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Positive Climates for Learning (PC4L) 251
Positive Climates for Learning (PC4L)
A Positive Climate for Learning and Working is equitable and inclusive; safe and supportive; respectful and caring. Building it is everyone's work! School climate is defined by the Ontario Ministry of Education as the 
"the sum total of all of the personal relationships within a school. When these relationships are founded in mutual acceptance and inclusion, and modelled by all, a culture of respect becomes the norm."

Safe Schools Action Team, Safe Schools Policy and Practice: An Agenda for Action, 2006, p. 6

They go on to recommend that "to help achieve a positive school climate, boards and schools should actively promote and support positive behaviours, in keeping with their character development initiatives. They should also involve parents and members of th broader, diverse community in the school."

What are the characteristics of a positive school climate?

When a positive school climate exists,

  • ​students, parents and staff members feel safe, comfortable and accepted
  • healthy and respectful relationships are promoted among all members of the school community
  • students are encouraged to be leaders and positive role models -- for example, by speaking up on issues such as bullying
  • parents and community members are actively engaged
  • positive behaviour is reinforced and students are given opportunities to develop relationships that are free of racism, discrimination and harrassing behaviour
  • there is a culture of high expectations in which improvement of learning outcomes for all students is emphasized
  • all cultures are respected, valued, and included

Why is a positve climate for learning and working important?

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 potential in schools that have a positive school climate where they feel safe and supported. (Safe Schools Action Team, Shaping a Culture of Respect in Our Schools: Promoting Safe and Healthy Relationships, 2008, p. 1).

Subsequently, it may be argued that if a positive school climate can serve to motivate and inspire students to realize their potential then it can also serve to motivate and inspire staff to realize their potential as well.

​Ontario Ministry of Education: Reach Every Student; Promoting a Positive School Climate: A Resource for Schools, 2010 

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