Monitoring facets of school climate—like how safe, supported, and welcome students feel in their schools—is necessary to ensure that efforts to improve the learning environment are effective and that schools don’t overlook the needs of students from some populations, like those from racial minority groups, researchers say. But, until recently, school climate surveys have been off limits to schools that didn’t have the resources to pay for one or develop their own. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education released a free, online survey tool that will allow schools, districts, and states to administer regular, anonymous, online student surveys about school climate topics. The survey site, developed by a panel of researchers, creates an instant analysis of a school’s results, and administrators can save the data in existing local data systems so they can track results over time. These results could be useful for school-level improvement work. They may also be helpful for schools in states that adopt school climate as an accountability indicator under the Every Student Succeeds Act. In addition to learning about the new tool, webinar participants will hear from the Austin Independent School District about its school climate surveys, how their results align with student achievement, and how schools there use the data in their day-to-day work.
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