Education

Survey targets 'essentials' in school districts

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 27, 2017 10:05 am

QUINCY -- A sixth statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions provides an opportunity for students, teachers and parents to have a voice in improving their schools.

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey helps identify strengths and weaknesses in school environments.

Quincy Schools Superintendent Roy Webb said the survey findings are important to the district.

"We use that data to allocate resources," Webb said. "If they identify shortfalls and needs, that's where we're going to be spending our money in our strategic planning."

Webb encourages all district parents, teachers and students to participate in the short research-based survey, which will be available beginning Dec. 5. Parents with students in more than one school are encouraged to complete a survey for each building.

"We're going to use as many venues as possible at the school to help people out," Webb said. "They can do it from their phone, their tablet, their work computer. It can be done very easily."

The survey measures five "essentials" critical for school success -- effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment and 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 five 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.

Principals and superintendents will get their 5Essentials Reports in March. Survey results also will be reported on the 2018 State School Report Card website, and full reports will be released in the fall.

ONLINE

A link to the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be available, beginning Dec. 5, online at qps.org.

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