School Environment Matters: Lincoln Elementary School District 156 Administers Fourth Illinois 5Essentials Survey to Improve Student Learning

Students, parents, and teachers weigh in on school climate and learning conditions

Earn a dress down day pass for your child by completing the 5Essential Survey on January 22 at Parent-Teach Conference between 8:30 – 2:30 pm. Parents may complete the Illinois 5Essentials Survey at the Parent-Teacher Conference or online. To take the survey please visit and select the appropriate survey to begin.

The 5Essential survey provides a unique opportunity for teachers, students, and parents to have a voice in improving their schools. Teachers, students, and parents will be asked to take a 20-minute research-based survey to help identify strengths and weaknesses in their school’s learning environment. This survey will serve as an opportunity for schools to reflect on progress since the last statewide implementation.

“We encourage all our teachers, students, and parents to make their voices heard to impact change by taking the survey online.”

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides a comprehensive picture of a school’s organizational culture in an individualized report measuring five “essentials” critical for school success:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

Twenty years of University of Chicago research 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.