JT urges parents to take online survey
FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS February 10, 2013 5:08PM
Updated: March 12, 2013 6:20AM
JOLIET — Joliet Township High School will join the Illinois State Board of Education in providing a unique opportunity for teachers, students and parents across the state to have a role in improving their schools.
Between Feb. 1 and the end of March, teachers, students and parents will be asked to take the Illinois 5Essensials Survey, a 15-minute online, research-based survey to help identify strengths and weaknesses in their school’s climate and learning conditions. The survey was developed by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research and is derived from the Five Essentials for School Success, an evidence-based framework that identifies five factors that can lead to important student outcomes, including improved attendance and greater test scores.
Research has shown that schools strong on the 5Essentials are 10 times more likely to improve student learning. The 5Essentials are effective leaders; collaborative teachers; involved families; supportive environment; and ambitious instruction.
“This is a great opportunity to obtain and use valuable data about our schools, which can be used to provide the best education possible for our children,” Superintendent Dr. Cheryl McCarthy said.
Data collected from survey responses will be published within the 2013 school report cards, typically released by the ISBE at the end of October. The survey is the first attempt by a state to administer a statewide survey of learning conditions to teachers, students and parents.
“The State Board has long understood that test scores alone do not offer the full picture of schools and learning,” State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch said. “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.”
McCarthy sees the advantages associated with publishing data on the school report cards. “Survey data will be used to compare JTHS to other high school districts and communities, so I truly see this as an opportunity to allow our stakeholders to voice their opinions and to publicly report their satisfaction with our schools or to indicate where we need to make improvements.”
To publish the survey data on school report cards, the state requires a minimum response rate from each survey group. JTHS is urging all stakeholder groups to take the survey. Students and teachers will take the survey during school hours; however, JTHS is concerned about meeting the minimum number of parental responses required by the state, since parents will have to take the survey at home or in a location with Internet access.
“The parental responses are a critical component to the new report card,” McCarthy said. “To maximize the use of the data, we need parents to participate.”
JTHS stresses the anonymity of the survey process. “Identities will be completely confidential and responses will never be connected to the individual student or parent,” McCarthy said. “School reports will only present summarized information as a whole.”
For more information, visit https://illinois.5-essentials.org.