Our intent with the development of the School Climate and Culture survey benchmark was to measure school district employee perspectives on issues of organizational  culture, school climate, school culture, overall school effectiveness and employee morale. Our belief is that these characteristics of the school and school district organization are not just linked with one another but also with development of K-12 educational leaders and successful schools.  Indeed, studies show that school culture is one of the most significant factors influencing student success.  Our school culture survey benchmarks provide schools and school districts a better means to compare themselves versus other schools on factors such an work environment, school pride, teacher satisfaction, employee morale, and other important considerations.  Through the school climate survey process, educational leaders can better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their schools.


School Climate and Culture Surveys from Nat’l Center for School Leadership on Vimeo.

Survey Structure:

  • Participants: all school and district-office employees
  • 70 multiple choice, 5 point Likert scale questions and 6 demographic related questions
  • 4 open-ended comment questions
  • Current Database: ~71,000 responses.

Overview: The emphasis is on identifying common factors that lead to a positive or negative climate and culture within schools and school districts. The National Center for School Leadership has conducted school climate and culture surveys of this type with school districts for over 6 years. We supplemented the survey results with follow-up focus groups and interviews. In this way, we were able to develop a clearer understanding of the data which is reflected in our research report.  Our finding cover a range of school culture and climate issues including teacher satisfaction, employee morale, school communication, view on leadership, work dynamics in the school and more. Using this multi-tiered approach, we are able get to the root of issues and explore common ground as well.

Participants: K-12 public school district employees are the focus of this survey. Our benchmark data already includes a broad spectrum of districts: large and small, rural and urban, poor and wealthy.

The Issues:  What do we hope to learn?

  • Which school climate issues are most prevalent in schools? Are these linked to specific types of schools?
  • What are the root causes of school culture issues? What learnings can we generate in order to best address these issues?
  • Are there patterns associated with school morale relative to other schools? Are these patterns linked to other observable criteria?
  • Which groups and sub-groups are most impacted and by which issues?
  • What are best practices pertaining toward creating a positive culture?
  • What is the relationship between certain aspect of organizational culture and school climate?
  • Is there a relationship between school success and school climate and culture?

One comment to School Climate and Culture Survey

  • Mable Brunson

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