FAQ’s About the CSCI

Has the CSCI been developed in a scientifically sound manner?
The CSCI was developed over a period of several years, building on theoretical and survey work done in the field of social and emotional education. In 2007, NSCC extensively tested the survey, using factor analysis and structural equation modeling to validate the sub-scales and confirm our theoretical model of school climate. With this data, we were able to determine whether questions grouped in the way we predicted and whether similar patterns existed across schools and groups of students, providing an empirical “seal of approval” for the CSCI.

How do we administer the CSCI?
NSCC staff will work with your school to develop a CSCI implementation plan. We will help you designate a School Climate Coordinator to work hand-in-hand with our School Support team. This coordinator will gain access to the School Climate Resource Center, our customized online portal designed to make the process seamless, straightforward, and simple. The Resource Center contains online survey links and support resources such as the administration checklist, best practices, sample form letters, FAQ’s, advice from other School Climate Coordinators and more. It also contains real-time response rates and a simple calendar that keeps the coordinator updated of the survey administration progress. The survey is typically administered over a 2-week period (online or with paper and pencil).

What kind of report will we get?
Your school will receive a Presentation and CSCI Report PDF. The Presentation PDF is short and consists of images only, whereas the CSCI Report is longer and much more detailed; it has an item-by-item breakdown in the detailed findings section, as well as several helpful action charts for each school climate dimension.The are four sections in the CSCI Report: (1) an overview of school climate and of the report; (2) a narrative and numerical summary that describes how students, school personnel, and parents responded to the CSCI dimensions; (3) recommendations and guidelines; (4) detailed numerical findings that show how people responded to every single question in the CSCI. To learn more about the report click here.

At what grade levels can we use the CSCI with students?
There are two student versions:

  • Middle and High School: 6th to 12th grade
  • Elementary School: 3rd to 5th grade

Does the CSCI come in languages other than English?
Yes. Currently, the CSCI is available in Spanish. Please let us know if you have a need for additional translations.

How long does it take to take the CSCI?
The CSCI can be completed in a class period. For Students: It usually takes 20 minutes for students to complete the CSCI, but may take more time for younger students or students with special needs. For Adults: Generally, adults can complete the CSCI in 15-20 minutes. Schools have had success completing the CSCI during faculty or grade level meetings.

How will you use the demographic data that you request on the survey?
Demographic data is gathered for grade level, gender, and ethnicity, among other categories. This information is presented within the final report to show differences between certain sub-group categories for each of the school climate dimensions. Demographic populations lower than ten people will not be reported to protect anonymity of respondents.

Will my school report be confidential?
Yes. The CSCI is completely confidential.

When will we get back the report?
You will receive a PDF version of the report within two weeks after the survey close-date.

Do you compare and rate schools with the CSCI?
NSCC does not use the CSCI to compare or rate schools. The CSCI has been developed to support learning and improvement efforts based on each school’s individual climate results and is not meant to be used as a norm-referenced tool. NSCC considers each school’s report to be confidential and will only share a school’s CSCI results and program work with its permission.

What have other schools said about the CSCI?
Schools have found the CSCI to be extremely helpful for many reasons. The CSCI provides reliable information about what the whole school community believes is and is not working. The CSCI provides a sound way to discover whether particular programs are helping. It also reveals important differences in perception between different groups. These groups may include students, teachers, parents and administrative staff.

We know what our concerns are. Is it still helpful to take the CSCI?
There are several reasons why it may be very useful to use the CSCI even when you have a good sense of your school’s concerns. The CSCI provides scientifically-sound methods of gathering data that may confirm or expand your sense of the school’s climate. Sometimes a school’s sense of its climate may come from listening to only a few of the loudest voices. The CSCI is a way to hear from many voices that may not have been heard previously. Schools have found that the CSCI can help build a case, based on data, for moving ahead with action plans.

When we receive the CSCI report, what can we do with it?
CSCI findings can become the springboard for substantive and collaborative school improvement efforts. NSCC has developed a series of suggested “next steps” and school improvement tools to support sustained social, emotional, ethical and academic school improvement.

How much does it cost to administer the CSCI and get a report?
We have a variety of options that schools may want to consider. To learn more about these please click here.

Where might I get funds to help pay for the CSCI?
There are a variety of potential fund sources which may include violence prevention, school improvement, evaluation and assessment funds, drop out prevention, anti- bullying grants, and local school monies.

Who should I contact at NSCC if I am interested in learning more about the CSCI?
Contact Amanda Weitzel aweitzel@schoolclimate.org or call 212-707-8799, extension 25.