School Climate Quality Analytic Assessment Instrument
and School-based Evaluation/Leadership Team Assessment Protocol

Assessment Protocol
(Please read before conducting any assessment process.)

Use of the SCAI-S-G
Users must obtain copyright authorization through a site license from the Alliance for the Study of School Climate (ASSC formerly WASSC). For those authorized users the following guidelines are provided as a basic protocol for the evaluation process. Each school's needs will vary. For those using the SCAI as part of a school-wide improvement effort, consulting the ASSC document "Change from the Inside: Examining K-12 School Reform Using the ASSC SCAI" may be helpful.

Rate each item below. For each item there are 3 descriptions. Select the rating that best describes the current state at your school as a whole - Level 3 (high), 2 (middle) or 1 (low). If you feel that the practices at your school rates between two of the descriptions provided then select the middle level option. Each item should receive only 1 rating/mark.

1. Physical Appearance
Level - 3 (high) Level - 2 (middle) Level - 1 (low)

high high-middle middle middle-low low
1. a
Welcoming to outsiders, the school projects its identity to visitors. Some signage for visitors as they enter the building, but images compete for attention. Little concern for the image of the school.
1. b
Purposeful use of school colors/symbols Some use of school colors/symbols but mostly associated with sports. Students associate school colors with "losers."
1. c
Staff and students take ownership of physical appearance. Staff regularly comments on school appearance, but students do not feel any sense of personal ownership. "That is the janitor's job"
1. d
No litter Litter cleaned at the end of day People have given up the battle over litter
1. e
Current student work is displayed to show pride and ownership by students. Few and/or only top performances are displayed Decades old trophies and athletic records in dusty cases
1. f
Things work and/or get fixed immediately Things get fixed when someone complains enough Many essential fixtures, appliances and structural items remain broken.
1. g
Staff and students have respect for custodians. Most staff are cordial with custodians. Custodians are demeaned
1. h
Graffiti is rare because students feel some sense of ownership of the school. Graffiti occurs occasionally, but is dealt with by the staff. Graffiti occurs frequently and projects the hostility of students toward their school.

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2. Faculty Relations
Level - 3 (high) Level - 2 (middle) Level - 1 (low)

high high-middle middle middle-low low
2. a
Faculty members commonly collaborate on matters of teaching. Most faculty members are congenial to one another, and occasionally collaborate. Typically faculty members view one another competitively.
2. b
Faculty members approach problems as a team / collective. Faculty members attend to problems as related to their own interests. Faculty members expect someone else to solve problems.
2. c
Faculty members use their planning time constructively and refrain from denigrating students in teacher areas. Faculty members use time efficiently but feel the need to consistently vent displaced aggression toward students. Faculty members look forward to time away from students so they can share their "real feelings" about them.
2. d
Faculty members are typically constructive when speaking of each other and/or administrators. Faculty members wait for safe opportunities to share complaints about other teachers and/or administrators. Faculty members commonly use unflattering names for other faculty and/or administration in private.
2. e
Faculty members feels a collective sense of dissatisfaction with status quo, and find ways to take action to improve. Faculty members give sincere "lip service" to the idea of making things better. Faculty members are content with the status quo and often resentful toward change-minded staff.
2. f
Faculty members exhibit high level of respect for one another. Faculty members exhibit respect for a few of their prominent members. Faculty members exhibit little respect for self or others.
2. g
Faculty meetings are attended by most all, and address relevant content. Faculty meetings are an obligation that most attend, but are usually seen as a formality. Faculty meetings are seen as a waste of time and avoided when possible.
2. h
Staff and all-school events are well attended by faculty. There are few regular attendees at school events. Faculty and staff do a minimum of investing in school-related matters.
2. i
Leadership roles are most likely performed by faculty members with other faculty expressing appreciation. Leadership roles are accepted grudgingly by faculty, and other faculty members are often suspicious of motives. Leadership is avoided, and those who do take leadership roles are seen as traitors.
2. j
Teacher leadership is systematic and well-coordinated. Teacher leadership develops in response to particular situations. Teacher leadership exists informally or not at all.
2. k
Faculty members have the time and interest to commune with one another, and feel very little isolation. Faculty members congregate in small cordial groups, yet commonly feel a sense that teaching is an isolating profession. Faculty members typically see no need to relate outside the walls of their class.

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3. Student Interactions
Level - 3 (high) Level - 2 (middle) Level - 1 (low)

high high-middle middle middle-low low
3. a
Students feel a sense of community and "school" is defined by the warm regard for the inhabitants of the building. Students feel like they have friends and are safe, but the school is just a place to take classes. Students feel no sense of affiliation with the school or community.
3. b
Various cultures and sub-groups blend, interrelate and feel like valid members of the community. Various sub-groups avoid each other and have varying degrees of sense of validity. Various sub-groups are hostile to one another.
3. c
Students readily accept the purpose of zero tolerance for "put downs." Students think put downs are just part of their language. Put downs lead to violence.
3. d
Many students attend school events. A few regulars attend school events. It is un-cool to attend school events.
3. e
"Popular" students feel a an obligation to serve the school, not a sense of entitlement "Popular" students treat the other popular students well. "Popular" students use their political capital to oppress those less popular.
3. f
Most students feel safe from violence. Most students don't expect much severe violence but accept minor acts of harassment almost daily. Most students do not feel safe from violent acts, large or small.
3. g
Leaders are easy to find due to the wide range of gifts that are validated and harnessed. Leaders come from a small clique of students. Students avoid leadership for fear of being labeled as "goody goodies".
3. h
Athletes are valued as quality community members and approach their role with a humble sense of honor. It is assumed that some athletes are just "jerks" and jocks are not "real students". Athletes band together to oppress the weaker and more academically gifted element in the school.
3. i
Most students expect to be given ownership over decisions that effect them. Most students are upset when rights are withdrawn, but typically take little action. Most students assume that they have no rights.
3. j
Most students expect to engage in "authentic learning" activities and to be taught with methods that make them responsible for their own learning. Most students adjust their expectations to each teacher and focus mainly on doing what it takes to get "the grade." Most students' expectation of school is that little of value is learned in there and real world learning happens somewhere else.

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4. Leadership/Decisions
Level - 3 (high) Level - 2 (middle) Level - 1 (low)

high high-middle middle middle-low low
4. a
School has a sense of vision, and a mission that is shared by all staff. School has a set of policies, a written mission, but no cohesive vision. School has policies that are used inconsistently.
4. b
Vision comes from the collective will of the school community. Vision comes from leadership. Vision is absent.
4. c
School's decisions are conspicuously grounded in the mission. Policies and mission exist but are not meaningful toward staff action Mission may exist but is essentially ignored.
4. d
Vast majority of staff members feel valued and listened to. Selected staff members feel occasionally recognized. Administration is seen as playing favorites.
4. e
A sense of "shared values" is purposefully cultivated. Most share a common value to do what's best for their students. Guiding school values are in constant conflict.
4. f
Staff understands and uses a clear system for selecting priority needs, and has a highly functioning team for "shared decision-making". There is a SDM committee but most real power is in a "loop" of insiders / decision makers. Decisions are made autocratically or accidentally.
4. g
Most of the staff has a high level of trust and respect in leadership. Some staff have respect for leadership. Most staff feel at odds with the leadership.
4. h
Teacher leadership is systematic and integral to the school's leadership strategy. Some teachers take leadership roles when they feel a great enough sense of responsibility. Leadership is seen as solely the domain of the administration.
4. i
Leadership demonstrates a high level of accountability, and finds ways to "make it happen." Leadership is highly political about how resources are allocated and often deflects responsibility. Leadership seems disconnected to outcomes and find countless reasons why "it can't happen."
4. j
Leadership is in tune with students and community. Leadership has selected sources of info about the community and students. Leadership is isolated from the students and community.
4. k
Leadership is in tune with others' experience of the quality of school climate. Leadership makes pro forma statements about wanting good school climate. Leadership does not see school climate as a necessary interest.

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5. Discipline Environment
Level - 3 (high) Level - 2 (middle) Level - 1 (low)

high high-middle middle middle-low low
5. a
School-wide discipline policy is consistently applied. School-wide discipline policy is used by some staff. School-wide discipline policy exists in writing only.
5. b
It is evident from student behavior that there are clear expectations and consistency in the discipline policy. In many classes there are clear expectations and most teachers are fair and unbiased. Students have to determine what each teacher expects and behavioral interventions are defined by a high level of subjectivity.
5. c
Most teachers use effective discipline strategies that are defined by logical consequences and refrain from punishments or shaming. Most teachers use some form of positive or assertive discipline but accept the notion that punishment and shaming are necessary with some students. Most teachers accept the notion that the only thing the students in the school understand is punishment and/or personal challenges.
5. d
Classrooms are positive places, and teachers maintain a positive affect, and follow-through with consequences in a calm and non-personal manner. Most teachers maintain a positive climate, but some days they just feel the need to complain about the class and/or get fed up with the "bad kids" Classrooms are places where teachers get easily angered by students and there is a sense of antagonism between the class and the teacher
5. e
Maximum use of student-generated ideas and input. Occasional use of student-generated ideas. Teachers make the rules and student should follow them.
5. f
Most consider teaching and discipline within the lens of basic student needs that must be met for a functional class. Most have some sensitivity to student needs, but the primary goal of classroom management is control. Most view all student misconduct as disobedience and/or the student's fault.
5. g
Teacher-student interactions could be typically described as supportive and respectful. Teacher-student interactions could be typically described as fair but teacher-dominated. Teacher-student interactions are mostly teacher-dominated and reactive.
5. h
When disciplining students teachers typically focus on the problematic behavior not the student as a person. When disciplining students teachers are typically assertive yet often reactive, and giving an overall inconsistent message. When disciplining students teachers are typically personal and often antagonistic.
5. i
Management strategies consistently promote increased student self-direction over time. Management strategies promote acceptable levels of classroom control over time, but are mostly teacher-centered. Management strategies result in mixed results: some classes seem to improve over time, while others seem to decline.
5. j
Teachers successfully create a sense of community in their classes Teachers successfully create a working society in their classes Teachers create a competitive environment

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6. Learning/Assessment
Level - 3 (high) Level - 2 (middle) Level - 1 (low)

high high-middle middle middle-low low
6. a
Assessment targets are clear and attainable for learners. Most high achieving students can find a way to meet the teacher's target. Students see grades as relating to personal or accidental purposes.
6. b
Instruction / Assessment promotes student locus of control, sense of belonging and sense of competence. Instruction / Assessment is most often focused on relevant learning, yet mostly rewards the high-achievers. Instruction / Assessment is focused on bits of knowledge that can be explained and then tested.
6. c
Student-controlled behavior (effort, listening, attitude, etc) is rewarded and even assessed when possible. Student controlled behavior is verbally rewarded. Only quantifiable academic and athletic outcomes are rewarded.
6. d
Teachers have some mode of making sense of, and being responsive to, varying learning styles. Teachers are aware of learning styles as a concept, and make some attempt in that area. Teachers expect all students to conform to their teaching style.
6. e
Instruction is dynamic, involving, learner-centered, and challenging. Instruction is mostly based on relevant concepts but often appears to be busy-work Instruction is mostly "sit and get"
6. f
Students learn to work cooperatively and as members of teams. Some teachers buy into the idea of cooperative learning. Cooperative learning is seen as leading to chaos and cheating.
6. g
Students are given systematic opportunities to reflect on their learning progress. Mostly higher-level students are given occasional opportunities to reflect on their learning in some classes. Teaching is seen as providing maximum input and little opportunity for reflection exists.
6. h
Students are seen as the primary users of assessment information, and assessment is used for the purpose of informing the learning process and is never used to punish or shame. Assessment is seen as something that occurs at the end of assignments. Grades are used primarily for student-to-student comparison. Assessment is used to compare students to one another and/or to send a message to lazy students.
6. i
Classroom dialogue is characterized by higher-order thinking (e.g., analysis, application, and synthesis). Classroom dialogue is active and engaging but mostly related to obtaining right answers. Classroom dialogue is infrequent and/or involves a small proportion of students.
6. j
Students consistently feel as though they are learning subjects in-depth. Students are engaged in quality content, but the focus is mostly on content coverage. Students feel the content is only occasionally meaningful and rarely covered in-depth.
6. k
Teachers promote the view that intelligence and ability are a function of each students' effort and application, and are not fixed. The major emphasis is placed on the process over the product. Teachers promote the view that effort has a lot to do with how much students are able to accomplish. The major emphasis is placed on working to produce good products. Teachers promote the view that intelligence and ability are fixed/innate traits and not all students have what it takes. The major emphasis is on the comparison of products / grades.
6. l
School-wide rewards often focus on student effort and contribution and sparingly on being the top performer. School-wide rewards honor a variety of top performance-based achievements. A competitive climate exists for the scarce supply of school-wide rewards given only for performance.

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7. Attitude and Culture
Level - 3 (high) Level - 2 (middle) Level - 1 (low)

high high-middle middle middle-low low
7. a
Students feel as though they are part of a community. Students feel as though they are part of a society. Students feel as though they are visitors in a building.
7. b
Students self-correct peers who use destructive and/or abusive language. Students seek adult assistance to stop blatant verbal abuse. Students accept verbal abuse as a normal part of their day.
7. c
Students feel as though they are working toward collective goals. Students feel as though they are working toward independent goals. Students feel as though they are competing with other students for scarce resources.
7. d
Students speak about the school in proud, positive terms. Students speak of the school in neutral or mixed terms. Students denigrate the school when they refer to it.
7. e
Most students feel listened to, represented, and that they have a voice. Most students see some evidence that some students have a voice. Most students feel they have very little voice when at school.
7. f
Most students feel a sense of belonging to something larger. Most students see some evidence that efforts are made to promote school spirit. Most students feel alone, alienated and/or part of a hostile environment.
7. g
Teachers share commonly high expectations for all students. Most teachers have high expectations for students who show promise. Often teachers openly express doubts about the ability of some students.
7. h
Students feel as though they owe their school a dept of gratitude upon graduation. Graduates feel that they had an acceptable school experience. A high number of students graduate feeling cheated.
7. i
Students feel welcome and comfortable in talking to adults and/or designated peer counselors. Some students have a few staff that they target for advice. Students assume adults do not have any interest in their problems.
7. j
School maintains traditions that promote school pride and a sense of historical continuity. School maintains traditions that some students are aware of but most see as irrelevant to their experience. School has given up on maintaining traditions due to apathy.

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8. Community Relations
Level - 3 (high) Level - 2 (middle) Level - 1 (low)

high high-middle middle middle-low low
8. a
School is perceived as welcoming to all parents. School is perceived as welcoming to certain parents. School is suspicious of why parents would want to visit.
8. b
School sends out regular communication to community including invitations to attend key events. School sends out pro forma communication that may be plentiful but is not created with the consumers' needs in mind. School sends out pro forma communication only.
8. c
Community members are regularly invited to speak in classes. Inconvenience leads to few community members speaking in classes. The vast majority of community members have not seen the inside of the school since they went there.
8. d
Service learning efforts are regular, promoting student learning and positive community-relations. Service learning is performed, but very infrequently due to perceived inconvenience. Service learning is seen as just a glorified field trip and therefore not worth the time or expense.
8. e
Parents and coaches all work for the best interest of student-athletes. Parents support the coaches and teams if things are going well. Parents feel free to challenge coaches, coaches mistrust parents.
8. f
Volunteer efforts are well coordinated, volunteers are plentiful, and conspicuously appreciated. Volunteers are willing, but are often unaware of the events and/or feel a lack of guidance. Volunteers are hard to find or unreliable.
8. g
Athletic events and Fine Arts performances are well attended due to deliberate efforts toward promotion and crowd appreciation. Athletic events and Arts performances are attended by a die-hard following and/or only when things are going well. Games and performances are poorly attended and as a result progressively less effort is made by participants.

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