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School Culture and Climate

What is School and Classroom Culture and Climate?

The term school culture generally refers to the beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, and unwritten rules that shape and influence how a school functions. The culture of the school or classroom denotes its identity and standard for expected behaviors, the long-term physical and social environment.

The term school climate generally refers to physical and psychological safety/security, school connectedness and relationships, teaching and learning practices, and to the degree to which a school/classroom embraces and celebrates racial, ethnic, linguistic, or cultural diversity. School climate is the collective "feel" of the school, based in patterns of experiences, and is affected by and affects all aspects of the school environment.

Oakland Schools believes that learning happens within the context of the district, building, and classroom culture and climate. Thinking and learning should be the focus of our work; to that end, all roadblocks should be intentionally removed.

A variety of Oakland Schools consultants are available for consultation, resources, and professional learning around school culture and climate. Please visit our Whole Child Collaborative website for more information on available supports.


Patricia Chinn

Supervisor of School Culture and Climate

Cornelius Godfrey

Diversity and Equity Consultant

Christina Harvey

Health Curriculum Consultant

Amy Hawtin

Mental Health Consultant

Witt Kelsey

Newcomer El Consultant

Jill Maneice

Reading Intervention Consultant

Julie McDaniel

Student Safety & Well-Being Consultant

Elizabeth Paré

School Culture And Climate - Research Evaluation And Assessment Consultant

Dawn Ploch

Project/Department Assistant

Janet Thomas

Project/Department Assistant

Asha Williams

Educational Improvement Consultant - Literacy

Amber Zarb

Mental Health Consultant

Hedy Blatt

Fine Arts Consultant