What is the School Pulse Panel?

Every student in America deserves a high-quality education in a safe environment. This promise, which was already out of reach for too many, has been further threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. NCES is asking K-12 schools to participate in a study, the School Pulse Panel, and the information provided will help understand the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on K-12 education – especially as new variants and challenges emerge.

What agencies are involved? What authorizes this study?

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Census Bureau is collecting the information. The study is being undertaken as part of their response to the Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers.

How is the School Pulse Panel different from other education surveys?

The School Pulse Panel is a unique survey. While surveys like the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the National Teacher and Principal Survey produce benchmark statistics critical to monitoring progress over time, they are not designed to capture the rapid pace at which schools must adapt in this pandemic environment. Your contribution is key to producing a new source of “near time” statistics that shed light on these challenges and inform the response of education officials at the federal level.

Why is it important for schools to participate?

While the study is voluntary, schools’ responses provide national, state, and local education leaders with the information needed to make evidence-based decisions about policy and supporting recovery efforts. Each school in the School Pulse Panel sample was selected to represent schools with similar characteristics, making participation critical for each selected school. Beginning in January 2022, schools will be asked to complete a brief 30-minute survey every month for up to 12 months.

Will the same questions be asked every month?

Some questions may remain on the survey from month to month to detect how schools are experiencing and adapting to change. Other questions may rotate in and out. Topics may include instructional mode, enrollment counts of subgroups of students, pandemic-related learning needs, virus spread mitigation strategies, services offered for students and staff, technology use, or information on staffing.

Are schools’ responses kept confidential?

Federal mandate requires the protection of schools' responses. Individual school responses will be combined with those from other participants to produce summary statistics and reports.

How will results be reported?

Results will be made available at https://ies.ed.gov/schoolsurvey/ as they become available. Results based on the summer and fall data collections are considered experimental and should be interpreted with caution.


If you have any questions about the study, contact the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-844-868-3661 or via e-mail at addp.school.pulse.panel@census.gov. The Census Bureau is collecting the data for NCES.