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Survey Administration Instructions

If you are unfamiliar with the surveys, please visit the Preparing for the Surveys page. If you need a reminder about the surveys, please review the Survey Materials and Instruments. If you are ready to register for and administer the surveys, please complete the Ten Tasks for Survey Coordinators. If you need the teacher/proctor instructions, the survey administration introductory script and the assurance of confidentiality forms, please download a copy of the Administration Instructions and Assurance of Confidentiality Agreement.

Ten Tasks for Survey Coordinators

Task 1: Email a CalSCHLS Technical Advisor

Your CalSCHLS TA will send you a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a link to the Excel Registration Documents.

Task 2: Sign and Return the MOU

The MOU does not obligate you to conduct the survey but does allow you to move forward with the planning process. If your County Office of Education or another outside agency is covering the cost for part or all of your survey administration, the MOU will not obligate you to pay those costs. If your district requires Board approval of and/or the Superintendent’s signature on the MOU, make certain to allow sufficient time to obtain those prior to administering the survey.

Task 3: Obtain Parental Consent

If possible, send passive parental notifications (for secondary grades 7-12) and active parental consents (for elementary grades 3-6) with Back-to-School Registration or Enrollment Packets. As part of parental consent, make your final survey version, as provided by your CalSCHLS Technical Advisor, available to review on the district/school websites and/or in the district/school offices. At any time during the school year or summer, you may download the Modifiable Parental Consent Forms and make changes to the dates and language as appropriate for your needs. For more information review the detailed Parental Consent Process.

Task 4: Complete the Registration Document emailed to you by your CalSCHLS Technical Advisor.

Save in Excel format (not PDF). Return the Excel Registration Document to your CalSCHLS TA via email. The Excel Registration Document requires the following information:

  • Your name and contact information.
  • Your district name and 14 digit CDS code.
  • The surveys you want to administer (i.e., the CHKS (student), the CSSS (staff), and the CSPS (parent).
  • The start date of your surveys.
  • The modules you will administer.
  • The participating schools and the 14 digit CDS code for each school.
  • The enrollment numbers for each grade that is participating in the survey.

Notes on Enrollment and Survey Requirements:

  • TUPE requires the survey to be administered to grades 7, 9, 11, and all grades in Non-Traditional (NT) schools such as Community Day, Continuation, Court, and COE schools. Surveying in grade 5 is optional.
  • LCAP requires a school climate survey to be administered to each grade span of elementary, middle, and high school.
  • TUPE and LCAP funds may be used to survey all students grades 3 through 12 plus any non-traditional schools.

Here's an Instructional Video

Task 5: Download the Administration Instructions and Assurance of Confidentiality Forms

Make photocopies of either the online administration or the paper administration document (depending on which type of survey you are using) for each Site Administrator and/or Coordinator.

Review the Administration Instructions on how to:

  • Get Administrator/Coordinator Support (For tips on encouraging participation, see Step 10 of Preparing for the Surveys)
  • Select Classrooms
  • Notify Teachers
  • Monitor Parental Consent
  • Collect Assurance of Confidentiality
  • Train Classroom Teachers/Proctors

Task 6: Train Site Administrators and/or Coordinators

Review tips to Encourage Survey Participation and emphasize to site administrators the importance of district- and school-level data from and about students, staff, and parents/families which can provide insights on and for:

  • The larger socio-emotional Context in which students and their families live;
  • The school Climate in which students and staff spend eight or more hours each day;
  • California Compliance requirements for TUPE, LCAP, School Safety Plans and Suicide Prevention.

Distribute a copy of the Administration Instructions and Assurance of Confidentiality document.

Review the importance of tracking parental consent:

Secondary Tracking of Parental Consent:

  • Assign a central office staff member to collect and track written parental refusal for the entire school.
  • On the day of the survey, assign a central office staff member to notify classroom teachers administering the survey which students do not have permission to participate.
  • Non-participating students should have an alternative activity to complete such as reading, classwork, or homework.

Elementary Tracking of Parental Consent:

  • Provide each classroom teacher with a print-out of their class roster.
  • When permission slips are returned, the classroom teacher should attach them to the roster and the parental consent marked as Yes or No.
  • On the day of the survey, all students marked as No and all students who did not return a consent form, may not participate in the survey. Only students marked as Yes may participate.
  • Non-participating students should have an alternative activity to complete such as reading or other classwork.

Review the importance of maintaining confidentiality and the process for collecting/storing signed Pledges of Confidentiality. Review survey logistics such as:

  • The survey administration schedule.
  • Room setup and privacy issues:
    • For online surveys, arrange the room so that no one else but the student can see the answers on the computer monitor.
    • For paper surveys, arrange the room so that no one else but the student can see the answers on the answer sheets.
  • How to present the survey to students, including the importance of reading the Introductory Script.
  • Where students can go if they have questions or concerns arising from survey participation.
    • Make arrangements at the district or, preferably, at each school for someone such as a counselor or health/prevention specialist to be available to students who have questions or concerns as a result of their participation in the survey. This is one of the necessary procedures to reduce any potential risks to students from taking the survey, as stated in the parental consent form.

Make certain Site Administrators and/or Coordinators leave the training with the information and materials they need to train Classroom Teachers or Proctors at their school site.

VIDEO: How to navigate your district's private data dashboard
CalSCHLS Dashboard Overview

Task 7: Follow Up with Site Coordinators

Three weeks prior to scheduled survey:

  • Confirm the day and time of the survey administration.
  • Confirm the classes to be surveyed.
  • Review the procedures that will occur during administration.
  • Check the status of the parental consent process.

One week before the survey:

Ensure that, based on the consent process, the school will achieve a 70% student participation rate.

Two or three days before the survey:

  • Review the procedures for the survey, including room setup, and arrangements for students who do not have parental consent and are not taking the survey.
  • Make sure that each School Coordinator has distributed the needed survey materials:
    • For online surveys, URLs specific to each school site that are sent to you by your Technical Advisor
    • For paper surveys, answer sheets and Transmittal Envelopes
    • For parental consent, a list of students whose parents denied participation
    • For proctoring, download a copy of the Administration Instructions and Assurance of Confidentiality which includes teacher/proctor instructions and a survey administration introductory script

One day before the survey:

  • Contact each School Coordinator to see if they need any help and remind them to contact you if any problems materialize on the day of the survey.
  • Make sure that the Assurances of Confidentiality have been signed.

Task 8: Facilitate And Monitor Survey Completion

If respondents are having trouble taking the online survey, check the following:

  • Is the complete web address entered correctly?
  • Does the survey welcome page show the correct name of the school?
  • Was www incorrectly put into the address?
  • Is the address correctly entered into the URL bar and NOT the "search" bar (e.g., Google)?
  • Contact your Technical Advisor if the problem cannot be resolved (888-841-7536).

Monitor Student survey completion so you can determine if problems have occurred that need to be addressed. Only the District Coordinator can view how many surveys have been completed at the district and school level. If participation appears low, it may help to distribute a reminder and have the principal again reiterate his or her support for the survey. Online response rate monitoring is not available to school-level staff or administrators.

Remind and encourage staff and parents to participate in the survey (See Step 10: Encourage Survey Participation).

Task 9: Return Completed Survey Instruments

For Online Surveys:

Email your CalSCHLS Technical Advisor as soon as all sites have completed the survey. The CalSCHLS Regional Center will begin data analysis and report production once notified that survey administration is complete.

For Paper Surveys:

Have each School Coordinator collect all answer sheets from students and parents/guardians and send them to you. Student answer sheets should be placed in Transmittal Envelopes (provided) immediately after students complete the survey. For parent survey booklets, remove any additional district or site cover sheets that might have been used, sort by site and language, and then return all the completed student and parent surveys for the entire district to your CalSCHLS Regional Center using a trackable shipping method. The CalSCHLS Regional Center will begin data analysis and report production once all surveys are received.

Task 10: Review Survey Results With Stakeholders

Make a plan for disseminating the district or school results to students, staff, parents, and other community stakeholders.

Share the data with stakeholders and engage them in the process of reviewing the results, determining needs, and developing plans for meeting those needs.

Contact your CalSCHLS TA to schedule an on-site data workshop (fee applies). This workshop is designed to engage district and school stakeholders in examining their own survey data from the CalSCHLS surveys for:

  • The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and CA School Dashboard local priorities:
    • Priority 6, School Climate (school connectedness and safety)
    • Priority 3, Parent Involvement
    • Priority 1, Facilities
  • Student tobacco use for TUPE reporting
  • The implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) such as PBIS
  • Student social, emotional, and mental health (potentially part of suicide prevention efforts)
  • Student alcohol and other drug use
  • Disparities in survey outcomes across:
    • Gender
    • Race/ethnicity
    • English language proficiency (self-report)
    • Free/reduced-price meal eligibility (self-report)
    • Foster and homeless youth
    • Other student subgroups
  • Trends over time on indicators of school climate such as:
    • School connectedness and safety
    • Student mental health
    • School engagement and supports
    • Student substance use