Tennessee Safe and Supportive Schools: School Climate Measurement, Analysis, and Reporting

EMT was the evaluation contractor for the Tennessee Department of Education's Safe and Supportive Schools grant. In this capacity, EMT developed a system of complementary instruments (students, teachers/staff, and parents) to measure school climate using a three-tiered framework adapted from a school climate model developed by the U.S. Department of Education. By incorporating research findings from both academic literature and surveys endorsed by a range of state education agencies, EMT synthesized, empirically tested, and refined these instruments. This process used advanced psychometric development analytics to establish measurement quality. The contract includes development of a school climate score that incorporated school disciplinary data and survey results into a weighted, multi-factorial score. Upon completion of statewide data collection in Tennessee, including surveys from more than 80,000 students and parents, EMT constructed detailed "School Climate Portraits" for ninety-two school sites. These "portraits" provided schools with valuable feedback about successes in their efforts to create a positive school climate and highlighted potential areas for improvement. Portraits were organized to reflect the three-tiered framework developed by EMT, including ratings on student engagement in the school community, students' sense of safety at school and a rating of school environment, including its physical plant and institutional procedures and services. Survey results based on this three-tiered framework are being reported back to schools in a set of web-based dashboards and explicatory tables and graphs that provide different levels of detail for decision support.

For additional information, please contact EMT at (916) 983-6680 or email us at info@emt.org.