ILLINOIS 5ESSENTIALS SURVEY TO IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING

Quincy Public Schools will join the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in the third statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions. The survey provides a unique opportunity for teachers, students, and parents to have a voice in improving their schools. From January 12 through March 13, teachers, students, and parents will be asked to take a 20-minute research-based survey to help identify strengths and weaknesses in their school’s learning environment. This survey will also be an important chance for schools to reflect on progress since the statewide implementation began in the 2013.   Quincy parents can access the survey on the district’s website, www.qps.org, on the right side under Parent Information. 

Quincy Public School Superintendent Steve Cobb said he values the input from stakeholders to measure progress and encourages district-wide participation in the 5Essentials Survey.

“We encourage all of our parents, teachers, and students to provide input regarding our efforts for school improvement.” Cobb said. “We value the feedback and will utilize the 5Essentials survey data to measure progress in each school and across the district. The results will be used to set school improvement goals for the future.”

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides a comprehensive picture of a school’s organizational culture in an individualized report measuring five “essentials” critical for school success:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction  

Twenty years of University of Chicago research in more than 400 schools has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of the 5Essentials 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. Strength on components within the Essentials also correlated with increased teacher retention, student attendance, college enrollment, and high school graduation.

Generated from a rigorous analysis of teacher and student survey responses, 5Essentials Reports demonstrate that what teachers and students say about their schools can serve as important indicators for school success. In the inaugural 2012-2013 statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey, 87 percent of all schools in the state met the 50-percent participation threshold to receive a 5Essentials Report, with participation from more than 70 percent of all teachers and eligible 6th through 12th graders across Illinois.

“The State Board continues its commitment to helping schools provide a more complete picture of their learning conditions and guide state and local efforts for school improvement,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides an important chance for schools to check in with their communities and gather critical feedback to validate district improvement efforts.”

In 2015, all districts will have the option to participate and are strongly encouraged to do so.

Quincy Public School District participated in the first two statewide 5Essentials Surveys and is administering the survey to teachers, students, and parents again this year to better track and inform progress.

Principals and superintendents will receive their 5Essentials Reports in May 2015. Survey results will also be reported publically on the 2015 State School Report Card website and the full 5Essentials Reports will also be publically released in the fall. Since 2013-14, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey has been normed using the 2012-13 statewide results so that all schools can demonstrate progress over time.

On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, UChicago Impact is providing Illinois 5Essentials to schools statewide. Teachers, students, and parents may complete the Illinois 5Essentials Survey online. For more information visit: https://illinois.5-essentials.org.

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