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: