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Safe and Welcoming Schools


The Safe and Welcoming Schools project aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of practices that contribute to positive school climate through outreach, engagement, and research. The initiative builds on the substantial expertise of COE faculty in child and adolescent development, school climate, school engagement, and prevention of aggression, bullying, dropout and substance use. Initially emerging from years of addressing youth violence, bullying, and mistreatment, our focus has broadened to encompass promoting positive school climate and pro-social youth development.

Safe and Welcoming Schools faculty are available for consulting, professional development, and technical assistance. We translate research to practice to help create school environments that are safe, welcoming, and engaging for all students.

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Faculty and Research

Over 100 years of research affirms that positive school climate is vital for important outcomes, such as:

  • higher academic achievement;
  • reduced aggression, violence, and bullying;
  • decreased student absenteeism;
  • improved emotional and mental health, and;
  • increased motivation to learn.

Our affiliated faculty are active researchers with expertise in education, counseling, psychology, public health, and law.

Trainings and Workshops

Safe and Welcoming Schools faculty frequently speak in schools, to youth-serving organizations, and at community events on topics related to school climate, bullying, prevention in psychology, and promoting positive youth development.

Recent training topics include:

  • Creating Safe and Welcoming Schools: Insights from Research and Practice
  • Bullying Prevention: A Crash Course for Elementary Educators
  • Healthy Relationships: What Teens Can Do About Bullying, Mistreatment, and Dating Violence
  • Longitudinal Examination of Aggression and Study Skills: Implications for Prevention of High School Dropout


  • G10Z Aderhold Hall
    110 Carlton Street
    Athens, Georgia 30602


  • 706-542-9172

Outreach, Engagement, and Service

Schools that are safe and welcoming can help unlock students' full potential. Our goal is to assist schools and districts in creating positive learning environments. Our services range from one-time events to year-round support. We will contract with you to develop a customized plan to best meet your goals.

Examples of available services include assistance with:

  • Examining school policies and practices
  • Assisting with strategic planning regarding school climate
  • Measuring school climate and bullying
  • Selecting bullying prevention curriculum and/or resources
  • Conducting bullying prevention activities
  • Demonstrating lessons in classrooms
  • Building positive family-school relationships
  • Facilitating faculty book studies or inquiry groups

We also host an annual Safe and Welcoming Schools conference covering timely topics pertaining to school climate.

Programs, Services, Events

  • Data Assistance (Safe and Welcoming Schools)
    Safe and Welcoming Schools faculty help schools and organizations use data to assess needs, make strategic decisions, and evaluate progress in the area of school climate and youth development.
  • Comprehensive Bullying Prevention Curriculum
    Co-authored by Safe and Welcoming Schools faculty, the Bully Busters series, includes elementary, middle, and high school curricula, along with a guide for parents.

News & Events

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