School Climate Measurement

Students taking test

School climate measurement involves a comprehensive assessment of student engagement, school safety, and the learning environment.

The measurement of school climate provides educators with the necessary data to identify school needs, set goals, and track progress toward improvement.

School climate measurement is the first step toward school improvement.

By assessing the perceptions of school climate, educators and education agencies can identify key issues in need of reform. Once needs are identified, data from school climate assessments can be used to set goals and priorities and choose programmatic interventions. Data also can identify areas where students, staff, and parents view climate in similar or dissimilar ways.

School climate measurement is a tool for keeping schools accountable.

When measured over time, school climate data can be a powerful tool to track progress toward goals. Data also can be used to compare and contrast schools with one another.

School climate measurement is an evidence-based identification of school needs.

Reliable school climate surveys for students, families, and school staff are great tools for measuring school climate. You may find a growing list of these assessment tools in NCSSLE’s School Climate Survey Compendium.

Featured Resources

Summarizes a variety of lessons of administering the the New York City School Survey and presents both the Research Alliance’s and the NYC DOE’s reflections about the process of improving the School Survey. 

The Research Alliance for New York City Schools
Compendia Thumbnail

Provides lists of school climate surveys and scales educators can use to assess their learning environemt. All surveys and scales in the compendium have been tested for validity and reliability. 

National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environment
Image of a check box like those used in surveys

Provides surveys for middle and high school students, their parents, teachers, instructional staff, non-instructional staff and administrators on a web-based platform. The surveys can be downloaded free of charge and provide user-friendly school climate reports back to users. Local education agencies administering the survey will be able to store the data locally on their own data systems.

U.S Department of Education

Presents nationally representative data on public school safety and discipline for the 2013-2014 school year. Summarizes results from a Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) survey, which collected information on specific safety and discipline plans and practices, training for classroom teachers and aides related to school safety and discipline issues, security personnel, frequency of specific discipline problems, and number of incidents of various offenses.

Institute of Education Sciences
PPT title slide from "Increasing Family Response Rates"

Offers a series of webinar events focused on the measurement of school climate from start to finish-- from developing and managing a survey to evaluating the reliability of a survey after administering it.


Reviews the characteristics of 21 instruments that measure student engagement in upper elementary through high school; summarizes what each instrument measures, describes its purposes and uses, and provides technical information on its psychometric properties.

Provides researchers, prevention specialists, and health educators with tools to measure a range of bullying experiences: bully perpetration, bully victimization, bully-victim experiences, and bystander experiences.

Related Resources