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California School Climate Survey

The California School Climate Survey (CSCS) is an online staff survey to guide school improvement efforts to foster positive learning and teaching environments.

About the CSCS

The CSCS is an online staff survey that was developed and implemented in fall 2004 to fulfill the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mandate to conduct an anonymous teacher survey of the incidence, prevalence, and attitudes related to drug use and violence. The survey has been expanded to capture staff perceptions of the overall school climate, student behavior and attitudes, and school programs and policies.

The CSCS has a core module of 69 questions; along with two additional modules for learning support personnel and staff with responsibilities over students with special needs.

This short survey provides a means to confidentially obtain staff perceptions about learning and teaching conditions for both general and special education, in order to regularly inform decisions about professional development, instruction, the implementation of learning supports, and school reform. It can also be customized with additional questions to meet a school’s specific needs. Underlying the survey is research and theory supporting the importance of fostering school environments that are academically challenging, caring, participatory, safe, and healthy.

The CSCS is part of the California School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey (Cal-SCHLS) System External link opens in new window or tab. . Cal-SCHLS is a comprehensive learning support data system providing comparable data from students, staff, and parents. Cal-SCHLS was developed by WestEd for the California Department of Education (CDE) and includes the California Healthy Kids Survey and the California School Parent Survey, in addition to the CSCS for staff.

Beginning in the 2008-09 school year, the CSCS has been expanded to include questions on closing the achievement gap. This is based on the recommendation in the State Superintendent of Public Instruction's P-16 Council Closing the Achievement Gap Report (Recommendation #5). This allows districts to collect data on school climate and especially how a different sub-group of students feels about learning opportunities at school. More information about the CHKS-CSCS Closing the Achievement Gap project is available at CSCS External link opens in new window or tab. .

CSCS Reports

Beginning in 2008-09, the CSCS reports were publicly posted at the district and statewide levels and can be viewed at the CSCS Reports (Outside Source) Web page and on CDE Data Quest. The CSCS reports include Main Report, and supplementary reports for special education and migrant education.

Technical Assistance for School Districts

The CDE contracts with WestEd to assist districts in administering the CSCS. WestEd provides training and technical assistance to districts through three regional survey centers, a toll-free phone line at 888-841-7536, free online training, and the CSCS Web site.

To get more information or to sign up for CSCS, contact your Regional Survey Center at 1-888-841-7536 or visit CSCS External link opens in new window or tab. for more information.

Questions: Hilva Chan | hchan@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0194 
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