New Hanover County Schools




School Culture and Climate



S.T.O.I.C. Framework








What is School and Classroom Culture and Climate?

School culture encompasses the collective beliefs, perceptions, relationships, and attitudes that shape the functioning of a school. It encompasses both the explicit and implicit norms that govern interactions within the school community. This encompasses the physical, social, and emotional well-being of all members, the arrangement of classrooms and shared spaces, as well as the genuine inclusion and appreciation of the diverse stories and identities each student, staff, and family contributes. A positive school culture can enhance student engagement, motivation and overall achievement. It can also contribute to teacher job satisfaction, retention and professional growth.

 School Climate is the overall atmosphere, tone and quality of the learning environment within a school.  A positive school climate nurtures feelings of security, belonging, and active student participation, cultivating an environment where students are motivated to undertake academic challenges, pose questions, and seek help as needed. A strong school climate involves collaboration with parent/caregivers, families and the broader community. Open lines of communication and involvement help create a sense of shared responsibility for the schools success.



New Hanover County Schools strives to actively promote equitable and inclusive working, learning, and social environments for students and staff with a focus on educational equity, cultural competence, and comprehensive personal growth that will positively impact our schools, community, and world.

Contact Us
Susan Cole
Positive Culture and Climate Coordinator 
Dale K. Spencer Building
1802 S. 15th Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 254-4200