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The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) collaborated with UChicago Impact to administer the Illinois 5Essentials Survey from December 11, 2018 to March 15, 2019. School and District Administrators will be given access to the preliminary data by March 24, 2019. Administrators can grant access to others at that time by using the 'Invite Others' option within the reporting system. UChicago will send an email notification out once the data is ready for viewing that will include some instructions for accessing and details about timeline for public release. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the UChicago Help Desk or ISBE with questions.

2018-19 Webinars for District Administrators:

Starting in school year 2018-19, statute requires all districts to administer a climate and culture survey annually. Districts may elect to administer one of three approved alternate surveys and can do so by filling out the online form and submitting a signed letter of intent. The deadline to notify ISBE of a district's participation in an approved alternative survey has passed for the current school year. However, it will reopen for the 2019-20 school year starting July 1, 2019. The 5Essentials Survey provides school districts with detailed data on school culture and climate by inquiring into five critical areas for school improvement. The data from the survey will also be published on the Illinois State Report Card.

A number of enhancements and improvements are rolling out for the 2018-19 school year:

  • ISBE has automated the process by which districts designate a survey coordinator or indicate participation in an approved alternate survey.
  • We will be rolling out the fourth- and fifth-grade survey statewide.
  • The Early Childhood survey or Early Ed Essentials will be incorporated into the statewide administration.
  • The parent survey will be made available for administration sooner, opening up in mid-October!
  • UChicago Impact launched a new data reporting site/tool .
  • Professional learning and development around understanding the research behind the survey, data usage, and improvement efforts are being collaboratively developed with stakeholders to build capacity around improving school climate and culture.
  • Data will be available to disaggregate based on student population group, starting with the 2017-18 school year data.

For questions regarding the survey, please call Safe and Healthy Climate – Regulatory Support and Wellness at (217) 524-4832 or email 5Essentials@isbe.net.​​​​​

 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 (Senate Bill 7, PERA), the State Board is now mandated, on a biennial 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:

 Approved Alternate Surveys

Important Update: As the 2018-19 school year comes to a close here are some items that districts who participated in an alternate survey need to complete for ESSA Accountability and for the Illinois Report Card. Climate Survey is one of the non-academic indicators in ESSA Accountability starting this year and moving forward. Student participation in the survey will be utilized to calculate that portion of accountability. For that, we will need to collect a few details from each of your schools;

  • The survey window for administration:
  • Interactive Report Card data template:
    1. This template is new for the 2018-19 school year and will allow us to be more representative of the alternate surveys being utilized. Here is the template​ that will ask for a few details about each school's survey participation.
    2. The template contains two tabs; one explains what is needed from each school and the other is where each school is to be entered.
    3. Once that template is completed, please return that to Jacob Thornton by June 15, 2019.
  • Accountability Data:
    1. There may be additional request from our Accountability staff here at ISBE to get some more details around student participation. If/when something is needed a staffer will make sure to update you and someone from that team will work with you to get that data collected.

Upon the passage of Public Act 98-0648PDF Document, the Illinois State Board of Education convened a task force to evaluate options for alternative survey. A reportPDF Document was created to explain more about the process of identification, evaluation, and selection. Below are the three approved alternates along with folders (.zip) containing relevant details about each survey:

Please email you district's survey reports for each school to Jacob Thornton by June 30, 2019.

Please direct any questions to Jacob Thornton at Jathornt@ISBE.net.​

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