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School Climate

Actionable School and Classroom Climate Data

Zoe Mercer-Golden
Actionable School and Classroom Climate Data



When students feel secure in their classroom and school, they are better able to engage in learning. The best way to learn about students' perceptions of the physical, social, and psychological aspects of their school and classroom is to ask them. In order to give valid and reliable insights into student experiences at school and in classrooms, the Panorama Student Survey includes carefully worded items in a school climate survey to assess how well schools are creating safe and welcoming spaces for students. 

student-survey-book The Panorama Student Survey features sets of questions on both School Climate and Classroom Climate. 

Question and answer choices on the Panorama Student Survey about School Climate and Classroom Climate measure students’ perceptions of the overall feel of their school and classroom, including the physical, social, and psychological environment. These survey items assess students' perceptions that their days at school are structured by realistic expectations and order, and that the overall environment supports learning. Specifically, school climate survey questions examine student perceptions of the physical spaces of their school and classroom, the extent to which other students’ behavior influences their learning, and how enthusiastic their classroom teachers and teachers in general are about teaching their classes.

On the Panorama Student Survey, School Climate and Classroom Climate are each assessed with 5 questions written for older students (grades 6-12) and 4 questions written for younger students (3-5). By asking multiple questions on the same underlying topic, educators gain a more accurate view of students' perception of the climate of the school and of individual classrooms.

Sample School Climate Survey Questions:

  • How often do your teachers seem excited to be teaching your classes?
  • How pleasant or unpleasant is the physical space at your school?

Sample Classroom Climate Survey Questions:

  • In this class, how much does the behavior of other students hurt or help your learning
  • How fair or unfair are the rules in this class?

For schools and districts that are particularly interested in school and classroom culture, the questions about School and Classroom Climate on the Panorama Student Survey help identify areas of strength and areas for growth in creating welcoming, safe, and productive learning environments for all students. Positive feedback data on School Climate and Classroom Climate should predict improved academic outcomes, as well as reduced incidents of disciplinary action, including suspensions and expulsions.

After measuring Classroom Climate with the Panorama Student Survey, educators can find targeted classroom strategies to enrich and improve the classroom environment on Playbook. Individual teachers, teaching teams, and entire schools can search Playbook for inspiring ideas and resources to strengthen the classroom environment. Teachers using Playbook to find new strategies to bolster the Classroom Climate will find classroom ideas from fellow teachers, including “Explain Why Classroom Rules Exist,” “Create a Conflict Management Strategy,” and “Engage the Senses for a Pleasant Environment” and more.

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