Summary of 2022-2023 School Climate Connectedness Survey Results

    • New Haven Public Schools 


      Positive Teacher Perceptions and a Focus on Safety and Belonging Highlight an Engaged Community’s Perspectives on School Climate and Culture In New Haven


      June 21, 2023


      NEW HAVEN, CT - New Haven Public Schools announced today that it has released the results of the 2023 administration of its School Climate and Wellbeing Survey.  The survey, which is administered annually, provides valuable feedback from educators, families, and students on the successes, needs, and areas of growth that emerged from the recent school year. 


      “The School Climate Survey provides a window into the day-to-day experiences of New Haven’s school community,” said Superintendent Dr. Iline P. Tracey. “This year’s results reflect the investments we made in school safety and educator development over the past year, as well as a continued need to support students’ sense of belonging.” 


      In 2022, for the first time, NHPS measured the specific factors that impact student perceptions of school safety, as well as how student and staff gender identities and sexual orientation impact their experiences at school.  This data helped to inform a wide range of supports for students and staff that were rolled out over the course of the 2022-2023 school year,  including training for administrators, a guidance document addressing areas of concern for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as bringing together Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSA’s) across different schools to help them connect with each other.  The results of the 2023 survey provide key insight into the impact of these supports. 


      In total, this year’s survey captured the feedback of 4,432 students, 946 staff, and 1,236 family members.  Overall, participation across all three stakeholder groups increased significantly, particularly amongst students and families. 


      Key Survey Terms: 

      • Percent Favorable: The primary measure used to determine how students, families, and staff feel about a particular question or topic.  A typical question contains five answer choices, of which the top 2 are considered favorable.  A high percent favorable typically indicates positive perceptions around a particular topic. 

      • Survey Topic: Each survey topic consists of several questions around a particular theme.  The results of these questions are then averaged to create the topic score. 

      • Representativeness: How well the demographics of respondents represent the overall demographics of New Haven’s school community. 


      Summary of Spring 2023 School Climate and Wellbeing Survey

      • Student, staff, and family participation all increased from the last time that surveys were administered in 2022. 

      • 83% of students had favorable perceptions about their physical and psychological safety at school

      • Teacher perceptions of the supports and environment in their schools increased in 86% of the topics they were surveyed on. 

      • Nine schools reported favorable student perceptions across a majority of the school climate and well-being topics, up from eight in 2022, including:

        • How well students manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in challenging situations

        • How well students consider the perspectives of and empathize with others

        • How often students learn about, discuss, and confront issues of race, ethnicity, and culture in school



      Over 6,600 individuals participated in the 2023 School Climate and Well-Being Survey, an increase of 22% from 2022.  Overall, family response rates increased by 30%, student responses by 24%, and staff responses increased by 7%.  Factors that may have contributed to this increase include weekly survey administration support for school leaders as well as partnering with the New Haven Federation of Teachers to encourage staff survey participation.  Approximately 67% of respondents were students, 19% were family members, and 14% were staff.  Compared to 2022, the proportion of student and family respondents relative to overall respondents increased, while staff representativeness decreased. 

      School and Student Highlights

      For the first time, students at  Betsy Ross Arts Magnet, Hill Regional Career Magnet, John C. Daniels School of International Communication, and Sound School reported favorable perceptions across at least 4 out of the 7 surveyed topics around student social emotional skills and wellbeing, as well as supports for students and equity.  For the second consecutive year, students at Elm City Montessori, Engineering and Science University Magnet High, Metropolitan Business Academy, New Haven Academy, and Worthington Hooker schools reported favorable perceptions across a majority of surveyed topics. 


      Student Perceptions of Diversity and Inclusion, School Safety, and Sense of Belonging 

      Student responses presented a range of narratives about the student experience: 

      • Compared to 2022, schools saw a 4 percentage point increase in student perceptions of how diverse, integrated, and fair school is for students from different races, ethnicities, or cultures. 

      • While overall, 86% of students had favorable perceptions of School Safety, bathrooms, hallways, and cafeterias continue to be areas where students reported feeling uncomfortable or unsafe.  Additionally, body type and race/ethnicity continued to be the most prevalent reasons why students felt uncomfortable or unsafe. 

      • In 2023, a lower percentage of students reported feeling unsafe due to their sexual orientation than 2022.  NHPS is currently exploring whether the presence of GSA’s contributed to this improvement. 

      • 37% of students reported favorable perceptions around Sense of Belonging, a decrease of 1 percentage point from 2022.  Connecting with adults and increased culture and programming to prevent bullying represent the greatest opportunities for growth. 


      Teacher and Staff Perceptions

      • For the 2022-2023 school year, teachers reported significant improvements in their perceptions across almost all of the areas encompassing school culture and climate, including Educating All Students, Belonging, Cultural Awareness and Action, Professional Learning and Feedback and Coaching.  

      • The largest improvements were seen in Belonging, with a 6 percentage point increase, and Professional Learning, with a 5 percentage point increase. 

      • The only area in which Teachers reported declining perceptions was in Teaching Efficacy, or faculty perceptions of their professional strengths and areas for growth.  

      • Both teachers and staff identified their colleagues, diversity, and freedom to explore new content and curriculum as the most positive aspects of their work. 


      Family Perceptions 

      • While family members’ perceptions of their ability to support and motivate their children demonstrated growth, declining perceptions were recorded in School Climate and School Fit.

      • While over 90% of surveyed families reported frequently having conversations with their children about what they were learning in school, only about two-thirds of families reported that their children enjoy going to school, a decrease of 8 percentage points from 2022. 

      • While nearly 90% of families reported putting significant effort into helping their children learn to do things for themselves, family perceptions of how much respect students at their child’s school have for staff declined by 9 percentage points from 2022. 


      Areas of Growth

      Overall,  areas of growth continue to remain in increasing student, family, and staff participation in school culture and climate surveys,  improving how much students feel they are valued members of their school community, as well as family perceptions of school climate. 

      • Increasing Student Sense of Belonging remains the top priority for NHPS in 2023-2024. 

      • A significant gap remains between nonbinary, transgender,  and genderqueer students’ perceptions of School Safety and Sense of Belonging compared to the district wide averages in these areas.  Identifying the root causes for this gap at the school and district level will allow NHPS to put stronger supports in place for these students. 

      • While response rates increased significantly, increasing high school student voices representation is a key area for growth in the upcoming school year.

      • While schools were generally perceived as safe, some students feel targeted due to their race/ethnicity, body type, and gender expression. 

      • Declining family perceptions of School Climate and School Fit present an opportunity to engage family members around ways to improve the overall learning and social environment in schools as well as aligning school-based supports with students’ developmental needs. 


      Next Steps:

      After the survey concluded, results were shared with school leaders, including key themes and insights across the district.  Currently, principals and their leadership teams are participating in 1:1 coaching consultations to identify key trends, create aligned action plans, and explore evidence-based strategies to address focus areas at their schools.  After all consultations are completed in June, an insights report will be presented to the Superintendent and district leadership team to inform district-wide planning and supports to improve school climate and culture. 


      To view your school’s full results and to learn more, visit:  For more information, please contact Dr. Michelle Kelly-Baker, District School Climate and Title IX Coordinator, at