Center for Performance

Illinois 5Essentials Survey

Illinois 5Essentials Survey: Organizing Schools for Improvement

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will again administer the Illinois 5Essentials Survey this year. Teachers, students, and parents will be able to complete the survey Nov. 16 through Jan. 16, 2017. The survey is required for districts that did not participate in last year’s survey or administer an alternative survey. If your district completed the 5Essentials during the 2015-16 school year, it may -- but is not required -- to administer the survey in the 2016-17 school year.

The 5Essentials Survey will be available at no cost for all participants. The 5Essentials Survey provides school districts with detailed data on school culture and climate by inquiring into five leading areas for school improvement. The data from the survey will also be published on the Illinois State Report Card at For the 2016-17 survey administration, both students and teachers will be rostered.

To indicate that your district will participate in the 5Essentials during the 2016-17 school year, whether you are electing or required to participate, please complete this form. Because the survey window is earlier than last year, the deadline to complete the aforementioned form is Oct. 24.

Make sure that your educator and student information is updated and valid, as the data required for rostering students and teachers will be pulled from the Student Information System (SIS) and the Employment Information System (EIS), respectively. New enhancements for the 2016-17 school year include:

  • ISBE has automated the process through which districts roster its teachers,
  • Based upon feedback from educators, ISBE has adjusted the timeframe the survey will be administered in 2016-17, and
  • Also, based upon the feedback educators provided during the 2016-17 administration of the 5Essentials, districts will have the option of constructing a narrative describing their local context. In addition, this section will allow districts that are administering alternative surveys to summarize their results and provide a local context.

For questions regarding the survey, please call (217) 782-3950 or email

The 5Essentials Indicators

The Illinois 5 Essentials Survey identifies five indicators that lead to important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains.

The five indicators that positively affect school success are:

5Essentials Survey
  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environments
  • Ambitious Instruction

Research derived from the Five Essentials for School Success has proven that schools strong on at least 3 of the 5Essentials are 10 times more likely to improve student outcomes.

Learn More

Click Here for the Illinois State Board of Education’s 5Essentials Survey Resources webpage.

Click Here for the Illinois State Board of Education’s 5Essentials Survey Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Click Here for the Illinois State Board of Education’s report on approved survey alternatives for 2015, per Public Act 98-0648. You may also download folders of information (.zip) on the approved alternatives below:

Click Here for UChicago Impact’s 5Essentials Survey webpage.

Please direct any questions to