Climate
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Cyberbullying

School climate refers to the quality and character of school life.  School climate is based on patterns of students’, parents’ and school personnel’s experience of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.  Research and practice have demonstrated that positive school climate is associated with stronger academic performance, higher graduation rates, decreased incidences of violence and increased teacher retention. Read more.

Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. The imbalance of power involves the use of physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity to control or harm others. Read more.

Harassment is any unwelcome conduct based on a protected class under the federal civil rights laws that is severe, pervasive or persistent and creates a hostile environment that interferes with or limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school. Harassment meets one or more of the following criteria: is an act directed at one or more students that is received as harmful or embarrassing; is directed at one or more students; substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more students; substantially affects the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school district’s educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing emotional distress; is based on a student’s actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic, or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any distinguishing characteristics; is repeated over time – is severe, persistent, and pervasive; causes mental duress, or psychological trauma to the victim. Read more.

Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples may include mean text messages or emails, rumor sent by email or posted on social network sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. Read more.

Last Update: April 16, 2014