chapter  2
26 Pages

Principals Promote a Healthy Culture and Climate

The school's culture encompasses the school, including the instructional program, the programs offered to students (e.g., athletics and activities), professional development opportunities offered to teachers (e.g., staff development, instructional supervision), the way newcomers are socialized to the school and its community (e.g., mentoring and induction), and the ways in which people interact with one another. Depending on whether positive or negative, the

school's culture can be comforting-providing a safety net-or stressful-producing a storm cloud over the work teachers and administrators are trying to accomplish while improving the system. According to Stolp and Smith (1995), "the culture tells people in the school what is truly important and how they are to act" (p. 14). To this end, culture is the bedrock of the organization and worthy of the time and energy needed to understand, promote, and, in some instances, change it (Deal & Peterson, 1999). Culture is a defining point for the school and what occurs in it-when, how, under what circumstances, why, and, in some instances, why not.