NDE announces interactive data tool to help keep students safe

CARSON CITY — With the start of the school year, the Nevada Department of Education announced today the launch of a new interactive tool that puts school climate data at the fingertips of families, educators, and community members. 

The tool, created in partnership with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), includes searchable and customizable data from school climate surveys in all public and charter schools across the state over the past four years.

“This kind of resource is invaluable to families and educators as we work to ensure every school is a safe and healthy place where all students can thrive,” said Jhone Ebert, Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This will help pinpoint when a school needs extra support to improve school climate, as well as empower parents on how they can support their child’s school.”

The tool is online at datatool.nevadaschoolclimate.org. The tool will continue to be updated as additional surveys are administered in the coming school years.

The Nevada School Climate/Social Emotional Learning (NV-SCSEL) survey was created following the 2015 Legislative Session in conjunction with the newly created Social Workers in Schools state block grant, which provided the Department with funding to place social workers or other licensed mental health workers in schools with the greatest needs. 

The survey will continue to serve as a key metric in the distribution of over $74 million in grants to districts and charter schools that were included in a new School Safety account created during the 2019 Legislative Session.

These funds will support school safety facility improvements, additional school resource and school police officers, programming and curricula for social, emotional, and academic development, and the expansion of the Social Workers in Schools program.

“Successful schools are those where students feel physically and emotionally safe and academically and socially engaged,” said David Osher, an AIR Institute Fellow and national expert on school climate and social emotional learning. “The state of Nevada is providing a blueprint for how stakeholders and policymakers can work together to improve school climate in a comprehensive and transparent manner.”

The new interactive tool is the latest resource developed to support districts and charter schools in their efforts for both school improvement and school safety.

• Last year, the state began posting school climate trend reports alongside its annual reports, which are available in English and Spanish. Both reports will be moved to the state’s school accountability portal, Nevada Report Card, during the upcoming school year

• The state also last year created an online peer matching tool where schools’ climate can be compared to each other based on demographics and achievement.

• Historical data for Washoe and Clark County School Districts will continue to be incorporated into the annual reports and peer matching resources during the coming school year.

The NV-SCSEL survey collects data on students’ perceptions of their school’s climate and of their own social emotional competency. School climate is measured across four constructs, including cultural and linguistic competence, relationships, emotional safety, and physical safety.

Because the state’s survey is aligned with the U.S. Department of Education’s suite of school climate surveys, the four school climate constructs included on the NV-SCEL are compatible with the benchmark performance levels released by the U.S. E.D. in 2018.