FAQ

If you have any questions that are not addressed by the FAQ or experience difficulty using the website, please contact The Office of Research and Evaluation at schoolsurveys@philasd.org.


Why does the School District of Philadelphia have surveys?

The surveys were designed to capture feedback from the school community on five key topics related to school improvement—climate, instruction, leadership, professional capacity, and parent/guardian-community ties. With an eye toward the Action Plan 3.0 goal of creating an equitable system of schools, this feedback provides a more complete picture of Philadelphia schools than relying solely on traditional measures of school success. By considering the perspectives of different groups in a school, this feedback can help pinpoint what is working well in a school along with areas that need to be improved.

What do the surveys measure?

The surveys measure five key topics related to school improvement—climate, instruction, leadership, professional capacity, and parent/guardian-community ties. The surveys were developed using research on effective schools and school reform, particularly the extensive work done by Anthony Bryk and his colleagues (2010) at The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research.

Different groups were asked to provide feedback on different questions across the five topics. Within each topic, the questions were organized by subtopic.

Topic

CLIMATE

Subtopic

Belonging

Bullying

Safety/ building condition

Student-centered learning climate

Respect

Interpersonal relationships

Classroom-level challenges

School-level challenges

External challenges

Student

--

--

--

--

--

--

Parent

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Teacher

--

--

--

Principal

--

--

--

--

--

Topic

INSTRUCTION

Subtopic

Evaluation of teaching & learning

Student engagement

Student

--

Parent

--

Teacher

Principal

Topic

LEADERSHIP 

Subtopic

Expectations & feedback

Inclusive leadership

Management

Engagement

Instruction

School-level decision making

Classroom-level decision making

School focus

Student

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Parent

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Teacher

--

--

--

--

--

Principal

--

--

--

Topic

PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY

PARENT/GUARDIAN-COMMUNITY TIES

Subtopic

Innovation

Quality of PD: delivery

Quality of PD: consistency

Peer collaboration

Communication frequency

Communication quality

Parent/Guardian school relationship

Student

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Parent

--

--

--

--

Teacher

Principal

--

--

--

How were these surveys designed?

These surveys were developed by The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE), as part of Shared Solutions, the first formal researcher–practitioner partnership between SDP and Penn GSE. Through multiple rounds of focus groups, item testing, and cognitive interviews, stakeholders played a critical role in determining the questions included in the survey, the language used, and the methods of distribution.

Who takes the surveys?

Surveys are made available to students in grades 3-12 attending District public and charter schools, their parents and guardians, teachers, and principals. The surveys are available each year from April through June.

How can people take the survey?

The District administers these surveys each spring. More information on the District’s survey schedule and access to the surveys can be found at http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/r/res-eval/district-wide-surveys.

How do you keep results private?

Data privacy is of the utmost importance to our survey efforts. All survey administration and analysis follows The School District of Philadelphia’s Survey Code of Ethics, which is available on the Office of Research and Evaluation’s Survey Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/r/res-eval/district-wide-surveys.

The surveys are primarily administered through SurveyMonkey, a company that uses some of the most advanced technology for Internet security that is commercially available (https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/policy/privacy-policy/). This ensures that user data in transit is safe, secure, and available only to intended recipients. Surveys provided in other formats (e.g., paper copies) are administered according to strict guidelines to ensure confidentiality as well.

To further protect confidentiality, all survey data is combined and aggregated at the school level. Principal survey results are aggregated at a more broad level (i.e., school type, region, etc.).

Where are my school’s results?

Data is only available for schools that meet minimum response thresholds. For student surveys, the minimum number of responses per school is 25 percent of students or 50 students, whichever is greater. For parent/guardian surveys, the threshold is whichever is greater, 5 percent of total enrollment or 25 parents/guardians for the 2014-2015 school year and 10 percent for the 2015-2016 school year. For teacher surveys, a minimum of 20 teachers or 25 percent of total teachers per school must have responded. Principal survey results are only presented in aggregate.