To efficiently and cost-effectively provide schools with data from their teachers, administrators, and other staff to guide school improvement efforts and foster positive learning and teaching environments, the California Department of Education (CDE) commissioned the development of the online, web-based California School Climate Survey (CSCS). Since 2004, all local education agencies in California are required to administer the CSCS at least once ever two years as part of compliance with No Child Left Behind. Districts have also been asked to support the state’s efforts to close the racial/ethnic achievement gap and engage all students in learning. The survey is being used by schools throughout the nation, and is required by the federal government of participants in the national evaluation of the Safe Schools Healthy Students program.
This short survey provides a means to confidentially obtain staff perceptions about learning and teaching conditions for both general and special education, in order to regularly inform decisions about professional development, instruction, the implementation of learning supports, and school reform. It can also be customized with additional questions to meet a school’s specific needs. Underlying the survey is research and theory supporting the importance of fostering school environments that are academically challenging, caring, participatory, safe, and healthy.
The CSCS is part of a comprehensive learning supports data system developed by WestEd for the California Department of Education that includes the California Healthy Kids Survey, which provides comparable data from students.
Major Survey Features:
- Assesses both student learning and staff working conditions (K-12), providing data to address the problem of teacher recruitment and retention.
- Is concerned with general and special education, and how they can be integrated.
- Aims to provide data that link instruction with the assessment of non-cognitive barriers to learning, such as substance abuse, violence and victimization, and poor mental health among students.
- Addresses issues such as equity, bias, and cultural competence, which have been linked to the achievement gap plaguing racial/ethnic minorities.
- It can be customized, including questions of your own choosing.
- Has a companion student survey (the California Healthy Kids Survey) that provides student self-report data to compare with staff perceptions
- Supplementary Military Connected Schools Module to assess staff perceptions of the needs of military-dependent students and their schools. Companion student and parent modules are also available.