Get More Authentic Climate Survey Engagement with ThoughtExchange

Districts that prioritize a healthy school climate experience increased student success. ThoughtExchange helps you get robust, actionable data in an all-in-one survey and engagement platform so your students can thrive. Here’s how.
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November 21, 2023

Sarah Mathias

5 Ways to Get More Authentic Climate Survey Engagement

5 minutes

Do your students feel empowered to learn, grow, and achieve their goals? A healthy, supportive learning environment is key. Students need a robust culture, positive relationships with peers and educators, and physical and psychological safety to thrive.

School climate surveys are an essential way to engage your educational partners and understand what’s working and what needs improvement. While you’re already using them to get a read on your schools, how authentic is your engagement?

To improve your school climate and make impactful changes, you need deep insights. An engagement and survey platform that gets you both qualitative and quantitative data—all in one place—is the answer.

In this post, get tips for getting more authentic climate survey engagement in your district, so you can affect change that matters.

In this Article

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Invest in a comprehensive engagement and survey platform

Measuring school climate is essential for ensuring you meet your students’ needs. Investing in a robust engagement and survey platform is the first step. It will give you the high-quality data you need to make informed, effective decisions, and improve school climate.

Look for a platform that provides a holistic view of your climate data. You want nuanced qualitative and robust quantitative data with instant in-depth analysis, all in one platform. Make sure your platform not only helps you understand your participants’ concerns—but why they’re concerned.

You should be able to:

  • Conduct in-depth community discussions with instant qualitative data analysis
  • Collect benchmark comparisons while tracking and measuring improvements over time
  • Gather quality quantitative data for reporting to state agencies or funders
  • Identify outliers and trends across demographic groups

Relying on one robust platform for all your engagement and survey needs will save your district time and money, so you can put it back where it matters most–the classroom.


Start with what you’re already doing to improve school climate

You’ve already collected data through surveys, focus groups, listening sessions, meetings, and other forms of engagement. What have you done with it so far? Your community wants to know how you’re acting on their feedback. According to Seattle Public School’s Strategies to Improve Climate Survey Processes, starting with what you’ve already got in place is an essential step as it avoids “intervention fatigue.”

Share what concrete actions you’ve made as a result of the data you’ve collected. Listening to your educational partners’ needs and acting on them will build trust with your district and deepen engagement now and in the future.

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Collaborate with your community on the survey process

Tap into your community’s collective intelligence to design a more effective and efficient survey process. After all, they know their school climate and needs best. Seattle Public Schools recommends working with your community to determine survey questions and ensure they appeal to diverse education partners' needs. Take intentional steps to ensure parents’ perspectives are honored when these decisions are made.

Consider strategies to increase your response rate

Are you struggling with your climate survey response rates? Your education partners may be experiencing survey fatigue. Consider these strategies to engage your community—students, parents, teachers, and staff—and increase response rates.

  • Get the community involved early in the process—creates support and buy-in.
  • Talk to your students about the importance of school climate surveys and how their voices can make a difference—increases engagement.
  • Introduce surveys to student leaders first and get their insights before sharing with the rest of the student body—increases early student trust and buy-in.
  • Launch surveys in an organic environment (e.g., an English class for students) —gets students in the mindset to contribute.
  • Schedule specific times for students and parents to take surveys—improves response rate.
  • Make sure your climate survey platform is accessible on any device, has multi-language options, and is easy to use—improves response rate.
  • Monitor progress and give regular updates—increases trust.

Looking for more student engagement tips? Our customer, Dr. Rui Dionisio shares them here.


Dig into the data with other forms of engagement

What strategies can you take to dig deeper into your climate survey data? Consider adding other forms of engagement to the mix like focus groups, town halls, or an Exchange.

While Surveys are optimal for gathering fast, quantitative data and measuring a large group of people’s attitudes, behaviors, or opinions, Exchanges are perfect for gathering qualitative feedback and prioritizing people’s ideas and opinions.

Exchanges surface refined, nuanced insights, allowing leaders to gather participant-prioritized data—participants see and rate one another's ideas. Leaders can use the final output to make informed decisions.

Learn more about when to run a Survey and when to run an Exchange.

Improve your school climate with ThoughtExchange

Climate surveys are key to improving school climate in your district. And with the right engagement and survey platform, you’re well on your way to a supportive, empowering school environment. Tap into your education partners’ thoughts to understand what’s working and what needs improvement— and deeply understand your people’s priorities.

Get more engagement in less time with a robust platform that lets you gather, analyze, visualize, and report all in one place. So you can put your time and money back in the classroom, where it belongs.

See how ThoughtExchange can improve your school climate and help your students reach their full potential.

Our Climate Survey specialists will work with you to understand your core feedback needs and ensure you have the right package.
Sarah Mathias
Sarah discovered her love of words when she penned her first journal in grade 4—she hasn’t stopped writing since. With a BA in Sociology and an MPC in International/Intercultural Communication, Sarah honed her corporate writing skills in the travel insurance and fashion industries before working with ThoughtExchange. She brings her collaborative spirit and commitment to antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with her penchant for grammar jokes.

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