School Climate Council

Over the last two decades, there has been a growing appreciation that school climate, the quality and character of school life, fosters—or undermines—children’s development, learning and achievement. In 2006 the National School Climate Center (NSCC) and the Education Commission of the States conducted a State Department of Education school climate policy scan that revealed a glaring and socially unjust gap between school climate research on the one hand and school climate policy, practice and teacher education on the other hand.

In 2007, the Education Commission of the States and NSCC formed the National School Climate Council. The Council’s mission is to narrow the gap between school climate research on the one hand and school climate policy, practice and teacher education to support student learning and positive youth development.

The Council is a freestanding, non-partisan group of policy and practice leaders. The Council is involved with a range of educational, policy, collaborative and advocacy efforts. The NSCC is the ‘home’ for the Council. The Council includes:

Howard AdelmanCo-director and Professor, School Mental Health Project, Center for Mental Health in Schools, Department of Psychology, UCLA

Marvin BerkowitzSanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education and Co-director, Center for Character & Citizenship, College of Education, University of Missouri, St. Louis

Cathryn Berger Kaye—CBK Associates, International Education Consultants

Martin J. BlankDirector for School, Family and Community Connections Institute for Educational Leadership Staff Director, Coalition for Community Schools

Philip M. Brownformer Director, Center for Social and Character Development, Center for Applied Psychology, Rutgers University, NJ
Incoming co-chair, National School Climate Council

Patricia (Pat) Ciccone— Superintendent, Westbrook Conn Public Schools; inaugural Leaders to Learn From for School climate Reform effort, Ed Week

Jonathan CohenPresident, National School Climate Center; Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Adjunct Professor in Education, City University of New York, School of Professional Studies; Co-chair, National School Climate Council

James P. ComerMaurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry, Founder, School Development Program, Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine

Peter DeWitt—National Consultant on school leadership and instructional practices. Former elementary school Principal; Finding Common Ground Blogger (Education Week) and author (Corwin Press).
Co-chair, National School Climate Council

Brad Efunestudent leader—Freshman, University of Arizona

Arnold F. FegeDirector, Public Engagement and Advocacy, Public Education Network, Washington, DC

Ann FosterExecutive Director, National Network for Educational Renewal

Laura Franzistudent leader—senior William Paterson University

H. Jerome FreibergJohn & Rebecca Moores Professor of Education, University of Houston

Jo Ann Freiberg, Ph.D.— Education Consultant School Climate, Bullying and Character Education Office of Student Supports and Organizational Effectiveness Bureau of Health/Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education Connecticut State Department of Education. Incoming co-chair, National School Climate Council

Ann Higgins-D'Alessandro, Ph.D.Director and Professor, Applied Psychology Doctoral Program, Fordham University, Bronx, New York.

Gary A. Homana—College of Education Towson University

Mark HyattCEO and president, Character Education Partnership

David HutchinsonSchool board member, State College Area School District

William H. HughesDirector of Leadership Development, Schools That Can-Milwaukee and Assistant Professor of Education
Director of the School and Instructional Leadership Program, Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Peter S. JensenCo-Chair and professor, Division of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; President, REACH Institute (REsource for Advancing Children’s Health)

Molly McCloskey—Share Our Strength

Linda Jeanne McKayNational Advocate for Support of Character Education and School Climate; former Senior Advisor to the Deputy Under Secretary, Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools for Character Education, U.S Department of Education

Nicholas MichelliPresidential Professor in Urban Education, Doctoral Program in Urban Education, City University of New York

Carol Nixon, Ph.D.Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Human and Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University. Co-chair, National School Climate Council

Derek PetersonInternational Child/Youth Advocate

Randy Ross—Senior Consultant, NSCC; former Equity & Diversity Specialist, New England Equity Assistance Center, The Education Alliance at Brown University

Sean Slade—Whole Child Programs, ASCD

Linda TaylorCo-director, School Mental Health Project Center for Mental Health in Schools, Department of Psychology, UCLA

Stuart Twemlow, MD
Former Professor Psychiatry, Menninger Dept. Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Now Visiting Professor University College London (Health Sciences).Leader International Coalition of Peaceful Schools & Communities

Yu Jenny ZhongStudent leader sophomore, University of Pennsylvania

The School Climate Council is grateful for the contributions of the following former council member:

  • Victor Battistich (deceased) Associate Professor, Center for Character & Citizenship, College of Education, University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • Terry Pickeral. Terry was the co-founder of the Council and shaped our work and learning in countless and wonderful helpful ways.