Survey: What is the climate, culture at your child’s school?
Public school students from fifth through the 12th grade will be participating in a survey this spring that is meant to gauge school climate and culture.
The survey, called Conditions for Learning, is part of the plan under the new federal law, Every Student Succeeds Act. School principals are required to administer the survey sometime between April 11 and May 30, depending on each school’s schedule.Unlike other accountability scores for schools – such as test scores – the Conditions for Learning measure looks at student performance more holistically, from being engaged in the classroom to feeling safe at school.
“Research shows this is an important measure,” said Ryan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education. "When students feel safe, actively engage in their learning and build positive relationships with teachers and peers, they're more likely to experience success in and beyond school."
Results from the Conditions for Learning survey will serve as a great tool to help schools, teachers, and parents identify areas of strength, as well as areas that may need attention or support.
Under optimum school conditions, studies have shown students thrive academically, in which improved skills in solving problems, working out conflict, and working with other people in a group have led to double-digit increases on achievement test scores, as well as improved behavior and attitudes.
Student participation in the survey is important to schools because results can help build an action plan to improve the learning environment. A high rate of completion means getting the best data possible. For students, the survey is an important opportunity to be heard and to be part of efforts to improve their learning environment.
The survey is confidential, anonymous, and voluntary, and will be completed annually in the spring. The survey focuses on issues ranging from student safety, to positive student relationships, to school rules and how they are enforced.
For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website.