What is the FCPS Working Conditions Survey?
An anonymous online survey that asks licensed educators questions about teaching and learning conditions within their school. It is sponsored by FCPS and employee associations. The New Teacher Center did extensive research to develop the core survey questions. An FCPS advisory committee of teachers and representatives from education associations and each department reviewed the core survey and worked collaboratively to tailor the survey to meet FCPS needs. 
 
Why should I take the survey?
Research demonstrates that positive school working conditions—time, teacher empowerment, school leadership, professional development, and facilities and resources—are critical to increasing student achievement and teacher retention. This survey will provide you, your school and FCPS with information about the working conditions in your school. Your opinions matter. This survey will help put your experiences and perceptions at the center of school and district efforts to better recruit and retain quality teachers. Survey results are critical because:
  • School conditions matter for kids. The presence of positive teaching and learning conditions have been tied to improved student achievement.
  • School conditions matter for retaining teachers.
  • Survey results will provide valuable information to help the division and individual schools assess, celebrate, and improve working conditions.
How do I take the survey?
A letter with directions and an access code will be given out to each licensed educator. Your principal may choose to hand out these letters upon receipt or at a faculty meeting. Follow the directions in the letter to take the anonymous online survey. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. You can take the survey between January 13 and February 7 from any computer with Internet access.  The survey is available 24-7 until February 7, when it closes at 4:30 p.m. 
 
Is this survey a part of the Principal Evaluation?
No, it is not related to the Principal Evaluation. Working conditions are about schools, not about individuals. No questions on this survey are about the principal. There are questions about school leadership, which is defined specifically as an individual, group of individuals, or team within the school.
 
Why don’t Instructional Assistants take the survey? 
Instructional Assistants are valued members of school instructional teams, but the New Teacher Center’s core survey questions are only applicable to licensed personnel.
 
Is the survey really anonymous?
Yes, your responses are completely anonymous to FCPS. No reports will include information that could identify any individual teacher and no one at FCPS will be able to view one individual’s survey results. The New Teacher Center assigns each school a range of codes—one code per licensed educator. The codes are distributed randomly within each school. Access codes are only associated with a school, not an individual. Unique codes simply ensure each licensed educator only takes the survey once. 
 
What areas does the survey address?
The survey addresses working conditions in these areas: overall conditions, time, leadership, decision making, facilities and resources, professional development, student conduct, and community support. Research indicates that these conditions are closely related to student achievement and teacher recruitment and retention.
 
How will the results be used?
A school-level report will be provided to each school to facilitate discussions about conditions, and guide school improvement planning. Training and support on how to interpret their report and use it as a tool for school improvement will also be provided. A comprehensive district-level report on the survey results—showing correlations between working conditions and student achievement as well as teacher retention—will be compiled by the New Teacher Center. These valuable data shape the decisions of policymakers and help them effectively address the unique concerns of teachers across the district.
 
Do principals take the survey too?
Principals take a slightly modified version of the survey—it simply includes additional questions that only apply to principals. Principal surveys are also anonymous, and the results will only be produced for the division, not individual schools.
 
What if I lose or did not get a survey access code?
The help desk is available January 13 through February 7 to assist survey participants that lost their survey access code, or did not receive a letter from their principal containing a code. You can reach the help desk by clicking here, by sending an email to helpdesk@fcpswcs.org, or by phone at 1-800-310-2964 7:30AM - 4:30PM Monday through Friday until February 7.
 
What if I work in more than one school?
If you work in more than one school, you received one access code for the school where you spend the most time. If you wish to take the survey for an additional work location, the help desk is available during the survey to give you an additional access code. You can reach the help desk by clicking here, by sending an email to helpdesk@fcpswcs.org, or by phone at 1-800-310-2964 7:30AM - 4:30PM Monday through Friday until February 7.
 
Who is the New Teacher Center?
The New Teacher Center (NTC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to high-quality teaching. NTC is a nonpartisan group with a mission to support the development of an effective, dedicated, and inspiring teaching force. NTC has vast experience conducting similar surveys across the country.
 
Who else has taken the survey?
The Teaching & Learning Conditions Survey began in 2002 and has now been replicated across the nation. These surveys, conducted under the leadership of Eric Hirsch of the New Teacher Center, have measured such conditions as time, professional development, leadership, empowerment, and facilities and resources—all of which have an impact on student learning conditions and teacher retention.  
 
Who can I call if I need help?
The help desk is available Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while the survey is open. You can reach the help desk by clicking here, by sending an email to helpdesk@fcpswcs.org, or by phone at 1-800-310-2964 7:30AM - 4:30PM Monday through Friday until February 7.