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October 25th, 2019

Dear Parent,

Beginning December 10, students and teachers across Illinois will have an opportunity to participate in the eighth annual statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey. This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of your child’s school. As a parent, this opportunity will allow you to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness in a survey about your child’s school.

On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago. The survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. These five indicators that affect and predict school success are:

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

Prior research in more than 400 schools has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of these “5Essential” indicators were 10 times more likely to improve student learning gains in math and reading than those that were weak on three or more Essentials.

At a local level, the data collected will be utilized to assist in creating school and district improvement plans.  The information will be used to help determine measures of success and areas for improvement as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act(ESSA).

All teachers and 4thth through 12th grade students will be responding to this survey. 5Essentials Reports will be generated for schools if their teachers and/or students meet the response rate threshold of 50 percent. These reports will be sent to schools and districts in March 2020 and will also be included in the State School Report Card.

Additionally, your district has chosen to provide the optional Parent Supplement survey. If at least 20 percent of parents at any of our schools complete this survey, a parent supplement report will also be generated for that school. The parent data will not be reported on the State Report Card.

Your participation in the parent portion of the survey will help us understand the conditions at your child’s school and guide improvement. Your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child. 

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey for students and teachers will be conducted December 10 through January 18, 2020. The Parent Survey Supplement will be conducted from October 25 through January 18, 2020. To take the survey please visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/Illinois/  and select the appropriate survey to begin.

There is a procedure to opt out of the student survey if you would prefer your child not participate in the survey. Visit DPS170.org for more information and to download the opt out form.  Opt out forms can also be picked up and completed at the main office of Madison Elementary, Reagan Middle School and Dixon High School.

The parent survey is available now and takes only 10 minutes to complete.  Please take a few moments to complete the survey for each school at which you have a child currently attending.  You can access the survey here: https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/?target_name=parent.

The parent survey can be completed on a smart phone as well as traditional web browsers.  For parents who do not have internet access, please visit the district office for assistance between 7:30am to 4:00pm during the school day.  

For more information about the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, or to view previous years’ reports, please visit https://www.5-essentials.org/illinois. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Margo Empen or Dan Rick at (815)-284-7722.


Margo Empen


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