Main Article Content
school climate, school effectiveness, school culture, teachers' morale, staff stability, students' background
The purpose of this article is to provide insight into an elementary school whose climate issues appear to plague and impact it's performance as measured by it's Annually Yearly Progress (AYP). The Northwest Georgia elementary school is located in a rural school system approximately 50 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. A review of the literature suggests school climate can affect many areas and people within schools. It further suggests that positive interpersonal relationships and optimal learning opportunities in all demographic environments can increase school achievement levels and reduce maladaptive behaviors (McEvoy & Welker, 2000). Providing a positive and supportive work environment and climate for faculty and staff, more often than not, improves faculty, staff and student performance (Freiberg, 1998). An in-depth analysis of the environment of the school in question suggests a lack of faculty and staff respect for administration, a hostile work environment, and overall low morale. Deep frustration and anger on the part of faculty and staff were apparent in a substantial number of written responses to open-ended questions. Although responses to work environment and administration were split along mean scores, the overall data indicate that the status quo cannot continue without continued negative consequences. When half of the faculty and staff are dissatisfied with their work environment and administration, teaching and learning is almost certain to be negatively impacted. A Rasch analysis further supports recommendations.