The Jetty: School Culture


While well over a decade ago the terms “school culture” worked their way into the educational lexicon, forever it has stayed under the care of good school administrators and educational staff who make the school into a special place. Just over twenty years ago the great Superintendents Irwin Blumer and Joe Buckley talked about school culture in our M.A.S.S. Professional Development programs and for many who attended they found the “significance” of these words but for others, there was a question in how this could be accomplished.

Today school culture in our schools seems to be present in most schools while for others it is a “work in progress” which is fine and leading in the correct direction.

Several say leadership from the top is essential to move the process forward while others say it works the other way around in the sense that school culture begins with the students. What I know is that when you are in a school, you can feel it as there is a clear focus on teaching and learning going on, while at the same time there seems to be a clear vision of the education process in motion.

Culture is defined as a quality that arises from an interest in an acquaintance with what is generally regarded as excellence in the arts, letters, manners and scholarly pursuits. While not found per se in any definition, I personally feel that a positive school climate can be felt almost from the time you enter a school and especially evident in the classrooms of the schools.

I also do not feel that this “school culture” does not come quickly or easily as it takes time and effort to bring this to reality and in fact feel it needs constant focus to maintain this special quality. Once established we can almost see it in our staff and students.

We can see this also in several companies that amplify “climate” in their commercials, which maybe schools should do more but not our custom as often evident when you hear a parent comment, “we have a great school.”

JETTY defined as a pier or structure of stones, piles or the like, projecting into the sea or other body of water to protect a harbor and deflect the current

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