Schuylkill Technology Center named a national model
Schuylkill Technology Center was one of six schools selected for a yearlong research project by the National School Climate Center to study efforts to improve school climate. The research culminated in a new Lessons from the Field report which shares best practices for creating safe, engaging school communities. The report is available at https://schoolclimate.org/summit.
The report highlights the Schuylkill Technology Center’s commitment to project-based learning, its student ambassador program and its “exceptional” inclusion of students with disabilities.
One of the lessons from the field is the use of project-based learning to support positive school climate. Students at Schuylkill Technology Center participate in vocational training for a portion of the school year. Students spoke to researchers about the gratification they experienced as a result of creating things in school, as well as the opportunities to build relationships, tackle new challenges and collaborate on projects.
The report also commended the Schuylkill Technology Center for creating peer support groups for issues impacting students such as the loss of a parent and its commitment to conflict resolution.
“This NSCC School Climate Initiative provided an opportunity for STC to identify opportunities to improve our school and cultivate an atmosphere of mutual respect,” said Stacey Minahan, Assistant Director of Career and Technical Education.
NSCC conducted focus groups and site visits, and interviewed district leadership and staff at six school districts — Center City Public Charter Schools, Washington, D.C.; Monroe-Woodbury School District, New York; Parkway School District, Missouri; Schuylkill Technology Centers; Simpson County Schools, Kentucky; and West Sonoma Union County High Schools, California — to develop a collection of best practices for creating safe, engaging school communities.
The report was spurred by a 2017 summit convened by NSCC and Facebook for Education. The Connecting Communities of Courage: Building Inclusive, Safe, and Engaging Schools summit sought to address the mismatch between the needs of school communities and the policies, research, and resources available to build inclusive, safe, and engaging schools.
“Creating a positive school climate — one in which students and adults are engaged, supported and respected — can improve both academic and positive life outcomes for young people. This is the goal of our work at the National School Climate Center,” said Whitney Allgood, CEO of the NSCC.
“Our year of research with Schuylkill Technology Center provides powerful, thought-provoking insight in their important work to improve school climate.”