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School safety earns the top marks from teachers in our surveys

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

In looking at the aggregate data from our staff engagement surveys during the past year, we’re able to see how, no pun intended, teachers grade a variety of elements that affect their individual engagement. We know from working with thousands of schools throughout the state and nation that high staff engagement results in high student engagement, which is a top factor in overall student achievement.

Teachers gave the highest marks to a feeling of safety and security in our staff assessment surveys.

In our last blog post, we discussed what ranks lowest among our teachers – it’s consistent student discipline, if you didn’t get a chance to check out the blog post yet, you can do so here.

But this time, we get to focus on what has earned the top spot from teachers based on data from School Perceptions’ staff survey. It’s actually something that speaks well of how districts are approaching an issue that is at the front of the minds of educators as well as parents.

It’s school safety.

This past year, teachers gave the highest score to “Based on my interactions with other adults, I feel safe at work.” The overall score for this question is 4.38 on a five-point scale for teachers at all levels. High school and middle school teachers collectively gave it a 4.31; elementary school teachers gave it a 4.51.

Teachers ­also had the opportunity to answer a similar question: “Based on my interactions with students, I feel safe at work.” The average score for all teachers in responding to this question during the past year is 4.09. Breaking this out, high school teachers’ average response was 4.07; middle school teachers gave it a 3.91 and elementary school teachers gave it a 4.06.

In our research, a score of 3.00 or better indicates an area of strength for a school district. Clearly, this is an area where districts of all sizes are excelling.

With the incidents that unfortunately do occur on campuses, school safety has become a priority. Schools throughout the country are taking a number of steps to address this issue. In Wisconsin, 2018’s Act 143 required schools to implement school violence drills, complete on-site safety assessments and implement school safety training, among other things. What’s going on in our state mirrors similar initiatives throughout the country.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, real changes are occurring in schools. As of 2017, security cameras had been installed in more than 81 percent of American schools, 94 percent of American schools now control public building access and more than 94 percent of schools have active shooter plans in place.

The fact that the people who are in classrooms on a daily basis and interacting with students give this the highest score in our survey is a positive sign, not just for individual districts but also education as a whole.

For information on our staff engagement surveys and the data they can provide your district, call us at 262.644.4300 or email


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