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Students, parents, teachers encouraged to take statewide survey

State education leaders want to know more about the public schools in Illinois.

The Illinois State Board of Education plans to get feedback on leadership, collaboration, family involvement, instruction and the school environment through a new online survey intended for teachers, students and parents.

“As educators, we have long understood that test scores alone do not represent the full scope of school life and learning,” State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch said in a news release.

“The Illinois 5Essentials Survey will finally help us paint that fuller picture of learning conditions and guide local and state improvement initiatives so that every student has access to a world-class education.”

Legislation passed in 2011 required the survey be implemented this school year. It is paid for by federal Race to the Top funds. Almost 150,000 people have completed the survey since it launched Feb. 1, according to the ISBE. Feedback will be accepted through March 31. Participation is voluntary, but a certain level of participation – 50 percent of students and teachers and 30 percent of parents – is needed for a school to get a report.

Jeff Schuler, superintendent of Kaneland School District 302, said the district’s middle and high schools are working to schedule time for the student surveys.

“We’ve targeted the month of March to do our big push,” Schuler said.

The survey won’t be administered to children in kindergarten through fifth grade, but elementary school teachers can still complete the survey, Schuler said.

Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed Friday as 5Essentials Day in Illinois and encouraged participation in the 15-minute survey.

“The Illinois 5Essentials Survey allows those on the front lines to have a voice, giving decision-makers greater insight into how we can strengthen our schools and make sure Illinois has one of the best education systems in the country,” Quinn said in a news release.

Results will be included in the 2013 school report cards, which are usually released in October. Visit for information.

Know more

Examples of topics addressed in surveys:

• Parent survey – school outreach, parent-teacher trust, parent as partner

• Student survey – school safety, homework and studying, relationships with teachers, difficulty of courses

• Teacher survey – teacher collaboration, student assessment, relationship with principal, professional development

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