Parents Invited to Take School Survey

5Essentials Survey An Indicator of School Success
Posted on 01/07/2019
5Essentials Survey

District 28 invites parents, teachers and students in grades 4-8 to participate in the statewide survey on school climate and learning conditions, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey. The survey provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers and parents to have a voice in their schools.

Parents and staff have been invited to participate since the survey opened Nov. 15, 2018.

For the first time this year, fourth- and fifth-grade students will participate, in addition to our junior high students. The survey window will close on Feb. 15, 2019.


The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete. Designed and administered by the University of Chicago on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, it is intended to help identify strengths and weaknesses in our school’s learning environment. These surveys will serve as an opportunity for our schools to reflect on progress since the survey started in 2013. Each school in the district will receive a report on parent responses if a minimum of 20 percent respond. Student and teacher surveys require a 50 percent response.

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides a snapshot of a school’s organizational culture in an individualized report measuring five “essentials” critical for school success:


  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

Twenty years of research at the University of Chicago in more than 400 schools have shown that schools that were strong on at least three of the 5Essentials were 10 times more likely to make substantial gains in improving student reading and math outcomes than schools that were weak on three or more of the Essentials. Those differences remained true even after controlling for student and school characteristics, including poverty, race, gender, and neighborhood characteristics. Strength on components within the Essentials also correlated with increased teacher retention, student attendance, college enrollment, and high school graduation.

The survey was deemed an important component to balanced accountability under the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which resulted in state law requiring the survey annually.

Principals and superintendents will receive their 5Essentials Reports in March 2019. Survey results will also be reported publicly on the 5Essentials reporting site in Spring 2019 and on the
State School Report Card website in Fall 2019.

Teachers, students, and parents may complete the Illinois 5Essentials Survey online: