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​What is the 5Essentials Survey?​​

The 5Essentials Survey identifies five indicators that lead to improved outcomes for all students, including improved attendance and larger test score gains.

The five indicators that positively affect school success are:

  1. Effective Leaders
  2. Collaborative Teachers
  3. Involved Families
  4. Supportive Environments
  5. Ambitious Instruction

Research derived from the Five Essentials for School Success has proven that schools strong on at least three of the 5Essentials are 10 times more likely to improve student outcomes.

Schools across Illinois participated in the Tenth annual 5Essentials Survey of Learning Conditions: Organizing Schools for Improvement this past academic year.​​ This survey generates valuable data​ that districts can use to guide their ongoing efforts to improve schools and to offer students an excellent education. The survey is another improvement tool that allows districts and the state to share data as a means to inform parents and community members about the school’s learning environment. The Illinois 5Essentials Survey is administered online by Chicago Impact at the University of Chicago on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education. Data and indicators are a result from an anonymous administration of the survey instrument.​

For questions regarding the survey, please call Department of Wellness at (217) 782-5270 or email​.​​​​​​​​​

​Accessing Survey Results

Reports can be accessed by visiting the 5Essentials website and searching by school name or district name. Please note: Some schools opt to participate in an approved alternate survey; those reports cannot be accessed using the link included above.​​​​​​​​​​

 The 5Essentials Survey

What are the 5Essentials and 5Essentials Survey?

5Essentials is an evidence-based system designed to drive improvement in schools nationwide—it reliably measures changes in a school organization through the 5Essentials Survey and provides individualized, actionable Reports for each school. The 5Essentials system is based on more than 20 years of research by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research on five components found to be critical for school success:

  • Effective Leaders: The principal works with teachers to implement a clear and strategic vision for school success.
  • Collaborative Teachers: Teachers collaborate to promote professional growth.
  • Involved Families: The entire school staff builds strong relationships with families and communities to support learning.
  • Supportive Environment: The school is safe and orderly. Teachers have high expectations for students and support students to realize their goals. Classmates also support one another.
  • Ambitious Instruction: Classes are academically demanding and engage students by emphasizing the application of knowledge.

The 5Essentials Survey is taken by all prekindergarten through 12th-grade teachers and all fourth- through 12th-grade students and usually requires no more than 30 minutes to complete. The information collected through the survey is rigorously reviewed and analyzed to generate a 5Essentials Report for each school. The 5Essentials Report includes a breakdown of teacher and student responses and, most importantly, provides a comprehensive picture of the school environment based on five essential areas critical for school improvement in a meaningful context of similar and successful schools.

Why is The Illinois State Board of Education implementing this survey?

The State Board has long recognized that test scores alone do not provide a full picture of teaching and learning in any one school. Under recent legislation (Public Act 100-1046​), the State Board is now mandated, on an annual basis, to implement a learning conditions survey that will finally help paint that fuller picture. While this survey may help inform state policy and improvement initiatives, it is primarily intended to help local administrators, such as teachers, principals, and superintendents, identify strengths and weaknesses at the district and school level and better target resources and interventions. Aggregated data from the survey will also be shared with parents and the general public on school report cards released in the fall.

Diving Deeper into the Survey Research and Scoring:

5Essentials Statewide Data:

 Approved Alternate Surveys

Important Updates for school year 2023-2024:

The survey window for school year 2023-2024 will be January 30, 2024 through March 29, 2024.

Any district that wishes to administer an approved alternate survey must complete a letter of intent and applicationPDF Document by September 15, 2023.

Any district that is approved to administer an approved alternate survey must submit the Report Card data template and PDF reports to ISBE by May 31, 2024.

​ Upon the passage of Public Act 98-0648PDF Document, the Illinois State Board of Education convened a task force to evaluate options for an alternative survey. A report on the Alternative Selection ProcessPDF Document was created to explain more about the process of identification, evaluation, and selection. Below are the approved alternates and relevant details about each survey:

For questions regarding the survey, please call the Wellness Department at (217) 782-5270 or email​​​​

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