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About the Monthly School Survey Dashboard

The School Survey Dashboard was created as part of a pilot study to provide data for understanding learning opportunities offered by schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot survey is a key element of the response to the Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers. Results from the survey will also be used in analyses of the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data. The survey is scheduled to collect data five times, once a month from February 2021 through June 2021. The following information provides an overview of the contents of the survey, data collection and sampling methodology, and information on how to interpret results from the survey.

Content of the School Survey

The school survey addresses seven topics to facilitate understanding of how schools across the nation are responding to the changing conditions of educating their students during the pandemic. Download the full text of the questionnaire.

The questionnaire asks school administrators the following key questions about the previous month in their school.

  1. To what degree did schools offer remote only, hybrid, or full-time in-person instruction?
  2. What was the proportion of students overall and by various student groups enrolled in each instructional mode during the month?
  3. What type of hybrid model was offered?
  4. On average, how many days were students offered in-person instruction under the hybrid instructional mode?
  5. How many hours of synchronous (i.e., live) instruction did students receive on average daily under the remote learning mode?
  6. Which student groups received priority for in-person instruction?
  7. What was the attendance rate for each instructional mode for the month by various student groups?
  8. What percentage of teachers have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine ?

Each month's data collection asks respondents to report on their school's information for the previous month with one exception: Question 1 asked respondents to indicate their school's instruction modes offered for the current month. The initial data collection period began on February 22 and ended on March 12. Question 1 was revised to refer to the previous month for the second and all subsequent data collection periods.

Results for the attendance rate question during the first data collection contained missing data and mismatches when compared to reported enrollment; therefore, results are not reported for the January reporting period. The question about teacher vaccinations was added for the February reporting period.

Sample Design and Weighting

For the initial data collection, the survey sample consisted of approximately 5,000 public schools that serve fourth- and eighth-grade students throughout the nation. In each grade, there were approximately 40 to 70 public schools in each state, depending on the state's size and whether the state includes a Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) district participating to obtain its own survey results. Approximately 39 public schools were sampled in each participating TUDA. See complete participation rates for grade 4 and grade 8.

Because the timeline for responding to the survey during the initial data collection was short, some states and districts declined to participate in the first month or did not meet participation rates. In most cases, schools in these states contributed to the national estimates even if not enough schools participated to provide representative survey results for the state. Similarly, in most of these districts, schools contributed to the state and national estimates even if not enough schools participated to produce representative survey results for the district.

The school samples in each jurisdiction were stratified using the characteristics of type of location (urban, rural, etc.), the racial/ethnic composition of the school, and the school's level of achievement in recent state assessments of mathematics or reading. Private schools were stratified by Catholic/non-Catholic classification, region of the country, and type of location. However, for the initial release, we only report results for public schools. Stratification of the sample ensures that it is representative across these characteristics.

The sampled schools were originally selected to conduct the 2021 NAEP assessment in mathematics and reading. Thus, the goal in selecting these samples was to ensure that representative samples of students would be assessed. Although intended for use in a program of student assessments, these samples have been repurposed for the NAEP School Survey. Using the existing sample of schools made it possible to recruit and survey the schools that were representative of the nation, states, and urban districts.

Since the original sample design is aimed at representing populations of students, schools of different student enrollment size have differing selection probabilities within each state and district. Thus, sample weights must be applied in the analysis of the survey responses to obtain valid inferences about each jurisdiction's fourth- and eighth-grade students and their schools. The sample weight for each school is the reciprocal of the school's probability of selection. For example, a large school with a selection probability of 0.5 receives a weight of 2.0, while a smaller school in the same jurisdiction with a selection probability of 0.1 receives a weight of 10.0. Using these sample weights in analyses ensures the correct representation of each type and size of school in the survey estimates.

Data Collection

The survey is scheduled to collect data five times, once a month from February 2021 through June 2021. The data collection periods are listed in the table below.

2021 Monthly School Survey Schedule
What are the data collection windows? What months will the data represent? When will the dashboard be updated?
February 22 – March 12 January* March 24, 2021
March 17 – 30 February April 7, 2021
April 14 – 27 March May 5, 2021
May 19 – June 2 April June 10, 2021
June 16 – 29 May July 8, 2021
* Question 1 asked respondents to indicate their school's instruction modes offered for the current month.

The survey is administered through a web-based data collection system in jurisdictions that have agreed to participate. The intended respondents of the survey are NAEP School Coordinators or District Test Coordinators. NAEP State Coordinators or NAEP TUDA Coordinators can also respond to individual school surveys or submit survey results for many schools at once.

  • NAEP School Coordinators are typically the school test coordinator, counselor, assistant principal, or principal. They are the point person at the school for all NAEP data collection activities.
  • District test Coordinators facilitate all testing activities for the district and have access to student information systems.
  • NAEP State Coordinators promote and coordinate all NAEP data collection activities in the state.
  • NAEP TUDA Coordinators promote and coordinate all NAEP data collection activities in the TUDA districts.

Reporting Results

The dashboard provides a preliminary summary of the key questions listed above and will be updated each month as data are collected. Results shown in the dashboard should be interpreted with caution due to the possible increase or decrease in response rates over time. For the initial release, results are reported for public school students only. Data (including participation rates, percentage estimates, and standard errors) are available for download for grade 4, grade 8, and for grades 4 and 8 combined.

The dashboard primarily presents percentages of students within categories of the survey questions. At the jurisdiction level, results are reported for each question when the participation rate for school samples is 70 percent or higher. Results are shown for the nation when participation rates are higher than 50 percent and the responses included schools across regions and school locations. In some cases, results are not available when the sample size does not meet the minimum requirements. For the estimated percentage of students, if the denominator for a jurisdiction's aggregated data is based on fewer than 62 students or was from fewer than five schools, the results are not reported. When estimates of percentages are close to 0 or 100, the usual normal distribution assumptions no longer apply and standard methodology of standard error estimation cannot be used. In these cases, standard errors are not reported.

Percentages are also reported for schools for questions other than those related to student enrollment and attendance. School percentages are available at the national level only due to the potentially small number of schools responding in individual states or large urban districts.

National results can be disaggregated by region and type of school location based on census definitions. Such disaggregated results are not available at the state level because of the limited number of responding schools within each jurisdiction.

The results are not reflective of a universal census of all schools; therefore, the estimated percentages presented in the dashboard contain some margin of sampling error. The stratified nature of the sample design helps to reduce sampling error better than if a completely random sample of schools had been selected.

As with NAEP assessments, and many other sample surveys, estimation of sampling error is achieved by using the paired jackknife replicate variance procedure. Details explaining how this procedure is used to derive sampling error can be found in the technical documentation for past NAEP assessments.