What are School Culture & Climate Student Surveys?


What do you know about your school’s culture and climate? How can you determine whether students are feeling safe or supported? How does your school measure the social and emotional competencies of the students?

These are very important questions for school leaders and staff as they attempt to gather data on their school climate and culture. This information directly informs how administration develops their school plans.

School culture and climate surveys can be used to identify trends and areas of success, concern and growth within the school environment.

These surveys address many aspects of the school experience such as:

  • SEL Skills
  • Student Behavior
  • Values
  • Norms
  • Relationships
  • Instruction
  • Learning Practices
  • School Policy and Procedures
  • Environmental Safety
  • Equity

→ Check out Kickboard’s simple monthly student SEL survey tool

With the goal of improving school culture, surveys provide the opportunity for students and school staff to be active participants in the development of policies and systems for school culture. The survey data provide critical insights into the school experience and informs the changes made within the school. Having a positive school climate not only impacts learning but influences student behaviors and the environment for the teachers and staff. The information gathered helps the administration implement supports that support staff as well, by preventing teacher burnout and encouraging teacher retention. Teachers want to work in schools that have a positive school culture.

If you are a school leader who is thinking about ways to advance your school climate and culture, consider ways you can gather additional information about the learning experience from your students and staff. School culture and climate surveys do not have to be a daunting addition to your school operations plan. Collecting data in short periods of time with easily accessible technologies makes it easier to collect data, analyze the information and make changes in a timely manner.

If you are ready to implement a school climate and culture survey and are you interested in how to measure SEL competencies in your students, it is important to think about what you need to get started. Highlighted below are three areas that will impact the success of your efforts.


Ensure your leadership is prepared and ready to begin the process of learning more to make the school environment better. Focus on identifying key resources, personnel and measures to implement a successful program. Read about Ways for School Leaders to Implement Positive Culture and Climate Initiatives.

 The School Environment

If students are attending full day, remote or hybrid schools, the school climate and culture work will look a little different. School leaders should be prepared to implement a plan that considers the virtual environment and ways to sustain the efforts. Stay focused on the critical areas for students as learning doesn’t stop even if they are away from the school building. Teachers and staff are still responsible for creating spaces that are safe and effective for students. 

 Survey Tools

If you are new to collecting data or if you are thinking about a new school culture and climate initiative, consider Kickboard’s new student survey tool. Kickboard Student Surveys include a short, 6-question survey delivered to students monthly via an app on the web. Kickboard surveys include self reflection on SEL competencies as well as questions about school climate, including Equity, Student Support, Safety and Belonging.

With the right tool and guidance from your school leadership, your school can collect valuable information about the school climate and culture directly from students. With easy tools and accurate information, your school leadership can make informed decisions for effective school improvement.