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Glenholme Culture and Climate

Washington, CT

Devereux Glenholme Articles
Culture & Climate of the school
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The survey results show our already high scores have continued to improve.
Grandparents Celebrated
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Across campus, Glenholme is dedicated to involving everyone in the improvement process.
Student Leadership
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Student leadership training and student council have given the students more opportunities to be heard and to have influence.
Washington, CT - Across the nation families and schools are concerned about declining standards and morals among young people. The Josephson Institute found that one-third (33 percent) of all high school students say that violence is a big problem at their school, and nearly one-fourth (24 percent) say they do not feel very safe at school. Since 1994 Glenholme has focused on character education as an antidote to these societal problems that impact our students. Our efforts in character education began with identifying our six core values and surrounding our young people with individuals of character. The integration of values education into our culture and climate has had long lasting positive results.

Studying the culture and climate
With the help of the Smart and Good Schools Program at the State University of New York at Cortland, we have formally surveyed our students, faculty and parents on their perceptions of our school culture and climate. We are monitoring five key areas that tell us how the students perceive themselves, their peers and the adults in the community. The responses from the surveys have lead us to make substantive changes in programming in an effort to continue to improve and grow.

The influence of the surveys
One area we really want to see improve is the students’ sense that by working together they can bring about change. Student leadership training and student council have given them more opportunities to be heard and to have influence. Enhancements to the self-dependent process were prompted by survey results. New and novel campus activities also arose from conversations about student perceptions and requests.

What the data tells us this year
We have much to celebrate this year and some areas we know we want to work on more. The chart below shows the summary for the five areas we are monitoring. Higher scores always indicate more positive perceptions. We are very pleased that our already high scores have continued to improve.

What about safety at Glenhome?
Unlike the Josephson Institute results, our students positively perceive the safety of our climate as indicated by item 3 in the first image. Social Health and Safety Perceived by Students. In addition, the parent data indicates 94 percent of Glenholme parents agree that the school provides a safe environment for their son or daughter. Achieving these results takes commitment, diligence and close collaboration across the school and with families.

Next Steps
Glenholme is dedicated to involving everyone, including students, in the improvement process. To raise the moral climate, everyone must focus on their personal actions and help students to do the same. We are rededicating ourselves to direct instruction and celebration of values and including the young people in the discussions and plans for the future. In his Excellence and Ethics blog, Dr. Matthew Davidson states a principle that has always guided our work at Glenholme - “We shape the culture, the culture shapes the character.”

If you are interested in viewing the complete summaries for the student and parents surveys, visit www.glenholme.org. You will find the information in the Parent Download section.

Domain Definitions from Collective Responsibility for Excellence and Ethics survey summary report http://excellenceandethics.com/

Performance Character and Moral Character are measured as reports of frequency of behaviors, indicative of commitment and self-discipline of individuals (s) to challenge themselves to do their best work, to strive for excellence and to improve their knowledge, attitude and skills in any performance environments, and (b) to be their best ethical selves, to strive to do the right thing, to be responsible members of various groups in the classroom, on the playing field, and so on.
Social Health and Safety indicates the extent to which students feel safe in school, it is measured by student responses about the frequency of disruptive behaviors or incidents of peer cruelty or violence.
Social Capital from Adults indicates the extent to which students perceive adults as being supportive, caring, and engaged with students.
Acceptance Toward Peers is measured along the dimension of acceptance of differences among peers.

The Glenholme School, a Devereux Center, is an exceptional boarding school for students with special needs, which offers an individually prescribed learning environment with a steadfast academic curriculum. Using our effective individualized services, we apply a positive behavior support model focused on development of social skills and lifelong strategies for success. The school’s milieu therapy addresses varying levels of academic, social and special needs development in boys and girls ages 10-18 and postgraduates. We prepare graduates for continued education in traditional day schools, boarding schools, colleges and universities. For more information about The Glenholme School and its program, visit http://www.theglenholmeschool.org/.
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