Professional Development

We help schools and other educational organizations engage, empower and equip their staff, certificated, classified and administrative, to reduce bullying, build a positive climate and promote educational excellence.

School Climate and Safety Workshops

Helps staff members understand the importance of school climate, its connection to educational outcomes, and what they can do to improve it, including:

  •     Building supportive relationships with students
  •     Noticing the pervasive forms of bullying and mistreatment
  •     Intervening effectively using relational power, not positional power

The Problem

Schools and youth-serving organizations everywhere are being negatively impacted by youth-on-youth mistreatment. These incidents of bullying, harassment, put-downs, and exclusion are far too common and far too costly. This mistreatment is getting younger, meaner, harder to identify, and more acceptable in youth culture.

Bullying and related behaviors undermine student achievement, are harmful to young people’s social and emotional development, and can erode staff morale. Even though there are policies and consequences designed to deter these behaviors, research has shown that these measures alone are not enough. Reducing bullying and violence can be achieved by equipping all staff with a greater understanding of the complex nature of bullying and increasing skills for building strong youth-adult relationships.

The Workshop

This engaging and informative workshop will help staff/faculty members understand the nature and extent of emotional and physical violence, relational aggression and cyberbullying – and their impact on learning/academic achievement, attendance and participation in school, child/youth development, and school climate and security. The session will demonstrate ways to significantly increase the ease and effectiveness of adult interactions with students. Participants will leave equipped with better observation, relationship and intervention skills that they can immediately use to:

• identify, prevent and de-escalate student mistreatment
• be more proactive in building trust with students, inspiring them to break the “code of silence” and report potentially unsafe situations to adults
• equip and empower students to prevent and reduce bullying and violence
Through a series of hands-on activities, participants will learn and practice communication skills and proactive intervention strategies they can use to increase their students’ trust and willingness to talk with them. Participants will also learn about other best practices in bullying prevention and school climate improvement, including Safe School Ambassadors®, and what they can do to support it on their campus. Half-day or whole-day sessions, for one school, or multiple schools.

Download PDF flyers:

For Faculty & Staff

For Administrators


Restorative Practices Trainings

Go to the Restorative Practices webpage here


LGBTQ Diversity Training

Schools are experiencing increased incidents of bullying, cyberbullying and harassment. This trend has disproportionately targeted lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Research indicates that the number one and number two reasons for bullying and harassment in schools are physical appearance and real or perceived sexual orientation. Reports from LGBTQ youth indicate that they experience consistently high levels of peer stereotyping, bullying and harassment*. Youth also report that adult intervention and support does not occur often enough.

The LGBTQ Diversity Training provides administrators, faculty and other educational leaders with the knowledge, skills and resources to address the growing safety and educational concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. The training helps leaders of today's diverse and multicultural school communities build climates of safety where all young people experience civility, connection and respect. It is an effective, engaging and multi-media program designed to meet specific school, district and/or community needs.

Outcomes for Participants:

  •     Understand how bullying, cyberbullying and harassment impact school performance and personal development for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people
  •     Review the latest research that can support educators and helping professionals in creating safer schools for LGBTQ and all youth
  •     Acquire increased understanding of laws and policies and strategies for meeting all compliance requirements
  •     Learn pro-active strategies and prevention resources and programs to build and maintain a school climate of safety and respect for all youth, and in particular youth who identify as LGBTQ.
  •     Develop action steps for improving plans, policies, programs and services

Who Participates and How Long is the Training?

This training is designed for district level leadership and middle and high school faculty and staff. Participants can include district and site administrators, school board members, teachers, guidance counselors, school social workers, coaches, and others who work regularly with youth in schools. It is a one-day training, usually 6 hours. Community Matters staff will conduct an initial phone assessment to understand needs, issues and desired results.

Customized services are also available to meet the specific needs of a school or district. These include presentations and shorter workshops with larger or smaller groups, consultancy, and focus group sessions.

Click here to download a PDF flyer


Positive School Climate Training Modules

Community Matters has developed an integrated set of staff development modules that allow staff members to create a positive social-emotional climate for themselves and students. Each Module is a 1-2 hour lesson that can be provided to the entire staff, or sub-groups (e.g. departments of a larger high school) over the course of 1-2 years, as part of a coherent school climate improvement plan. Modules currently include:

  •     The Scope and Costs of Student Mistreatment
  •     Creating and Maintaining a Positive Staff Culture
  •     Tapping the Power of Student Relationships
  •     Breaking the Ice - Building Relationships with Students
  •     Challenging Stereotypes, Biases, and Prejudices
  •     Bullying Policies and Procedures
  •     Cyberbullying: Keys to Effective Prevention
  •     Starting and Sustaining Student Involvement in Bullying Prevention
  •     Persuasion Power
  •     Receiving Reports: Handling Student Disclosures Effectively

Staff members first participate in a Training of Trainers (TOT) that equips them with the knowledge and resources to conduct the Modules for their colleagues. Modules are then delivered by a team of 3-4 staff members, the influential "opinion leaders" at a school site, possibly with support of key district personnel.

Time: Two full school days, 6 - 8 hours each.

Participants: 3 - 4 influential staff members from each school. We recommend a mix of teachers and administrators, plus District staff who can oversee and support this initiative. Participants will:

  •     Learn about the extent and cost of mistreatment, as well as efforts to address it
  •     Discuss strategies for creating and maintaining a positive staff culture
  •     Learn how to tap into the power of student relationships and youth leadership
  •    Gain knowledge and skills for communicating and intervening effectively
  •     Address particular forms of mistreatment and contemporary issues that affect them
  •     Practice skills and receive coaching and feedback.

Format: interactive discussions in large and small groups, and skills practice via role plays.

Click here to download a PDF flyer


The Cost:

For detailed cost information for all of the above workshops, see our Programs and Services Guide page or download the PDF.

Or contact us for a customized quote.

The workshop yesterday with our faculty and staff was awesome! Even the veteran teachers – who were concerned they’d have to hear some of the same information that they’ve heard for years – were enthused about the day! - Rita Feild, Palmer Trinity School, Miami, FL

Call 707-823-6159 to schedule a no-cost preliminary school climate assessment

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