Office of Planning and Research

Views of Climate and Learning (VOCAL) Survey Project


VOCAL is an annual survey sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Participating students are asked to share their views on three dimensions and nine topics of school climate:


Cultural Competence

  • The extent students feel adults/students value diversity, manage dynamics of differences, and avoid stereotypes.


  • The extent students feel there is a social connection and respect between staff/teachers and students, and between students and their peers.


  • 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.


  • 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 support systems 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 among staff, teachers, and students.

English Language VOCAL Surveys

Foreign Language Translations

Haitian Creole


Simplified Chinese


Information and Upcoming Events

Annual Training Opportunities

The Department will offer VOCAL data usage workshops in late fall. VOCAL trainings will be offered in late fall to demonstrate the new Edwin reporting system for VOCAL data.

Upcoming Events

Views of Climate and Learning (VOCAL) is an annual school climate survey sponsored by the DESE administered to students in grade 4, grade 5, grade 8, and grade 10 to capture their views on three dimensions of school climate: engagement, safety (bullying) and environment. A new dashboard with 2022 results will be available in Edwin in July. This session will provide a brief overview of VOCAL and then walkthrough the new interactive dashboard. The webinar will be held at 11:00 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 26. Interested educators are asked to register for the VOCAL webinar.

If you have any questions on the VOCAL survey, fall trainings or upcoming events, please email .

Prior Years

Last Updated: August 1, 2022

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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