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When Providing School Climate Data, Researchers and Districts Should Also Provide Supports for Data-informed Decision Making

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2020
35 pages

Based on findings from the project “Improving School Climate in DC,” which involved the implementation of Safe School Certification (SSC) among public and public charter schools in Washington, DC, the current report recommends strategies for using school climate data to improve school security.


Across 4 years of collecting and sharing school climate data with participating schools, the research team identified five strategies that schools can use to ensure that the data collected are used in decisions related to improvements in school climate. One strategy is to report data in a timely manner and in a format that supports data interpretation. A second strategy is to provide data-focused consultation or technical assistance, along with training on data interpretation and data-informed decision-making. A third strategy is to develop buy-in for data use by ensuring that data are of high quality and reflect the needs of the school community. A fourth recommended strategy is to engage multiple stakeholders in reviewing the data. A fifth strategy is to emphasize the utility of school-climate data for improvement rather than for accountability. The rationale for and the implementation of each of these strategies are discussed. Appended sample school climate data report and other project report formats

Date Published: December 1, 2020