Mendota High School to administer Illinois 5Essentials Survey to improve student learning

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

MENDOTA – Mendota High School will join the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in the 10th statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions. The survey provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers and parents to have a voice in improving their schools.

From Jan.11 through March 11, students and teachers will be asked to take a 25-minute research-based survey to help identify strengths and weaknesses in their school’s learning environment. The parent survey supplement will also be administered during the same survey window. These surveys 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 at Mendota High School. Please participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey so we may review our school needs and respond to those needs. MHS 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,” said Denise Aughenbaugh, MHS principal.

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 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.

Principals and superintendents will receive the 5Essentials Report in April 2022. Survey results will also be reported publicly on the 5Essentials reporting site in Spring 2022 and on the IL State School Report Card website in the Fall of 2022. An optional parent survey is again available to all schools as a supplement to the 5Essentials Survey for teachers and students – results from the parent survey supplement will be included only in the individual school 5Essential Reports.

On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, UChicago Impact is providing Illinois 5Essentials to schools statewide. Teachers, students, and parents may complete the Illinois 5Essentials Survey online. For more information visit:


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