The Cal-SCHLS System is the most comprehensive school data effort of its kind in the nation. The major purpose of the System is to provide educators with comprehensive data that help guide efforts to improve schools, foster student achievement and successful development, and retain quality teachers. Cal-SCHLS allows administrators to compare data from students, staff, and parents across a variety of school climate, student health and well-being, and learning support topics to see where their experiences and perspectives are consistent and where there may be discrepancies. In addition, Cal-SCHLS data can help schools and districts identify and assess needs and strengths in critical areas of focus described in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This, in turn, helps them meet ESEA goals, comply with mandates, and receive support and funding.
A unique feature of the System is its flexibility, both in the kinds of data that can be collected and in how the surveys are administered. Each survey can be customized to include additional questions that better meet the information needs of local schools and communities. This not only provides crucial, common data on key indicators across all schools in California, but also cost effectively and efficiently lets schools collect additional local information that may be needed to guide and evaluate school improvement and youth development efforts. In addition, the CSSS (staff survey) and CSPS (parent survey) both allow either web-based answers or optical scan paper forms as administration options.
LEA-level reports are standard with each of the three surveys. Many clients also choose to purchase school-level reports to allow a focused, local assessment of strengths and issues. Data from all three surveys can also be reported based on the race/ethnicity of respondent groups, benefiting schools that are tackling achievement gap challenges.
The Cal-SCHLS system is more than just a place to go for student, staff, and parent surveys. Cal-SCHLS is as much about providing information and assistance for school improvement as it is about helping collect valid, reliable survey data. Make full use of the system’s components, most of which are provided free of charge, to help improve your schools. The system includes:
- Training on a variety of topics including Data Appreciation (how to get the most out of your survey data), Promoting Resilience and Youth Development (school improvement workshop).
- The ability to customize your surveys with locally developed questions, or additional questions selected from a list of over 300 previously used questions on a wide variety of topics.
- Many documents designed to help you understand survey data and how it can be used to improve your schools.
- Custom analysis of your data by Cal-SCHLS staff.
- Availability of local data sets to assist in local research or evaluation.
- Historical reference to 12 years of past CHKS student surveys; assess how your district has progressed over time on many key questions.