Chicago Public Schools’ Student Connection Survey

From 2005 through 2007, AIR worked closely with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to develop a turn-key system for CPS to measure and act upon the social and emotional conditions for learning in their schools. The accountability provisions of the CPS’ district reform efforts required the development of school profiles, which contain information about student performance and school characteristics. One section of the scorecard reports Student Connection. To populate this part of the scorecard, AIR developed a survey to assess Safe and Respectful Climate, Academic Rigor, Student Support, and Social Emotional Learning.

In 2005 AIR partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to identify the core indicators that schools must actively manage to support student success, and develop an instrument to assess these indicators. Based on consensus from a meeting of national experts and district staff, and refined through a series of 22 focus groups with students, parents, and teachers, we developed what Chicago has called the Student Connection Survey. The survey was administered to all high school students in 2006. For 2007, it was revised and extended to include middle grade students. AIR developed a reporting system to make the results useful and actionable by school teams, and developed an online toolkit to guide school planning around improving conditions for learning. AIR created a turn-key system so that CPS could continue to administer and use the survey after AIR’s involvement ended in 2007. CPS continued to administer the survey and include the date in its school profiles in 2008 and 2009.