What Is the School Climate and Connectedness Survey?
School climate refers to the social and environmental factors that contribute to one’s subjective
experience of a school: the tone in, and attitudes toward, a school. Positive school climate
reflects well-managed classrooms and common areas, high and clearly stated expectations
concerning individual responsibility, feeling safe at school, and teachers and staff that
consistently acknowledge all students and fairly address their behavior.
School connectedness refers to students’ perceptions and feelings about the people at school.
This includes feeling that they are a part of the school, that adults care about them personally,
that their learning matters and is a high priority, that they are close to people at school and have
supportive relationships with adults, and that teachers and staff consistently treat them with
School climate is related to school connectedness, because without a positive and welcoming
school climate, students are unlikely to experience connectedness. Virtually all of the most
powerful predictors of school connectedness are related to school climate. Climate can be
thought of as external assets (things outside of students that predict, indicate, or promote
connectedness), whereas connectedness can be thought of as internal assets (students’ feelings,
perceptions, and beliefs).
The SCCS measures several aspects of school climate and connectedness for students, and
school climate for school staff.