Information | Communication | Transparency | Accountability

A Movement By Citizens  Demanding Transparency, Accountability, and Community Engagement for school districts in the State of Illinois.

Building A Better District is a taxpayer-led movement and is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by, the State or Regional Board of Education, any individual school district, or administration/Board of Education. 

5Essentials Survey

The "5Essentials Survey" is an educational assessment tool designed to gather feedback from teachers, students, and parents/guardians about the school environment and its impact on learning. The survey is used to assess the strengths and areas for improvement within schools, with the goal of promoting better educational outcomes.

The survey is based on research conducted at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, which identified five essential components that are linked to school success and student learning. You can find more about our district's involvement on the Central 301 website.  These five essentials are:

  1. Effective Leaders: Effective school leadership includes principals and other administrators who set a clear vision for the school, provide support to teachers and staff, and create a positive school culture.

  2. Collaborative Teachers: Collaborative teachers work together to improve instruction and support student learning. They engage in professional development, share best practices, and collaborate on curriculum and teaching strategies.

  3. Involved Families: Involved families participate in their children's education by attending school events, communicating with teachers, and supporting their children's learning at home. Strong family-school partnerships are associated with improved student outcomes.

  4. Supportive Environment: A supportive school environment is one where students feel safe, respected, and engaged in learning. This includes effective classroom management, positive relationships between students and teachers, and a sense of belonging.

  5. Ambitious Instruction: Ambitious instruction refers to high-quality, challenging teaching practices that promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and deep understanding of subject matter. It encourages students to think, explore, and excel academically.

Learn More About the 5Essentials Survey.

The 5Essentials Survey typically asks respondents (teachers, students, and parents/guardians) to provide feedback on these five essential areas by answering a series of questions related to each component. The survey results are then analyzed to identify areas of strength and areas that may need improvement within a school.

School administrators and educators can use the survey data to inform school improvement plans, target resources, and make informed decisions about how to enhance the educational experience for students. It provides a valuable tool for self-assessment and continuous improvement within educational institutions.

The 5Essentials Survey has been used in various school districts and states to assess school climate, inform policy decisions, and support efforts to improve educational outcomes for students. It helps schools and districts focus on key factors that contribute to a positive and effective learning environment.

Learn more on the 5 Essentials Survey from ISBE.  You can also view the latest reports for each District 301 school  below. 

Central 301 5Essentials Summary By School - 2023

Howard B. Thomas

Organized for Improvement

Country Trails

Well-Organized for Improvement

Lily Lake

Well-Organized for Improvement

Prairie View

Organized for Improvement

Prairie Knolls Middle School

Organized for Improvement

Central Middle School

Organized for Improvement

Central High School

Partially Organized for Improvement

To access reports for previous years, access the 5 Essentials Survey site directly and click "Select A Private Survey", locate the school you wish to review and the year.

About us

We are a local group dedicated to cultivating an empowered and engaged community of parents and taxpayers to build an environment of transparency, accountability, and communication within Central Community Unified District 301 (D301), representing the unified voice of the people for a successful and sustainable future.


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Contact us

Building A Better District is a volunteer community group advocating for transparency, honesty, accountability, and community engagement from Central CUSD 301 in Burlington, IL.

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