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School Name Culture Survey Debrief A Key Component for School Improvement. Name Position Date. What is School Culture?. Definitions: The shared beliefs and values that closely knit a community together (Deal and Kennedy, 1982)

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School name culture survey debrief a key component for school improvement

School Name Culture Survey Debrief A Key Component for School Improvement




What is school culture
What is School Culture?


  • The shared beliefs and values that closely knit a community together (Deal and Kennedy, 1982)

  • The unwritten rules and traditions, norms, and expectations. (Deal and Peterson, 2009)

  • The way we do things around here (Bower, 1966)

The culture is the personality of the school
The culture is the personality of the school…

  • it influences and shapes the way teachers, students, and administrators think, feel, and act…

  • it reflects the norms, values, beliefs, and assumptions of our school…

  • it shapes the “way we do things around here.”

T he research says a positive school culture
The research says a positive school culture…

  • Fosters school effectiveness and productivity

  • Improves collegiality, collaboration, communication and problem-solving practices

  • Promotes innovation and school improvement

  • Builds commitment and kindles motivation

  • Amplifies the energy and vitality of school staff, students, and community

  • Focuses attention on what is valued and important

    Deal and Peterson pp. 12-14

Cultures can be
Cultures can be…

  • Toxic - Pervasive sense of hopelessness and pessimism; negativity is the norm

  • Fragmented - Collaboration and external support discouraged; individualism is valued

  • Balkanized - In-groups, clicks, territoriality, lack of sharing

  • Contrived Collegiality - Superficial structure put in place to foster collaboration; often the initial step along the path toward true collaboration

  • Comfortably Collaborative- Lacks criticism and wrestling with the tough issues

  • Collaborative - The norm is openness, problem-solving, challenging, seeking improvement collectively as a faculty

How do we constructively reshape our school s culture
How do we constructively reshape our school’s culture?

  • We begin by understanding what we value and believe about students and the schooling experience.

  • We define what we want to become through our vision and goals.

  • We openly discuss our rituals and ceremonies to be sure they support our desired culture

  • We discuss “the way we do things” openly and challenge our existing practices

  • We create a “school culture” team responsible for:

    • collecting data about our culture

    • leading us in studying the data

    • pointing out to us where our practices don’t match our desired culture

A positive caring collaborative problem solving school culture
A positive caring, collaborative, problem-solving school culture…

  • Allows you to let go with the confidence that you will be safe…even if the task is difficult and you need multiple attempts to be successful.

  • Provides the same level of security to everyone who is willing to put forth the effort to change.

  • Serves as the foundation for constructive change because it reflects the school’s values and beliefs and commitments woven together into a strong, resilient safety net.

School name culture survey debrief a key component for school improvement

A caring collaborative school culture is one of the basic components of a highly successful school!

Study it and shape it.

Development of culture survey
Development of Culture Survey

  • The School Culture Survey (Gruenert and Valentine, 1998)

    • 7 Factors about School Culture

    • 46 Items

  • Teacher Efficacy Scale (Quinn 2008)

    • 10 Items

Collaborative leadership
Collaborative Leadership

  • School leaders establish, maintain, and support collaborative relationships with and among school staff.

    • Leaders value teachers’ ideas, seek input, engage staff in decision-making, and trust the professional judgment of the staff.

    • Leaders support and reward risk-taking and innovative ideas designed to improve education for the students.

    • Leaders encourage and reinforce the sharing of ideas and effective practices among all staff.

Teacher collaboration
Teacher Collaboration

  • Teachers engage in constructive dialogue that furthers the educational vision of the school.

    • Research, observe, and discuss teaching practices,

    • Evaluate programs, and

    • Develop an awareness of the practices and programs of other teachers.

Professional development
Professional Development

  • Teachers value professional growth which translates into obtaining professional networks and resources that support the improvement of the school.

    • Leaders and teachers seek professional growth that enhances school improvement.

    • Teachers seek subject/grade/demographic specific professional development that is relevant to classroom instruction and current in instructional best practices.

Unity of purpose
Unity of Purpose

  • Teachers work toward a common mission for the school.

    • The mission is the purpose.

    • The mission guides the work of the school.

    • Goals and action steps support the mission

    • Accountability is based on the mission.

Collegial support
Collegial Support

  • Teachers work together effectively to accomplish school goals.

    • Teachers trust each other,

    • value each other’s ideas,

    • and assist each other as they work.

Learning partnership
Learning Partnership

  • Teachers, parents, community members, and students work together for the common good of students.

    • Parents and teachers share common expectations and communicate frequently about student performance.

    • Parents trust teachers and students generally accept responsibility for their schooling.

    • Community organizations and agencies are aware of the mission and the goals of the school.

    • Community organizations and agencies work within the school and the community to enhance learning for all students.


  • Personal and Collective Teacher Efficacy

    • Engaging teachers in conversations around student success

    • Creating opportunities for teachers to share their skills

    • Supporting faculty and parent relationships centered around enhancing student learning

    • Engaging central office staff in activities that support the school’s efforts in school improvement


  • Collaborative Leadership

  • Teacher Collaboration


  • Professional Development

  • Unity of Purpose


  • Collegial Support

  • Learning Partnerships




It s up to you
It’s up to you.

One song can spark a moment.

One flower can wake the dream.

One tree can start a forest.

One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship.

One handclasp lifts a soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea.

One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation.

One sunbeam lights a room.

One candle wipes out darkness.

One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey.

One word must start each prayer.

One hope will raise your spirits.

One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom.

One heart can know what’s true.

One life can make the difference.

You see it’s up to you.

Only you can shape your school’s culture.