School Climate Important in Student Success

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Journal of Education Psychology finds important link between bullying and dropout rate

A new study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology shows a link between bullying and teasing in schools and the school’s dropout rate. This research demonstrates that bullying not only affects the individual, but has a school-wide impact on academic success and learning. The importance of school climate is clear. A positive school climate improves a high school’s academic success.

Teasing and bullying are serious problems in our schools. Teachers, parents, even student bystanders must respond when bullying occurs. But we must also prevent the bullying from happening in the first place, starting when kids are in elementary school. Most teasing and bullying occurs on the playground at recess, which is why we must not forget about recess. A great recess can create a positive school climate, achieving a school-wide impact by shifting culture and reducing bullying in schools, and therefore improving student learning.

We have see the impact of a great recess at our partners schools all over the nation. And research from Mathematica Policy Research and Stanford University shows that schools with Playworks have less bullying. “Our research shows that Playworks makes a difference. Teachers in Playworks schools reported less bullying and exclusionary behavior during recess relative to control school teachers,” said Susanne James-Burdumy, Ph.D., associate director of research at Mathematica.

Parents, educators, community members: let’s work together to prevent bullying from occurring, improve school climate and build schools where students want to and can succeed.

Read more about the link between bullying and dropout rates at

More Updates

April 2, 2021

Playworks supports Kaiser Permanente’s Planning for the Next Normal at School Playbook ›

In response to the pandemic and greater impact on schools and children, our partners Kaiser Permanente released Planning for the Next Normal at School: Keeping students, staff, and families safe and healthy. The resource provides specific, evidence-informed guidance and operating procedures for keeping school communities mentally and physically safe, improving health in both in-person and…

March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…