Step 1: Select your Target Population(s)

The CCAI will be more reliable when used by more than one assessor and the results are considered in conjunction with student data.

Step 2: Gather Data

It is important for those facilitating the administration of the survey to provide accurate directions (see directions on Page One of the instrument) to participants, especially students. Miss-marked surveys cannot be used. A common problem is that participants make too many marks, assuming that each of the 3 descriptions for each item must be rated separately. Participants must feel uninhibited, anonymous, and relaxed for results to be meaningful. It is recommended that participants be given pre-labeled inventories coding their group category and number (e.g., P12 = parent group participant #12).

Step 3: Aggregate the Data

It is recommended that each item be aggregated for each separate group of participants. Each item should be given a score corresponding to its mean (marks in level 3 are scored a 5, between level 3 and 2 are scored at a 4, scores in the middle of level 2 receive a 3, and so forth - the mean score can be obtained by dividing the total number of points for each item by the number of participants). Item mean scores will range between 5.0 (high) to 1.0 (low).

Next, a mean should be calculated for each group for each dimension. For example, Classroom X may have a mean of 2.7 for Dimension 3: Student Interactions as rated by students, and a mean of 3.3 as rated by the teacher, and so on. It is also recommended that an overall mean for each separate group be calculated as well.

Step 4: Data Analysis

Creating a graphic representation of the data is recommended. It offers ease of interpretation and analysis.

Teachers or Teams can make assessment judgments at any of three levels.
  • First, evaluations can be made at the individual item level. These data will provide implications for potential remediation and improvements related to practice.
  • Second, each of the 3 sub-scales should be scored as a unit. These data will provide the team a sense of which areas are sources of strength and which are areas of weakness/ opportunity.
  • Third, using the rubric holistically, the entire school could be judged to be at one of the three performance levels. This level of assessment can be used to make a global judgment as to where the school is in its process of growth.

Doing some degree of assessment at each level of judgment is recommended. Depending upon the purpose of the assessment, and your reporting audience, you may wish to communicate your findings with or without a high level of specificity.

Remember, this rubric is not intended to provide a quantifiable rating for purposes of school-to-school comparison. It is simply an instrument intended to furnish an evaluation team with an overall qualitative sense of the current school climate, as well as the specific aspects of that climate, in their varying stages of development, at any particular school.

Step 5: Use of the Data

It is recommended that those involved in the assessment process are also involved in the process of action planning. The insights drawn from the data analysis process (especially the focus group interviews) will be invaluable in any process of implementation.

Examining dimension-level data will be useful in identifying areas of need. Further focus group data may be useful after discovery of an area that has been rated very low. Examining item-level data is useful when examining forms of practice that may be either particularly strong or weak. Curriculum experts and/or ASSC consultants may be helpful in suggesting practices that will target areas for improvement as identified by particular items. Specialized in-services can be one possible solution to these areas. It is recommended that any action plan be developed immediately following the completion of the data analysis. Delay can lead to stagnation and is typically a mistake. Moreover, it is essential that those charged with the task of identifying needs and developing a plan of action have the necessary power to implement those changes.

IMPORTANT: : School and/or Classroom Climate Assessment can be of profound value in your school’s efforts toward improvement. But make no mistake. You are entering a sensitive and intimate realm - the heart and mind of your school. It is critical that your endeavors are not perceived by others as personal accusations, and/or political gamesmanship, or your efforts will result in more harm than good.