Georgia Education Climate Coalition (GECC)

A variety of agencies, advocacy groups, educators, centers, schools, and districts are working to improve school climate in Georgia. This coalition is know as the Georgia Education Climate Coalition (GECC).

What is "Education Climate"?

Education Climate (or School Climate) refers to the overall quality and character of school life for students and teachers. In other words, school climate is how students and teachers experience the school, and what impact that experience has on a student's education. Assessing a school's climate is to ask whether the schools's culture, classroom instruction, school discipline, and even the condition of the school building, promote a positive learning experience.

Positive Education Climates are proven to improve academic performance, attendance, social emotional learning, and life skills of children and youth. These healthy climates increase teacher retention, lower dropout rates, decrease incidences of violence, and increase student achievement in learning and improve interpersonal relationship skills.

Successful and safe schools foster healthy school climates in order to create the positive learning environments that result in successful learning.

Partners involved in GECC include:
Anti-Defamation League Southeastern Region
Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
Get Georgia Reading Campaign
Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students
Georgia State University Center for Leadership in Disability
Georgia Vision Project for Public Education
Interfaith Children's Movement
Marcus Autism Center (Emory University)
Metropolitan Regional Education Service Agency (RESA)
Middle Georgia Regional Education Service Agency (RESA)
Parent to Parent of Georgia
REACH Georgia
Southern Education Foundation
Truancy Intervention Project
ViewPoint Health
Voices for Georgia's Children
Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning: BRIGHT from the Start
Georgia Department of Education

The Georgia Department of Education Supports School Climate

Since 2008, the Georgia Department of Education has promoted school climate efforts through training and ongoing technical assistance to over 600 Georgia schools in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The Georgia Department of Education also provides trainings for school staff to support children with behavioral and mental health needs.

PBIS is an evidence-based, school-wide prevention framework that improves school climate and reduce disruptive behavior problems. PBIS schools adopt positive, preventative practices that include:

  • Creating rules and expectations that are consistently and fairly applied through all settings.
  • Actively teaching the behaviors and routines in the same way as academic core subjects.
  • Acknowledging and recognizing students for positive behavior.
  • Using disciplinary data on a regular basis to identify problem areas (locations, time of day, trends, specific behaviors, etc.) in order to proactively prevent or correct disciplinary incidents.
  • Identifying students who have behavioral needs and providing evidence-based interventions and supports designed to address their needs and overall behavioral wellness.
  • Developing consistent and equitable discipline practices aimed at keeping kids in school so learning can take place, uninterrupted.

Read more about the importance of Georgia's School Climate Star Rating and the inclusion of school discipline data.