- Decide as a GSA how you want to write and conduct the survey, for example, if you want to have paper surveys or electronic, or both. Divide up tasks and set deadlines. If your group is large enough, you may want to form a separate “survey committee.”
- Pinpoint the specific issue(s) you would like to learn more about through the survey and design several questions relating to the issue(s). For example, you may choose to focus on anti-gay slurs or teacher attitudes toward the GSA.
- Be sure to include demographic questions such as gender, race, and grade. This will help you organize results later.
- Many GSAs have found that including one or two open-ended questions at the end of the survey can be a good way to generate useful and revealing information about people’s attitudes. The School Climate Survey is a useful tool for assessing the comfort level and safety of LGBTQIA2+ students in your school in general, and the GSA Evaluation will help your club leadership understand where you’ve shined and where the club still has room to grow.
- Keep the survey fairly short--it shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to fill out.
Getting your survey approved:
- Show your GSA advisor a draft of your survey and ask for feedback.
- Find out how other surveys at your school are approved and follow the same processes. For example, some surveys get approved by Student Leadership. At some schools, it is wise to get the approval and/or endorsement of the principal, so that if you run into any trouble with certain teachers giving out the survey you’ll have the principal’s support. Some schools have simply approached a department chair (e.g. Social Studies or English) to help you distribute the survey through teachers in their department.
- When seeking approval, be able to articulate why you want to conduct a survey, what you hope to get out of it, and how you will use the information gathered to benefit the larger school community.
- Find a supportive teacher in your math department to help you figure out how many responses you need for the results you gather to be statistically significant for your school’s population.
- Develop a feasible plan for conducting the survey and getting a diverse cross-section of the student population. Try to avoid having any one student fill out more than one survey so the data collected is accurate.
- If you don’t get approval to conduct the survey in classrooms, consider handing it out at lunch time. Offer an incentive such as candy or cookies to encourage as many students as possible to participate, not just those who support the GSA already.
- Be sure to thank people for their time! And, before they start the survey, let them know that they can choose to stop at any point and are not in any way obligated to take or complete the survey.
See editable school climate survey - Go to Editable School Climate Survey
Download PDF of School Climate Survey - School Climate Survey PDF
Download PDF - CONDUCTINGASCHOOLCLIMATESURVEY1.pdf