State law, regulation, or district policy encourages districts to administer school climate surveys.
Mississippi Administrative Code 7-192 Mississippi School Safety Manual
Evaluating school safety procedures and practices is an ongoing process. One of the first steps in designing a School Safety Plan is the evaluation of the school's current safety status and statistics. When drafting a school safety plan, a safety committee shall be formed with representatives of all elements of the school and community responders. This plan shall be reviewed by all involved and signed off on by each entity involved. The plan shall be reviewed/revised annually during the summer and submitted for board approval. The school safety plan must have annual board approval.
The purpose of this assessment is to increase district knowledge of gaps or areas of needed improvement, evaluate the procedures for legality and consistency, and to initiate new policies based on assessment findings. It is recommended that a comprehensive school safety assessment be conducted by either MDE's Division of School Safety, a certified SRO, or a School Safety Administrator that uses MDE Standard for assessment.
It is also recommended the assessment instruments be used to assess perceptions of school safety on the part of staff, faculty, and students. It should be remembered that perceptions do not necessarily reflect facts regarding school safety. The Division of School Safety will assist in these areas upon request.
Types of Assessments
- Culture and Climate Assessment: In schools with positive climates, students are more likely to feel connected to adults and their peers. This fosters a nurturing environment where students are more likely to succeed, feel safe, and report threats. A school culture and climate assessment evaluates student and staff connectedness to the school and help identify problem behaviors. For example, this assessment may reveal a high number of bullying incidents, indicating the need to implement an anti-bullying program.
- Purpose and Results
- a. Knowledge of students, and staff perceptions as to their safety.
- b. Knowledge of problem behaviors that should be addressed to improve school climate.