Archived EDSCLS Platform/VM 2.7

The EDSCLS VM 2.7 was released in March 2017 and replaced by the EDSCLS VM 2.7.2 on July 24, 2017. To access the latest VM and related materials, click here.

The EDSCLS VM 2.7 has been archived to assist EDSCLS users who continue using EDSCLS VM 2.7 and researchers and analysts using data collected via the EDSCLS VM 2.7. It is important for EDSCLS VM 2.7 users and analysts to understand that security vulnerabilities in the EDSCLS VM 2.7 were fixed in the EDSCLS VM 2.7.2. Continued use of the EDSCLS VM 2.7 may expose your system to cyber-attacks.   


Important Information About the Security of EDSCLS VM 2.7

During our routine security testing of the EDSCLS VM 2.7, we discovered security vulnerabilities that needed to be patched immediately. This means the security of older versions of the platform (i.e., EDSCLS VMs 2.6 and 2.7) could be compromised. For more information on what updates were made and what security patches were applied to EDSCLS VM 2.7.2 based on EDSCLS VM 2.7 scans, see the Overview of Changes Made to EDSCLS Platform/VM 2.7.1 below.

Overview of Changes Made to EDSCLS Platform/VM 2.7


The operating system was updated to Ubuntu 16.4, and it includes PHP 7 and MySQL 5.7 upgrades.
What users need to do:  Users do not need to do anything after installing.
Updated the platform with the most recent Common Core of Data (CCD) state, district, and school files.
What users need to do:  Users do not need to do anything.
Added a requirement for administrators to change the default administrator password.
What users need to do: When logging onto the EDSCLS VM 2.7 for the first time, administrators must now specify a password that is different from the default administrator password to ensure it is secure.
Added a message to the administrator login page directing users to check the EDSCLS VM Update Webpage for updates to the EDSCLS VM.

What users need to do: Users should check the EDSCLS website at least once a month for possible updates or email edscls@air.org to be added to the list of known users who will receive announcements when EDSCLS VM updates are released.

Users should check the VMUpdates page at least once a month for possible updates. Alternatively, if you would like to receive emails when updates are released, we can add you to a list of users. Simply complete the following form to quickly add your contact information.


Added the following item to the instructional and noninstructional staff surveys: “The following types of problems occur at this school often…sexual assault or violence.”
What users need to do: Users do not need to do anything.
Added a pop-up window on the “Generate Usernames” page to alert users when they reduce the total number of usernames. This will avoid an accidental loss of data.

What users need to do: If this message appears when you are adding usernames to your data collection, please ensure you are increasing the total number of usernames for that school rather than entering the additional number of usernames needed (e.g., If you originally generated 100 usernames for School ABC and you need an additional 25, you would enter 125 in the box next to that school).

Results and Reporting

Fixed a problem that prevented the correct school name from appearing in downloaded Excel item frequency reports.
What users need to do: Users do not need to do anything.
Corrected an error in reporting the response labels for user-added items on the survey results export file.
What users need to do: Users do not need to do anything. Response labels for user-added items in the EDSCLS VM 2.6 were reported as “Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree” regardless of what response options had been created by the user. This has been corrected.
Corrected Instructional staff scale score calculations for the overall engagement and safety scale score domain reports.
What users need to do: 

Users do not need to do anything.

Overall* scale scores for the engagement and safety domains of the instructional staff survey generated in the EDSCLS VM 2.6 were incorrect because six items in the instructional staff survey that should have been included in the safety domain were erroneously flagged for the engagement domain. This has been corrected.

*Note that all the topical area scale score calculations in the EDSCLS VM 2.6 are correct. 

Added a school name to the title of PDF export of item frequency reports at the school level.
What users need to do: Users do not need to do anything.
Corrected the district- and school-level filters for scale score reports.
What users need to do: Users do not need to do anything.
Revised the display of district and school names on exported reports and fixed the district filter at the state level when the school is not selected on the item frequency report.
What users need to do: Users do not need to do anything.
Corrected an error that prevented the export of district-level scale score reports.
What users need to do: Users do not need to do anything.

Recommended Steps for EDSCLS VM 2.6 Users Transitioning to EDSCLS VM 2.7

If you have already downloaded EDSCLS VM 2.6 and wish to transition to the new EDSCLS VM 2.7, review the options below to prevent a loss of data.

  • Option 1: Keep the older EDSCLS VM 2.6 on your server to house data from previous survey administrations. Then simply download the new EDSCLS VM 2.7 and follow the installation instructions. Thus, you will have two VMs on your server: one storing your older data; the other storing your newer data.

    Please see User Guide section 2.1 System Setup in Virtual Environment VM installation technical requirements. Note: Your server will require sufficient RAM and free hard disk space if you run multiple VMs on the same server.

  • Option 2: If you do not wish to keep two versions of the EDSCLS VM on your server, and want to delete the EDSCLS VM 2.6, you must first export all data reports you would like to save and export the raw data from the EDSCLS VM 2.6 for future use. If you do not, you will lose all the data stored in VM 2.6 when it is deleted.

    • Note that the underlying database of EDSCLS VM 2.7 has a slightly different structure than the EDSCLS VM 2.6 database because a new survey item was added to the staff surveys. Therefore, raw response data to staff surveys exported from EDSCLS VM 2.6 cannot be imported into EDSCLS VM 2.7. Please see User Guide Section and 2.2.10 for more information on exporting survey data.

If you are currently collecting data using the EDSCLS VM 2.6, we recommend you NOT transition to the EDSCLS VM 2.7 until your data collection is complete.

Instructions on How to Download and Start Using the EDSCLS VM 2.7

To help you navigate the administration of the EDSCLS, we have created a variety of tools. Below you will find links to download the EDSCLS VM 2.7, an updated EDSCLS User Guide, the updated EDSCLS Survey Item Lists, the updated EDSCLS code books, and the Nonresponse Bias Worksheet.

We recommend that you download and read the EDSCLS User Guide before downloading the EDSCLS VM 2.7. Section 2.1 System Setup in Virtual Environment in the User Guide is intended for the education agency’s IT staff who will be in charge of downloading, installing, and configuring the EDSCLS web-based platform. Section 2.2 EDSCLS Administration is intended for Survey Administrators, who oversee the survey data collection through the EDSCLS dashboard.


Below, you can find links to the following archived EDSCLS VM 2.7 materials: the 2017 EDSCLS Administration User Guide, the EDSCLS VM 2.7 Survey Item Lists, the EDSCLS VM 2.7 code books, and the non-response bias worksheet.


Download EDSCLS VM 2.7 User Guide

Download EDSCLS VM 2.7 Survey Item Lists

Download EDSCLS VM 2.7 Codebooks

Download Nonresponse Bias Worksheet

American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

This Web site is operated and maintained by AIR. The contents of this Web site do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education nor do they imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education.

©2022 American Institutes for Research — Disclaimer   |   Privacy Policy   |   Accessibility Statement