District 91 will participate in the 5 Essentials survey of school environment, Superintendent Louis Cavallo told the school board on Feb. 14.

The survey, created by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, consists of 16 questions that assess the environment of the school. Teachers, students and parents are all asked to take the online survey.

According to the UC Consortium, the five essentials are effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment and ambitious instruction. The consortium claims schools strong on the “five essentials” are 10 times more likely to improve student learning than schools weak on the five essentials.

Cavallo told the board that a survey is mandated by the Illinois State Board of Education, but there were problems with the 5 Essentials survey because anyone could access it online and the results will be posted on the schools’ Illinois Interactive Report Cards. He said many districts were not using the provided survey but creating their own; however, the consortium’s survey currently appears on the district’s website.

The online survey asks parents to judge their children’s office staff, school communication and teachers based on questions, such as “I am comfortable sharing my concerns with my teachers” and “The office staff greets visitors warmly.” Parents are asked how likely they are to recommend the school to other parents as a “great school.”

Cavallo said parents should watch for requests to fill in the survey in upcoming weeks.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...