Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

David E. Bartz


School district boards of education and administrators need to constantly gather information about the attitudes and opinions of the community they serve if the true educational needs of the community are to be served. Total community consensus or opinion is preferable, but often impractical. Casual information gathered from self-selected individuals from the community is readily available, but unrepresentative and often misleading. Surveys of a selected sample of the school community can be inexpensive, practical and accurate depending on the method of information collection, the nature of the questions and the manner in which the sample is selected.

A Community Climate Survey of the Mattoon Community Unit #2 School District reviews current literature pertaining to school community attitude and opinion surveying. Several practical surveying "do's and don't's" are offered through the literature review. Various community sampling groups are defined in terms of their use when gathering valuable data.

In cooperation with the Mattoon Community Unit #2 School District Board of Education and Mr. Robert Shepherd, Superintendent, the researcher was able to conduct a school community climate survey during the school year 1981-1982. The complete process of organizing, designing, and distributing a return-mail questionnaire survey is reported. Survey results are also reported in tabular and narrative form.

Preparation, distribution, collection and tabulation of the survey provided the researcher an opportunity to gain insights into successful school community sampling. Suggestions for successful surveying are listed in the conclusion of the thesis. It is the hope of the researcher that those persons with an interest in gaining an understanding of true school community need through climate surveying will find this thesis helpful.