In an ongoing series in this column, we highlight one of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets that have a powerful positive impact on young people’s growth. Asset #5 is Caring School Climate.

What a timely moment to be covering the Developmental Asset — Caring School Climate. In this day of heightened awareness, tension and even fear, it is now more important than ever to foster a Caring School Climate for our children of Ridgefield as well as children in all communities.

Research done by Search Institute shows that “the way young people feel about going to school and how well they learn is directly tied to what kind of climate their school has. Kids who go to school where the environment feels caring and encouraging get better grades, have healthier relationships, get into less trouble, and are interested in and better able to reach their dreams. But if safety at school is a problem or relationships between students and teachers are tense, it’s more difficult to focus on learning.”

Part of the Ridgefield Public Schools Mission Statement reads, “Our community, including educators, students and parents, will partner to build an inclusive climate of trust, safety and respect … so all students can pursue their interests and prepare for life, learning and work as global citizens.”

Now more than ever, let’s all do our part as educators, parents and students to foster a caring school climate — the success of all of our children is depending on it.

The full list of developmental assets is available online at searchinstitute.com.

For more information visit ridgefieldpreventioncouncil.org.