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The 2019-20 survey window will start no sooner than December 10, 2019, and end no later than February 14, 2020. Participation in the 5Essentials or an approved alternate survey is required annually, as the survey is part of the non-academic indicators for accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

As with last year, schools will need to log into IWAS and access the Survey of Learning conditions application to submit the contact details for Districts Survey Coordinator. Not submitting a coordinator will cause that role to default to the district superintendent. Furthermore, any district seeking to participate in one of the approved alternate surveys will need to submit the notification in the IWAS application and mail/email a copy of the letter of intent to ISBE by September 30, 2019​. Not completing both the online form and physical letter of intent will result in the district's auto-enrollment into the 5Essentials survey for the 2019-20 school year. Updates on the survey administration for 2019-20 will be available via the Superintendent’s Weekly Message, ISBE’s 5Essentials Website, and through the IWAS Survey Application.

Accessing the Survey Results

The reports for the 2018-19 survey administration can be accessed by visiting the 5Essentials website and searching by school name, district name, or ZIP code. Please note: Some schools opt to participate in an approved alternate survey; those reports cannot be accessed using the link included above.

The 2018-19 Webinars for District Administrators:

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 7th 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 UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education.

For questions regarding the survey, please call Department of Wellness at (217) 782-5270 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​Excel Document 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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