Upbeat Launches Enhanced Engagement Survey for Educators Amidst Prevailing Pandemic

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After hearing from school district leaders across the country, the nation's leading K-12 teacher engagement and retention tool strengthened its survey to identify challenges in teacher wellbeing, racial equity and inclusion and other issues facing classroom teachers today

Upbeat, the nation’s leading K-12 teacher engagement and retention tool, today announced the release of an unparalleled Teacher Engagement Survey to better evaluate teacher sentiment and challenges in this unprecedented time. Upbeat’s research-based survey and consulting services have been helping districts across the nation improve staff retention for the past five years. The present survey has been intentionally designed to be taken by teachers whether they work in a hybrid, remote or traditional in-person setting. The survey has been further updated to include new questions focused on Teacher Wellbeing, Mental Health along with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, areas that district leaders have voiced as top priorities for this school year.

“Now nearly eight months into this pandemic, we are grateful to have a partner alongside us to help us understand the unique, myriad issues facing our employees at this moment, said Willie Watson, Chief Human Resources Officer in Pflugerville, Texas. “Our leaders have moved heaven and earth to reopen schools and provide the best education possible for students. Now, we need clear, research-based data to better support our teachers and targeted coaching from Upbeat’s team to aid our principals as they work to maintain a strong culture in their schools.”

These updates from Upbeat constitute their latest initiative that bolster their offerings to assist educators and district partners alike through this pandemic. This past spring, Upbeat created a Teaching from Home survey to allow school leaders to better understand their teachers’ experiences working from home. After surveying more than 7,000 teachers across the country, Upbeat’s research team found that working conditions were critical to teachers’ sense of success. Not only are teachers’ feelings of success proven to be accurate but it is also tied to whether they decide to stay in the classroom. Now, Upbeat has further bolstered their survey so that district leaders can rest assured that they will get a comprehensive assessment of their staff climate across all of their schools.

“If we want to understand teacher turnover and do something about it, we need to systematically analyze how teachers are experiencing their working conditions,” says Upbeat’s Director of Research, Matt Kraft. Scott Frauenheim, CEO of Distinctive Schools in Chicago, IL, agreed: “We were thrilled with the addition of questions around teachers’ wellbeing. This is a very unusual time to be in any profession but especially working in education. We need a temperature check on employees’ mental health. Once we understand how our teachers are feeling, we can put in place changes to help them feel more successful and supported.” Another large urban district partner noted the importance of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion questions being added to the survey. “We need this equity data. We know it may illuminate areas where we have room for growth and we have a moral imperative to strengthen our efforts in this critical aspect of our HR work. The survey will help us better understand where our organization needs to improve to better serve our educators of color and continue to fortify our retention efforts.” said Dr. Marco Munoz, lead of Teacher Retention in Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky.

Coupled with their research-based “Exit Survey” which staff complete when departing a district, Upbeat is able to present a clear picture of areas of strength within a district and room for improvement. Through working with Upbeat’s Leadership coaches, districts are able to target their areas of growth and make improvements that help districts keep teachers.

While improving teacher satisfaction and retention is often a focus for school districts, the pandemic has escalated the importance of maintaining strong school culture. “Now, more than ever, with teachers working remotely or in school for half the week in hybrid schedules, we are hearing from our partners that they need new ways to check on and support their staff,” said Henry Wellington, Upbeat’s Founder and CEO. “Our goal is to uncover educators’ personal and professional challenges, to ensure that school leaders are doing all they can to support their staff. We are thrilled to be incorporating these elements into our Teacher Engagement Survey to better evaluate these challenges and opportunities.”

About Upbeat
Upbeat works with K-12 districts across the country to administer a research-grounded survey to elevate teacher engagement and retention by fostering strong school environments. Founded and led by former educators, we bring together data scientists, technologists, and experienced former school leaders to deliver a research-backed solution. Our surveys paired with tailored toolkits and intervention strategies, surface real-time insights so that principals and district leaders are able to better understand and uncover the conditions affecting employee morale and establish actionable plans to improve teacher and staff retention. More information about the company and its approach can be found at http://teachupbeat.com.

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Kylie Davis
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