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Office of Planning and Research

Views of Climate and Learning (VOCAL) Student Survey Project, 2018

VOCAL is an annual survey sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In 2018, DESE administered survey items to students in grades 5, 8, and 10. Participating students were asked to share their views on three dimensions and nine topics of school climate:

EngagementSafetyEnvironment
Cultural competence
  • The extent students feel the adults/students value diversity, manage dynamics of differences, and avoid stereotypes.
Relationships
  • The extent students feel there is a social connection and respect between staff/teachers and students, and between students and their peers.
Participation
  • The extent students feel engaged intellectually, emotionally, and behaviorally in the classroom, and the extent that students or their parents are engaged in school life.
Emotional safety
  • The extent students feel a bond to the school, and the extent adults/students support the emotional needs of students.
Physical safety
  • The extent that students feel physically safe within the school environment.
Bullying/Cyber-bullying
  • The extent that students report different types of bullying behaviors occurring in the school and the extent that school/staff/students try to counteract bullying.
Instructional environment
  • The extent that students feel the instructional environment is collaborative, relevant, challenging and supportive of learning.
Mental health environment
  • The extent that students have access to systems support that effectively support their social, emotional and mental health well-being.
Discipline environment
  • The extent that discipline is fair, applied consistently and evenly, and a shared responsibility.

51,218 fifth graders (84%) participated in the survey, along with 62,860 eighth graders (89%), and 46,652 tenth graders (64%).

2018 VOCAL Survey Findings

Executive Summary and Descriptive Reports

Executive SummaryDescriptive Reports
Download Word Document
Massachusetts 2018 Executive Summary


 
State 2018 report — coming soon


 
VOCAL 2018 validity report — coming soon



2018 VOCAL Sample Reports and Guidance Materials

The sample reports reflect the school climate data provided to schools and districts. These reports were accompanied by supporting guidance materials, provided below. With the exception of the Interpretive Guide and Action Planning Resource for Schools, and the social and emotional learning crosswalk, these documents were embedded within the reports provided to schools and districts.

Sample Reports and Guidance Materials

Sample ReportsGuidance Materials
Download PDF Document
District Summary Report


Download PDF Document
School Report


Annotated Report Download PDF Document
  • District summary report layout and data elements
  • School report layout and data elements

Grade-level School Profiles
Description of a relatively strong, average, and relatively weak school climate in Massachusetts within:

Interpretive Guide and Action Planning Resource for Schools Download Word Document
  • How to analyze and interpret VOCAL school climate data using the school sample report data as an exemplar (a completed and a blank template are provided)
  • Action Planning template for schools to set goals/priorities related to school climate (a completed and a blank template are provided)

VOCAL Item Crosswalk Download Excel Document
  • Connecting VOCAL school climate survey items to three other facets of building safe and supportive schools:
    • The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning's (CASEL) five social and emotional competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making)
    • The principles of accessible instruction, and
    • The principles of positive behavior supports

2018 Survey Content

The surveys that were administered in 2018 can be viewed by below.

Surveys
Download Word Document
Grade 5

Download Word Document
Grade 8

Download Word Document
Grade 10


VOCAL Student Survey Project, 2017



Last Updated: October 25, 2018
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