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Improving School Climate in DC (ISC-DC) Project

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has partnered with Child Trends, a nonprofit research organization, and Safe School Certification, to provide technical assistance to select public and public charter schools in DC under a grant from the National Institute of Justice at the US Department of Justice. The Improving School Climate in DC (ICS-DC) project is an innovative three-year study that offers on-going support and guidance to 26 District schools to improve school climate and promote positive development among DC’s 7-10 grade students via Safe School Certification (SSC).  

The ISC-DC project aims to help schools develop and sustain the capacity to improve their climate. By following the Safe School Certification framework, schools are provided assistance in making data-based decisions based on survey data from students, staff and parents. Schools work towards completing flexible benchmarks under each of eight key components of the framework (data, leadership, buy-in, policy enforcement, student engagement, family engagement, programs, and training). The technical assistance aims to help schools complete these eight key elements for establishing a safe and supportive school climate including collecting school climate data through school climate surveys developed by the US Department of Education.

As part of the process, participating schools are invited to apply for grant funding to support the implementation of evidence-informed programs after reaching key benchmarks under the SSC framework.