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5Essentials Parent Survey Deadline Extended

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey is being conducted now through March 15, 2019, for School District 45. The link to access the survey is available at

District 45 teachers, all K-8 parents, and 4th through 8th grade students have the opportunity to take the seventh annual statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey.  This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of each District 45 school.  Parents are afforded the opportunity to share their thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness in a survey about their child’s school.

On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois 5Essentials Survey is administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago.  The survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes, including improved attendance, and greater test score gains. The five indicators that can affect and predict school success are:  Effective Leaders, Collaborative Teachers, Involved Families, Supportive Environments, and Ambitious Instruction.

Prior research in more than 400 schools has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of these “5Essential” indicators were 10 times more likely to improve student-learning gains in math and reading than schools that were weak on three or more Essentials.

All teachers, and 4th through 12th grade students, will be responding to this survey.  5Essentials Reports will be generated for schools, if their teachers and/or students meet the response rate threshold of 50 percent. Additionally, District 45 has chosen to provide the optional 5Essentials parent survey.  If at least 20 percent of parents per school complete this survey, a parent supplement will also be generated for that school, and the parent data will be reported on the State Report Card.

These reports will be sent to schools and districts in Spring of 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.  

Twenty years of research at the University of Chicago in more than 400 schools has 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 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.

Generated from a rigorous analysis of student and teacher survey responses, 5Essentials Reports demonstrate that what students and teachers say about their schools can serve as important indicators for school success. In the inaugural 2012-2013 statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey, 87 percent of all schools in the state met the 50-percent participation threshold to receive a 5Essentials Report, with participation from more than 70 percent of all teachers and eligible 6th through 12th graders across Illinois.

All district schools, including alternative schools that fall under the district’s domain, are required to participate in a school learning conditions survey every year.  Starting in school year 2018-19, the survey will be required annually.  The survey was deemed an important component to balanced accountability under the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan by stakeholders, which resulted in state legislative changes requiring the survey annually.

District 45 has consistently participated in the statewide 5Essentials Survey and is opting to administer the survey to teachers and students again this year to continue tracking and informing progress.  

On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, UChicago Impact is providing Illinois 5Essentials to schools statewide. For more information visit: