Students, Faculty, and LHS Families Participate in the 5Essentials Survey

The 5Essentials Survey is designed for  state schools throughout Illinois and is taken from Jan. 12 through March 13.

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The 5Essentials Survey is designed for state schools throughout Illinois and is taken from Jan. 12 through March 13.

Manal Ahmed, Staff Writer

From Jan. 12 through March 13, schools all over Illinois will be participating in the Illinois State Board of Education’s 5Essentials Survey.

The 5Essentials Survey is an online, multiple choice poll designed by researchers at the University of Chicago that gives schools highly detailed data on five factors for school improvement consisting of Effective Leaders, Collaborative Teachers, Involved Families, Supportive Environments, and Ambitious Instruction.

According to the University of Chicago, each essential has a specific meaning. Effective leaders are people who work with teachers in a school to create a clear vision for school success. Collaborative teachers are faculty who are committed to the school and receive professional development while working together to improve their school environment. Involved families are those who build strong relationships with an academic environment. Supportive environments show that a school is safe and that students have support from their teachers and peers. And ambitious instruction shows that classes are academically demanding and engaging.

All state schools are strongly encouraged to take this survey once every two years. Students, faculty, parents, and guardians of a given community are all able to participate in the survey and each group takes a modified version. The survey that students take focuses more on their classroom environment while the survey that faculty takes concentrates more on how they conduct a class lesson. Parents and guardians of a given community take the survey that centers on how safe they feel sending their children to a specific school district. However, people of a district are not forced to take the survey. If a school has majority of the students and faculty participating in conducting the survey, then their results go on a school report card. This report card shows how strong a certain school is in each of the five essentials. Regardless of if schools have data about the 5Essentials Survey, all report cards have information about standardized test scores of schools, awards and programs a school has, and college and career readiness of students.

According to LHS assistant principal Mr. Ray Albin, if the school got 50% of students and teachers and 25% of families and guardians in Libertyville to submit it the survey, then the survey results would be added to the yearly school report card.

The survey is conducted for numerous reasons. It is mainly formulated to show how strong a school is in each of the five essentials and what schools can do if they are not particularly strong in a select section. The Illinois State Board of Education concluded that schools that were strong in at least three out of the five essentials were 10 times more likely to make significant improvements in reading and math.

“By taking this survey, it’s giving both students and faculty a voice to what they believe we are doing [at] building a school and district on these five measures. It’s useful for us [administration] to take a look at what people think we’re doing with these five measures and to use it as a point of reflection,” Mr. Albin said.

Freshmen at Libertyville High School took the 5Essentials Survey during Link Crew throughout the month of January. Some core science classes such as earth science, chemistry, and physics had time in class to conduct the survey. Students who did not take the survey in class received an email with a link to the survey and a code to take it with.

“The survey talked about how safe we felt in school and how our class worked together and how our teachers work with different students in the class,” sophomore Chandrea Baster stated.

According to Baster, many of her questions were about her English teacher. The survey asked how her teacher taught lessons and how she led class discussions.