During the summer of 2022, the Office of Research and Evaluation held a series of focus groups to better understand how students interpret and respond to key Philly School Experience Survey questions related to school climate and instructional environment.

This slide deck presents findings with a focus on student perceptions of school safety, using both qualitative and quantitative analyses to explore the factors underlying specific survey results.

Key findings include:

  • Overall, students’ responses revealed the interconnectedness of school safety with climate, staffing, cleanliness, building condition, security protocols, discipline practices, belonging, and trust.
  • Climate and instructional environment subtopics are all moderately/strongly correlated with one another.
  • The majority of variation in student perception of school safety (and other climate and instructional environment subtopics) is within schools rather than between schools.

While this exploratory study of a complex topic is not meant to provide definitive answers, it can provide a greater understanding of Philly School Experience Survey data and generate ideas for further research.

These findings were originally presented at the American Society of Criminology annual conference in November 2023.