School Climate Surveys

“The foundation of school safety rests in creating cultures and climates of safety, respect, and emotional support in schools.” (U.S. Secret Service, 2004; 2018)

As part of the Safe Communities Safe Schools (SCSS) project, the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence offers school climate surveys, at a low cost, with options for students, staff, and parents.

Measuring school climate provides:

  • Critical data about strengths and challenges that can be used to set priorities for action
  • Opportunity to carefully select evidence-based programs, practices, and policies based on data-identified needs and priorities
  • Evidence that existing strategies and programs are obtaining the intended outcomes or, if challenges still exist, indication that modifications or technical assistance may be needed

Benefits to using the SCSS survey:

  • Administration Ease: Surveys are administered anonymously online using a secure website and server
  • Customization: Schools can customize their student survey by selecting from optional scales
  • Report Quality and Quick Turnaround Time: Shortly after survey administration, we send a comprehensive report to the school detailing results with attention to their strengths and challenges
  • Validated and Reliable Measures: SCSS surveys use tested measures of risk and protective factors, risk behaviors and factors of school climate
  • Companion Reports: Staff and parent surveys align with the student survey, providing a more comprehensive picture of a school’s climate from the broader school community
  • Spanish Translation: All surveys are available online in both English and Spanish
  • Resources for Evidence-Based Programs and Strategies Matched to Needs: Reports include reputable resources for selecting evidence-based programs and strategies based on identified needs and challenges. SCSS staff can provide additional services to help guide schools in the next steps when considering implementing a new program or strategy

For more information about our surveys or to administer any of the SCSS Surveys at your school, please contact us via email at cspv@colorado.edu or by phone at 303-492-1032.

Student Climate Surveys

  • Access to the internet and computers/devices for students to take the survey
  • Survey administration must take place after students have been in school for at least 60 days
  • Estimated time needed to complete survey: 45-60 minutes (dependent on grade level and reading ability)

 Administrator/Staff Climate Surveys

  • Provide all administrators and school staff with the survey link, including: all full- and part-time teachers, para-professionals, and other support staff
  • Access to the internet and computers (provided by school or through personal devices)
  • Survey administration must take place after students have been in school for at least 60 days
  • Estimated time needed to complete survey: 15 minutes

 Parent Surveys

  • Reliable method of communication with parents to share the survey link and results
  • Survey administration must take place after students have been in school for at least 60 days
  • Estimated time to complete survey: 15 minutes

The online elementary school climate survey is designed for students in grades 4-6. Sixth graders will only complete this survey if they are located in the elementary school building, otherwise they will take the middle school climate survey. Responses on the student survey are always anonymous and summary reports are kept confidential. All schools administer the core school climate survey questions but have the option of customizing their survey by choosing optional scales that reflect the needs of the school. The time needed to complete the survey depends on how many optional scales are chosen as well as students’ reading level, however we suggest providing students with 45-60 minutes.

Core Survey Topic Examples:

  • Positive School Climate
    • Positive Feelings and Attitudes Toward School
    • Good Condition of Campus
    • Positive Feelings and Attitudes Towards Diversity
    • Teacher Support
    • Knowledge and Perception of Fairness of Discipline Policies
    • Respect for Authority
    • Perceptions of Feeling Safe at School
  • Peer Acceptability of Aggression
  • Acceptability of Aggression
  • Bullying Victimization and Perpetration
  • Bullying Victimization Hot Spots
  • Perpetration of Aggression
  • Smoking, Alcohol, & Marijuana Use
  • Bonding and Time with Family
  • Parental Control and Monitoring
  • Parents Value and Encourage Prosocial Behavior
  • Trusting Relationships

Optional Scale Topic Examples:

  • Students’ Positive Relationship with Peers
  • Witness to Bullying
  • Involvement in Community Activities
  • Physical Health Status and Exercise
  • Value on Health
  • Academic Self-Efficacy
  • Self-Regulatory Self-Efficacy
  • Truancy

Click below for sample questions from the Elementary School Survey:

The online middle/high school climate survey is designed for students in grades 6-12. Responses on the student survey are always anonymous and summary reports are kept confidential. All schools administer the core school climate survey questions but have the option of customizing their survey by choosing optional scales that reflect the needs of the school. The time needed to complete the survey depends on how many optional scales are chosen as well as students’ reading level, however we suggest providing students with 45-60 minutes.

Core Survey Topic Examples:

  • Positive School Climate
  • Respectful and Supportive Relationships
  • School Bonding
  • Systems to Address Mental and Behavioral Health and Safety Concerns
  • Antisocial Peer Attitudes
  • Violent Attitudes and Moral Disengagement
  • Interactions with Antisocial Peers
  • Violence Risk
  • Supportive Prosocial Attitudes and Relationships
  • Interactions with Prosocial Peers
  • Inner Drives and Deepest Interests
  • Bullying Victimization and Perpetration
  • Perceptions of Feeling Safe at School
  • Perpetration of Aggression
  • Delinquency
  • Substance Abuse
  • Truancy
  • Trusting Relationships

Optional Scale Topic Examples:

  • Teen Dating Violence
  • Witness to Bullying
  • Academic and Self-Regulatory Self-Efficacy
  • Family Attachment and Positive Reinforcement
  • Attitudes Towards Gun Violence
  • Access to Firearms
  • Weapon Carrying and Use
  • Mental Health (Depressions and Suicide Risk)
  • Gang Participation & Presence of Gangs
  • Involvement in School and Community Activities
  • Health and Wellness
  • Physical Safety

Click below for sample questions from the Middle/High School Survey:

The administrator and staff survey is an anonymous, online school climate survey designed to assess the school climate from the perspective of school administrators and staff. While this survey can be used as a stand-alone assessment, we recommend combining this survey with the appropriate student climate survey. The link to the survey can be emailed to staff or provided in a staff meeting, the survey can be completed on mobile devices and should only take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Core Survey Topic Examples:

  • Positive School Climate
  • Perceptions of Safety and Supervision
  • School Bonding
  • Respectful and Supportive Relationships
  • Systems to Address Mental and Behavioral Health
  • Staff Mindfulness Skills
  • Clean and Orderly Campus
  • Staff Social-Emotional Learning Skills
  • Perceived Student Problem Behaviors
  • School Safety Preparedness
  • Community and Parent Engagement

Click below for sample questions from the Administrator/Staff Survey:

The parent survey is an anonymous, online school climate survey designed to assess the school climate from the perspective of parents. While this survey can be used as a stand-alone assessment, we recommend also assessing the school climate from the perspective of students and staff. A link to the survey can be emailed to parents or printed and sent home with students and should only take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Core Survey Topic Examples:

  • Positive School Climate
  • School Safety Preparedness
  • Perceived Student Problem Behaviors
  • Parental Involvement in School Activities
  • Home Environment
  • Parent Protective Factors
  • Community Attachment
  • Family and Community Risk and Protective Factors

Click below for sample questions from the Parent Survey: