Better Together - AUSD Healthy Culture and Climate Research


AUSD has partnered with the University of California San Diego since 2019, to reflect our emphasis on a healthy culture.  We continue to celebrate our strengths and to identify areas of needed growth. We are extremely excited about this collaborative work and data collection that we will use to continue our excellent growth as a community.  


Data Collection 

The surveys administered through our Better Together data collection include measures related to our purpose and values and will provide us with actionable data.  Each of the surveys has been carefully crafted based on academic research with questions that have been tested for validity and reliability and have been successfully used in other educational settings.  


Survey responses will continue to go directly to the researchers from UC San Diego and they will prepare summaries of the data for each school and also for the entire district as they have done before.  Arcadia Unified employees, including members of the management team, will not have access to the source data, including individual responses. We have organized this process to promote genuine, authentic, and anonymous feedback; we believe this level of security will allow staff, parents, students, and community members to answer in a respectful and open manner. This process has worked well in other locations.


The survey distribution will be organized by grade levels and the various stakeholders will receive communication from the research partners at UC San Diego and AUSD with additional details.  This year, students in 4th, 7th, 10th, and 12th grades, and their parents, will receive a link to the survey. Due to the fact that this is a research partnership, your informed consent and participation are strictly voluntary.  Fourth-grade parents will be asked to submit a consent form via Google Forms.  Students in 7th, 10th, and 12th grade should discuss consent at home and make their decision as a family.  As with this type of research, participants can decline participation before or during the survey.  However, your participation will inform meaningful steps to better serve our students and the community.  We strongly encourage your participation in this important process.

Preliminary Findings

Within the Better Together Partnership, researchers and district leaders work together to collect these valuable research-based data to celebrate and drive growth. The data allows us to see where we are excelling and where we need to focus to reach our goals. The data furthermore is a constant reminder of the importance of our relationships, connections, and commitment to being a healthy organization for students and staff. Within the Better Together partnership, data from seven stakeholder groups is collected longitudinally about the district’s core values to guide improvement efforts. These values underscore Arcadia’s purpose of challenging and inspiring students to make a positive and profound impact on their world.

Over the course of the partnership, the Better Together Partnership both revealed and shaped ideas that guided leadership practices, as the data allowed leaders to engage in collaborative analysis of culture and climate at the school and build a better post-pandemic reality. What the data ultimately shows is that teachers create what they experience and it is our goal in the Better Together partnership to model these practices and continue to research, learn, and co-create the conditions for meaningful change and lasting impact. In partnership and through collaboration, we can make progress in the direction of our aspirations.