The School Pulse Panel (SPP) is a new study sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), within the United States Department of Education, to collect extensive data on issues concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and staff in U.S. public primary, middle, high, and combined-grade schools. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the School Pulse Panel on behalf of the NCES.
Beginning January 2022, the monthly survey will ask sampled school principals about different topics each month such as:
The School Pulse Panel will be one of the nation’s few sources of reliable data on a wealth of information focused on school reopening efforts, virus spread mitigation strategies, services offered for students and staff, and technology use, as reported by principals in U.S. public schools. The data collected in this survey will help to inform ongoing policy and funding discussions.
Due to the importance of this collection, participating schools will receive $400 for each monthly survey completed. Compensation will be paid quarterly to responding schools in the form of a $400 debit card for each month a school has fully completed a survey for that quarter.
The sampling frame for the School Pulse Panel is derived from the Common Core of Data (CCD), the universe of public schools supplied annually by state educational agencies to NCES. Only public schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia will be included in the School Pulse Panel sample. Newly closed schools, home schools, virtual schools, ungraded schools, and schools with high grades of kindergarten or lower are excluded. Regular public schools, charter schools, alternative schools, special education schools, vocational schools, and schools that have partial or total magnet programs are included.
From all the public schools in the United States, we selected a random stratified sample of about 2,400 U.S. public schools. The sample is designed to provide national estimates of primary, middle/combined, and high schools, taking into consideration the type of locale (urbanicity), racial/ethnic student enrollment, and region. Your school happened to be one of those selected.
Your responses will represent schools with similar demographics that were not selected for the survey.
Schools will receive a mailed invitation and an email invitation to respond to the survey with a survey link and username and password specific to the school invited to participate in the survey. The School Pulse Panel can be completed online using the Qualtrics web-based survey platform. Given the variety of topics assessed, we encourage you to work together with other school and district staff members. There are two ways that you can share the survey with other staff members:
If you have received a mailed letter or an emailed letter requesting you to participate in the survey, a Census Bureau employee may contact you to remind you to complete the survey by telephone. He or she will always provide you with their name and email address.
To protect your privacy, the School Pulse Panel NEVER asks for:
You can also verify the legitimacy of a call from the Census Bureau by visiting:
Although this is a voluntary survey, your cooperation is essential to make the results of this survey comprehensive, accurate, and timely. Policymakers and educational leaders rely on data from this survey to inform evidence-based decisions about policy and supporting recovery efforts. Since it is a sample survey, responses from sampled schools represent the responses of many schools that serve similar student populations. A greater number of completed surveys give us greater confidence that the findings are accurate.
Participating schools will receive $400 for each monthly survey completed. Compensation for completed surveys will be sent to responding schools in the form of $400 debit cards. Each responding school will receive up to three $400 debit cards for each quarter that the survey is fully completed and submitted online.
The responses that are collected from surveys conducted by the Census Bureau are encrypted both in transit and at rest on the Census Bureau’s servers. These servers are part of a stand-alone network that is not accessible by the Internet. These servers are constantly monitored for any attempts at intrusion.
All of the information you provide may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law (20 U.S.C. §9573 and 6 U.S.C. §151). Reports of the findings from the survey will not identify participating districts, schools, or staff. Individual responses will be combined with those from other participants to produce summary statistics and reports. Summary data from the study will be released on an online dashboard for researchers and policymakers.
Summary data from the study will be released via an online dashboard for researchers and policymakers. All data from the survey can be found here: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/spp/.
Please contact the U.S. Census Bureau at 1- 844-868-3661 if you have any questions about the survey. Someone will be available to take your call Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). At any other time, please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible. The U.S. Census Bureau is also available to answer your questions via e-mail at email@example.com.
If you have any comments concerning the accuracy of the time estimate, suggestions for improving this collection, or comments or concerns about the contents or the status of your individual submission of this questionnaire, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education, is authorized to conduct this survey by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA 2002, 20 U.S.C. §9543).
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved this survey. The OMB control number is 1850-0963 and the approval expiration date for the collection is 6/30/2022.