Ramping Up for the Climate Survey

What Principals Need to Know about the Spring Climate Survey

Participation Reports

Districtwide Participation results can be pulled daily; however, individual campus participation rates will be sent to the Division on:
  • Monday, April 27, 2015
  • Friday, May 1, 2015
  • Monday, May 4, 2015
  • Tuesday, May 5, 2015
  • Wednesday, May 6, 2015
  • Thursday, May 7, 2015
You should receive them from a Division coordinator that day.

Facts at a Glance

  • The Climate Survey for district personnel is conducted once in the Fall and once in the Spring.
  • Climate Survey results are used as part of the evaluation system for principals.
  • All employees, professional and support, assigned to your campus are expected to take a Climate Survey.
  • The questions included in the Climate Survey for each employee differ according to job category (teachers, principal, support staff, etc).
  • The questions on the Spring 2015 Climate Survey will be the same questions used in Fall 2014.
  • The Climate Survey will be conducted by a third-party company (Texas A&M Public Policy Research Institute), and individual responses will remain confidential.
  • School-based staff will receive an email inviting them to complete the survey on May 23, 2015. The subject line will be “Dallas ISD Climate Survey from PPRI at Texas A&M.” Those who haven’t received the email in their Outlook mailbox by Thursday, May 24, 2015, should check the spam folder. Each link is unique and can be used only once, so employees are asked to not share or forward the link or use a link sent to another staff member.
  • The expected window for the 2015 Spring Climate Survey is from April 23 to May 7, 2015 at 5 p.m.
  • Climate Surveys are covered in Board Policy DC (LOCAL) - Employment Practices.


Access to Technology

Even though the survey window has not opened, you can still start preparing for it...and potentially improve your school's participation rate! We know that each staff member will be receiving instruction through their email addresses and that the survey will be conducted online.
  • Make sure all of your staff members can access their email. Some employees may have never used their email, will need their passwords reset, etc. This can be a very time consuming task, especially with a window of only two weeks. Coordinate with your campus tech to fix any problems of access BEFORE the window opens.
  • Make sure all of your staff members have access to a computer. Staff members that do not have their own computers need to know when and where they can access a computer. It also may be beneficial to provide a means for them to get technical assistance during the time they complete the survey.

Clarifying Questions and Sense-Making

The questions on the Spring 2015 Climate Survey will be the same questions used in Fall 2014, so any questions your staff found confusing last time may be confusing for them this time. You should not try to sway or argue HOW the teachers feel, but it does matter if they aren't sure how to answer a question at all. Uncertainty may make them decide to skip the question, or fall back on the "Neutral" response.

  • Make time for your staff to review the Climate Survey as a group. This is a good opportunity to revisit previous campus discussions about the survey, while at the same time increasing the familiarity and comfort level of any staff members who are taking it for the first time.
  • Encourage discussion of how various items should be interpreted. The goal should be for each staff member to feel confident about giving his or her honest opinion, based on an informed understanding of the questions.

Participation Matters

High participation rates provide validity for your Climate Survey results, and will let you know that the opinions expressed are truly representative of the whole staff. Since the survey is confidential, it is hard to make sure 100% of your staff have participated when you can't know who has or has not responded. On your side, however, you can make sure you know who should be taking the survey, and facilitate/encourage calling the Texas A&M help hotline (1-888-890-0089) if there are questions.
  • Review your roster. We will send you a roster showing who received an email. Compare the roster to your current staff list and share any concerns with us. We can pass along information if any staff members are on leave, have resigned, etc. The goal is to have people take the climate survey whose views represent the campus. If someone is hired a week before the survey, does he or she know enough about the campus to provide an informed opinion?
  • We would rather someone ask a question than not take the survey. Things happen. Last year, some of the links that were emailed to employees ended up in the spam folder. Once we found out about employees never receiving their link, we were able to send out information to help the situation. Let us know if there is a problem. It may be one affecting many other schools.

disd@ppri.tamu.edu or 1-888-890-0089