The Connecticut State Department of Education (“CSDE”) has issued guidance on school climate assessment instruments. All public school districts, including magnet and charter schools, and RESCs, are required to implement Safe School Climate assessments biennially. This requirement went into effect in the 2012-13 school year, and is therefore required in the 2014-15 school year. Pursuant to amendments to the bulling law in 2014, the CSDE (in collaboration with the Connecticut Association of Schools) must disseminate “surveys that contain uniform grade-level appropriate questions that collect information about students’ perspective and opinions about the school climate at the school….”
In a December 31, 2014 communication to District School Climate Coordinators, the CSDE identified six uniform questions that must be used by all public schools, including magnet and charter schools, when conducting student school climate surveys. Schools may elect to add—verbatim—the required questions to their existing survey or may choose to use only the six SDE-identified questions as their survey. Schools implementing the “Comprehensive School Climate Inventory” (“CSCI”) need not add questions because the required questions are already included in the CSCI. Though the law applies only to surveys completed by students, the SDE recommends that the questions be asked of all populations—students, faculty/staff, and parents/guardians.