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:


Please see below to learn more about upcoming webinars and trainings offered by members of the Georgia Education Climate Coalition. For more resources, see our COVID-19 response page.

September 17, 2020
Back to School in COVID: Know Your Rights
Presented by the Justice Reform Partnership
6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Registration link:
What do parents and students need to know about their rights as school begins virtually or in person? Join us to hear from the following expert panelists: Rush George, Action Research Team Fellow, Deep Center; Brianna Branker, Action Research Team Member, Deep Center; Prof. Randee Waldman, Juvenile Defender, Barton Child Law and Policy Center; Eugene Choi, Supervising Attorney, Georgia Legal Services Program; and Caroline Durham, Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Legal and Policy Director.

September 24, 2020
CLE: We the People Have the Right to Vote Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow
Presented in collaboration with many community partners, including Georgia Appleseed
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Registration link:
This historical – legal CLE seminar will explore the past, present, and future of voting rights for minorities in Georgia. Please register in advance for surprise giveaways! The first 100 participants in attendance for this thought-provoking and timely workshop will get a $10 gift card compliments of the Seay and Felton law firm.

Advocating for Your Child During a Pandemic (Recorded Webinar)
Georgia Appleseed hosted this webinar in May 2020. To access a link to the recording, please visit our YouTube page.


September 10, 2020
Deepening Engagement: Keeping Kids in School during a Pandemic
Presented by Georgia Appleseed and Truancy Intervention Project
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Registration link:
Most school districts will reopen in early August using both in-person and remote learning instruction models. This forum will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to reflect over the first month back in school, address barriers to equitable school climates, and propose solutions to keep kids in school and engaged during this pandemic and beyond. This is the third in a three-part webinar series about reopening schools.

Multiple Dates
Responding to COVID-19 Through School Safety & Climate
Presented by GA PBIS
These will be live, interactive sessions designed to help schools prepare for returning to school. If you have questions please contact Shannon Weist or Tammi Clarke at: or

Session 1: Teach, Model, Practice, Prompt, and Recognize
July 23, 2020 12:30 PM EDT at:
July 30, 2020 12:30 PM EDT at:
August 6, 2020 12:30 PM EDT at:
August 13, 2020 12:30 PM EDT at:

Session 2: Critical Communication Skills for Staff
July 23, 2020 2:00 PM EDT at:
July 30, 2020 2:00 PM EDT at:
August 6, 2020 2:00 PM EDT at:
August 13, 2020 2:00 PM EDT at:

August 5, 2020
Virtual Lunch & Learn: A Tribunal Representation Refresher
Presented by Georgia Appleseed’s Young Professionals Council
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Registration link:
With the reopening of schools this fall, we anticipate an influx of children coming into the foster care system, which will also mean an increased need for pro bono representation of children in foster care facing disciplinary tribunals. Presented by members of the Georgia Appleseed Young Professionals Council, this brief refresher course on representing youth in foster care during a tribunal will provide an overview of the tribunal advocacy process and answer questions on how best to become a part of the YPC Tribunal Volunteer Lawyers Network.

August 4, 2020
Reopening Schools: Supporting Physical and Emotional Wellness for Students and Staff
Presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life
11:00 a.m. to Noon
Registration link:
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life is hosting a live, online training to support schools with reopening. Join Child Advocacy medical director Stephanie Walsh, MD, and licensed therapist Jody Baumstein, LCSW, as they review COVID-19 guidance and transmission prevention, and share resources for supporting student and staff physical and emotional wellness during this transition. If you are unable to attend the live training, a recording will be available at If you have any questions, email

July 30, 2020
Advocating for Georgia's Children: Alternatives to Exclusionary School Discipline
Presented by Georgia Appleseed, Truancy Intervention Project, and Soulstice Inc.
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Registration link:
In recognition of pandemic-related trauma, remote learning challenges and non-academic issues that have surfaced during COVID-19, this webinar is designed to provide leaders in education with meaningful alternatives to traditional exclusionary discipline. Discipline alternatives discussed during this webinar will support equity-informed school climate efforts. This is the second in a three-part webinar series about reopening schools.

July 30, 2020
Schools on Deck: Preparing for the Return of Students
Presented by the GA Department of Education, Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
10:00 a.m. to Noon
Registration link:
Beyond the physical safety considerations for returning to school, educators are preparing to interact with students in different ways. The impact of school closures has been different for every child as have their experiences with being socially and physically distanced. This webinar will provide school personnel with resources and information on how to respond to and assist students as they return to schools and begin interacting with peers and school staff, with an overview on recognizing basic signs of abuse and trauma.

July 23, 2020
Reopening Schools and Reengaging Students: A Community Town Hall
Presented by Georgia Appleseed and Truancy Intervention Project
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Registration link:
This community town hall will address questions and concerns about the reopening of schools and provide meaningful resources for parents and caregivers to support school-aged children as they prepare to reengage in school. This is the first in a three-part webinar series about reopening schools.

July 21, 2020
School-Based Mental Health: A Virtual Town Hall
Presented by Voices for Georgia's Children, Georgia Appleseed, and The Carter Center
11:00 a.m.
Registration link:
Our children are experiencing new and, in some cases, severe challenges related to the pandemic and school will look different in the fall--which means children's access to mental health services could be more important than ever. Building on Voices’ report, "Supporting Children’s Mental Health in Georgia Schools," three established leaders from different regions of Georgia will offer firsthand accounts of how they have grown their programs and adapted to current challenges. This event is free, and pending approval for continuing education credit by the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia, the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Workers, and the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. Additional details are available at the registration link.

Question, Persuade, Refer
NAMI Georgia
June 25, 2020, from noon to 1:00 p.m.
Join the webinar:
Join NAMI Georgia on June 25 as Dr. Morais Cassell, PhD, MA, MA, hosts a live Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training.

Psychosocial Impact of Sheltering in Place
NAMI Georgia
June 18, 2020, from noon to 1:00 p.m.
Join the webinar:
Join NAMI Georgia on June 18 as Brenda Keller and Lance Wilcher from Acadia Health host a live webinar on the psychosocial impact of sheltering in place.

Advocacy, Budgets, and Mental Health Funding in Georgia
NAMI Georgia
June 11, 2020, from noon to 1:00 p.m.
Join the webinar:
COVID is causing a historic mental health crisis, lawmakers propose historic mental health budget cuts. Join NAMI Georgia on June 11 for a live webinar on how to effectively advocate for mental health funding.

Maintaining the Physical and Behavioral Health of Children – Hear from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta ExpertsGeorgia Statewide Afterschool Network
May 14, 2020, 9:30 a.m.
Registration Link: In our “new normal,” we have many questions about how to best protect and maintain the physical and behavioral health of the children we serve. We will learn more about infection control and behavioral health supports and the resiliency of youth from experts, Dr. Andi L. Shane, Chief of Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease and Jody Baumstein, Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Participants will be able to ask questions in a Q&A session following presentations.

COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Afterschool
Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network
May 13, 2020, 10:00 a.m.
Registration Link:
Description: This forum will focus on summer meals and the role that afterschool and summer learning programs can play. Guest speakers include Danah C. Craft, Executive Director of Georgia Food Bank Association and Tamika Boone Director of Nutrition Services at Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Making Connections during COVID-19: Online Support for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
April 15, 2020 - 3:30PM to 5PM
Registration Link:
Purpose: Relieving anxiety related to COVID-19 through structured conversation, resource sharing, & virtual support. For any questions, contact Susanna Miller-Raines at

Mental Health America of GA hosting Two-Part Behavioral Health COVID-19 Response Town Hall
Apr 15-16, 2020 12:30 PM EDT
Registration Link:
Join Mental Health America of Georgia for a two-part Behavioral Health COVID-19 Response Town Hall for Georgians to learn the impact of the health crisis and how services and supports have been adjusted to support the needs throughout the State.

Positive Behavior Support Parent Academy – TRAIN-THE-TRAINER FOR EDUCATORS
Center for Leadership in Disability
April 15, 16, 27 (3 sessions)
Registration Link:
Educators will learn the home-based positive behavior support curriculum. They will receive the curriculum so they can use it in the future with their families. The behavior specialists at the CLD will help the educators facilitate the curriculum with their families, if requested.

Positive Behavior Support Parent Academy – FOR PARENTS
Center for Leadership in Disability
April 16-30 (5 Sessions)
Registration Link:
Through these five sessions, parents learn how to apply the positive behavior support process to their individual child’s/family’s needs. Group sessions are held on the days below. Individualized coaching sessions are held between the group sessions at times that are convenient to the parent.

Wellness Supports for Children & Teenagers During COVID-19
Apr 22, 2020 11:00 AM EDT
Registration Link:
This 60-minute webinar will allow for parents and caregivers to: (1) Explore the typical behavior changes from youth during the COVID-19 crisis, (2) Learn effective strategies to build resilience in children and teens and (3) Demonstrate ways to engage youth as they navigate the challenges and disappointment of the crisis.

When School Starts Back: Helping Students and Yourself Cope with Crisis and Loss During a Pandemic
Georgia Department of Education
May 5, 2020, at 1:00 p.m.
Registration Link:

Advocating for Your Child During a Pandemic
Georgia Appleseed
May 6, 2020, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The last half hour will be reserved for Q&A.
Registration Link:
Description: The widespread impact of COVID-19 has drastically changed how Georgia's schoolchildren access learning. Join us to learn about community resources, tools, and tips that can help you be the best advocate for your child during this unusual time.