RLAS-116 will join the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in the statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions. The survey provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers and parents to have a voice in improving their schools. From November 16 through January 16, students, teachers and parents will be asked to take a 25-minute research-based survey to help identify strengths and weaknesses in their school’s learning environment. This survey will serve as an opportunity for schools to reflect on progress since the last statewide implementation.
The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides a comprehensive picture of a school’s organizational culture in an individualized report measuring five “essentials” critical for school success:
- Effective Leaders
- Collaborative Teachers
- Involved Families
- Supportive Environment
- Ambitious Instruction
Twenty years of research at the University of Chicago in more than 400 schools has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of the 5Essentials were 10 times more likely to make substantial gains in improving student reading and math than schools that were weak on three or more of the Essentials. Those differences remained true even after controlling for student and school characteristics, including poverty, race, gender, and neighborhood characteristics. Strength on components within the Essentials also correlated with increased teacher retention, student attendance, college enrollment, and high school graduation.
Generated from a rigorous analysis of student and teacher survey responses, 5Essentials Reports demonstrate that what students and teachers say about their schools can serve as important indicators for school success. In the inaugural 2012-2013 statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey, 87 percent of all schools in the state met the 50-percent participation threshold to receive a 5Essentials Report, with participation from more than 70 percent of all teachers and eligible 6th through 12th graders across Illinois.
In 2017, the survey is required for districts that did not participate in last year’s survey or administer an alternative survey. If your district completed the 5Essentials during the 2015-16 school year, it may – but is not required –to administer the survey in the 2016-17 school year. Districts participating in Race to the Top and those that did not participate in the survey last year will be required under state law to participate.
Recent legislation (105 ILCS 5/2-3.153) allows school districts the option to select an alternative to the 5Essentials from a pre-approved pool for the 2016-17 administration. Selection of an alternative required school board and local union approval and was at the district’s own expense. Details on survey alternatives can be found on the State Board’s website: www.isbe.net/5essentials/default.htm.
RLAS-116 has consistently participated in the statewide 5Essentials Survey and is opting to administer the survey to teachers and students again this year to continue tracking and informing progress.
Principals and superintendents will receive their 5Essentials Reports in March 2017. Survey results will also be reported publically on the 2017 State School Report Card website and the full 5Essentials Reports will also be released in the fall. An optional parent survey is again available to all schools as a supplement to the 5Essentials Survey for teachers and students—results from the parent survey supplement will be included only in the individual school 5Essential Reports. Since 2013-14, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey has been normed using the 2012-13 statewide results so that all schools can demonstrate progress over time.
On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, UChicago Impact is providing Illinois 5Essentials to schools statewide. Teachers, students, and parents may complete the Illinois 5Essentials Survey online. For more information visit: https://illinois.5-essentials.org.