Dimensions of Equity

Positive & Inviting School Climate

The Vision

Each student—including students with higher needs and students of color—experiences a physically safe and emotionally supportive environment at school, including fair and consistent rules and discipline policies, positive relationships with staff and students that foster belonging, effective social-emotional learning opportunities, and meaningful family engagement that meets students’ needs, so all students can reach high standards and thrive.

Sample Questions to Ask

  • How do rates of office discipline referrals, suspensions, and expulsions vary across student groups and/or across schools in our district?
  • Based on student surveys, what percentage of students report feeling safe at school? Are there differences across student groups or schools?
  • What strategies for building strong student-student and student-teacher relationships are used across our district?
  • Based on family surveys, what percentage of families report being informed and consulted about the academic or non-academic lives of their children at school?

See our DIY District Diagnostic for more examples and recommendations about the types of data to look at.

What Does the Data Say About Positive & Inviting School Climate

Our Data Stories will help deepen your understanding of how dimensions of resource equity like Positive & Inviting School Climate play out in schools and districts across the country.

As you navigate these interactive stories, you’ll learn how system shifts can lead to more equitable and better student experiences and outcomes. Then, take action by reflecting on the inequities that exist within your system and consider ways to drive transformational change to help your highest-need students.

Take Action With Our Diagnostic Tools

  1. Use our Resource Equity Diagnostic: Self-Assessment tool to start conversations and build shared understanding across teams.
  2. Then, analyze your data to better understand the state of resource equity in your district. First, use our Diagnostic Blueprints to learn about what types of analyses to conduct. Then, input your district data into our DIY Analysis Tools to complete these analyses and make meaning of the results.
  3. Prioritize areas for further inquiry and identify potential root causes and actions using our District Guidebook.

Common Causes of Inequity

  • Insufficient Staff Capacity and Support: Without necessary time, expertise, and/or cultural competence, it can be challenging for school leaders, teachers, and support staff to develop positive relationships and respond to student behaviors in ways that effectively and consistently promote a safe, supportive, and positive learning environment.
  • Unclear Institutional Vision: Schools may struggle to facilitate a positive and inviting climate because of unclear and uncomprehensive visions for student safety, supportive relationships, and family engagement.
  • Inconsistent Programs and Practices: Districts may struggle to support all students’ interpersonal growth if social-emotional learning opportunities are not consistently implemented across schools.

Related Dimensions

No single dimension of education resource equity can unlock every student’s potential—but when dimensions are combined to meet students’ distinct needs, they are a strong foundation for unlocking better, more equitable experiences in school.

Explore the Student Supports and Intervention dimension as disciplinary actions and social-emotional learning opportunities often require targeted interventions with specialist staff.


Use our Resource Equity Toolkit to learn more, start a conversation, and take action in your community.

The Education Combination

Learn about education resource equity by discovering 10 dimensions that unlock better, more equitable experiences in school for all students.

Diagnostic Tools And Supports

Identify strengths and gaps in your school system across all 10 dimensions.


Explore underlying causes of your school system’s challenges and possible actions to improve students’ experiences in school.

Advocating for Equity Across All Levels of Government - Dimension 1 - School Funding

Advocating Across Government

Identify who has the power to address equity gaps in your school system and the school district, state and federal levels.

Make the Case: Positive and Inviting School Climate

Casemaking Decks

Develop compelling and coherent messaging to “make the case” for addressing resource inequities in your community.