Our Approach

It is not possible to legislate civility or punish young people into being tolerant. Despite the best efforts of legislators and educators, far too many schools experience high levels of bullying, intolerance and cyberbullying.

Evidence and experience call for a change in direction, priorities and the allocation of resources. Schools will not become safer without a new approach, one that focuses on the fundamental determinants affecting school climate:

  • the organizational leadership
  • the discipline policies and practices
  • the staff and students and their relationships with each other

A Crisis of Indifference

As recent events have demonstrated, bullying, cyberbullying and other forms of mistreatment are getting meaner, are occurring at younger ages, are harder for adults to identify and have a high cost. Worse, the growing indifference and increase in bystander behavior has had the unintended consequence of "normalizing" incivility and intolerance.

A Solution That Works

An inside-out approach focuses on the interpersonal dynamics -  the relationships among the people in the school - as the fundamental way to improve school safety and climate. It is based on years of research, development and testing, and consists of four focal elements:

  • Building and Strengthening Relationships
  • Formative and Restorative Policies
  • Student-centered Practices
  • Social Norms Change.

Successfully implementing the inside-out approach requires making school climate the foundation for building safe, thriving and high performing schools. Learn more

Importance of School Climate

School climate is the degree to which people experience a sense of belonging and connectedness on a school campus. The climate influences individual behavior and performance... and equally importantly, our behavior and attitudes influence the climate. Learn more

Whole School Climate Framework

The Whole School Climate Framework, developed by Community Matters, helps educational leaders develop a clear and cost-effective blueprint for accomplishing the educational outcomes they are mandated to achieve. Learn more


The Community Matters Solution to Safer Schools - Download Here