Continuous Improvement is a multi-faceted process that utilizes specific data sources to inform school system decision making and improving learning outcomes for all students. In Nebraska accredited school systems are required to engage in continuous improvement actions as set forth in Section 009 of NAC 92 Chapter 10 Regulations and Procedures for the Accreditation of Schools. View Rule 10 Here
009.01A2 Collection and analysis of data about student performance, demographics, learning climate, and former high school students.
Sources of data at the school system level fall into broad categories, including but not limited to, demographics, student learning and achievement, school processes, and perceptions. Nebraska’s Accountability for a Quality Education System Today and Tomorrow AQuESTT Tenets states: “Schools and districts implement best practices in student, family, and community engagement to enhance experiences and opportunities that are culturally inclusive and relevant for each student. Student success and engagement relies on positive partnerships and relationships to fundamentally improve the outcomes for each student, school, district, and community.” Perceptual survey distribution and data collection is a meaningful way to collect school culture and climate information. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) defines school culture and climate as:
School Climate: School climate refers to a school’s effects on students, including teaching practices; diversity; and the relationships among administrators, teachers, parents, and students. (ASCD)
School Culture: School culture refers to the way teachers and other staff members work together and the set of beliefs, values, and assumptions they share. A positive school climate and school culture promote students’ ability to learn. (ASCD)
To better understand the beliefs, concerns, and interests of key education stakeholders (Students, Staff, & Parents), the Nebraska Department of Education along with ESUCC Data Cadre members began revising the NDE Perceptual Survey that was created in 1999. This revision project began in August 2020 and will be available for school system use September 2022. Details about the Revised Perceptual Survey may be found in this LINK, PDF of NDE Day PowerPoint Presentation.
The Nebraska Department of Education partnered with Hanover Research Group (Hanover) to determine the best practices for school climate survey design with the aim of drawing quality and actionable data from these stakeholders. To design an effective survey, it is essential to understand the audience, the intended goals for the survey analysis, and the content of the intended survey. Read more about perceptual survey design in this LINK, PDF “Best Practices” Report.
Also included in the report are reviews of other state’s perceptual survey processes.
Colorado – Survey items are organized by four elements: 1) Student Learning, 2) Student Centered Environment, 3) Classroom Community, 4) Classroom Management.
Kansas – Perceptual surveys are free and available to school systems. Surveys are to be used solely by schools and districts with the intent of school/district improvement.
Hawaii – Utilizes a third-party service, Panorama, and surveys measure; School Safety, School Belonging, Classroom Climate, Teacher-Student Relationships, and Classroom Rigorous Expectations to name a few.
Nebraska’s revised Perceptual Survey is the result of a thoughtful process which included stakeholders from various educational backgrounds. Survey respondents are not asked to report any personal identifiable information. Parents and guardians may contact the school directly to request an opt-out form if desired. Results from survey respondents will inform the school in four different areas: Environment, Relationships, Engagement, and Instruction. These four constructs were developed using word similarities associated with AQuESTT Domains and Tenets.
School systems can access their survey information in the NDE Portal. The Perceptual Survey collection is used to create the survey, along with obtaining the sharable survey links. The NEP Secure collection is where districts can view their survey results. If you need assistance locating this information in the NDE Portal, please contact the NDE.ServiceDesk@Nebraska.gov.