School climate: perceptual differences between students, parents, and school staff

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12 Scopus citations


Research suggests that school climate can have a great impact on student, teacher, and school outcomes. However, it is often assessed as a summary measure, without taking into account multiple perspectives (student, teacher, parent) or examining subdimensions within the broader construct. In this study, we assessed school climate from the perspective of students, staff, and parents within a large, urban school district using multilevel modeling techniques to examine within- and between-school variance. After adjusting for school-level demographic characteristics, students reported worse perceptions of safety and connectedness compared to both parent and staff ratings (all p < 0.05). Parents gave the lowest ratings of parental involvement, and staff gave the lowest ratings of academic emphasis (ps < 0.05). Findings demonstrate the importance of considering the type of informant when evaluating climate ratings within a school. Understanding how perceptions differ between informants can inform interventions to improve perceptions and prevent adverse outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-641
Number of pages13
JournalSchool Effectiveness and School Improvement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Multiple informants
  • multilevel modeling
  • school climate
  • school safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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