Frequently Asked Questions

What is CALL?

The Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) is an online school-wide leadership assessment and feedback system. Rather than focus on an individual school leader, CALL utilizes a multi-source comprehensive survey to assess core leadership practices that are distributed across the school building. Upon completion of the survey, users receive automated targeted data and feedback designed to support school improvement and professional growth. In addition, the CALL system provides district leaders with information on school leadership effectiveness. Learn more about the CALL system. 

What's the difference between CALL and Four Domains CALL?

The Four Domains CALL System is a unique tool that assesses school-wide leadership practices that are aligned to the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement Framework, developed by the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd. The CALL System and the Four Domains CALL System are similar in terms of approach to survey design and action-based feedback. You can learn more about the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement support services at WestEd.

I came to this site to learn more about the WIDA School Improvement System (WIDA SIS), so what is CALL?

The WIDA School Improvement System (WIDA SIS) is an online school-wide leadership assessment and feedback system that supports leadership for the teaching of English Learners (ELs). WIDA SIS was derived from the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) and lives on the CALL site (which is where you are now). WIDA SIS and CALL function the same way in that both systems utilize the same survey design approach by focusing on tasks and practices rather than on individuals. And both systems provide action-based data for school improvement work. WIDA SIS contains a targeted focus on leadership for teaching ELs, but most of what you learn about CALL on this site in terms of design and functionality is applicable to WIDA SIS as well.

What kind of data and feedback will my school receive and when will we receive it?

Upon a school's completion of the CALL survey, school leaders have immediate access to CALL's formative feedback system. The feedback is timely and formative in nature. Your school will receive itemized results revealing item by item how the CALL participants responded in aggregate, as well as an aggregate score by domain. The CALL feedback system identifies Areas of Strength, Improvement Needs, and the Top Rated / Lowest items on the survey. As a unique feature of the instrument, CALL provides research-based strategies and recommendations for schools to make progress in areas in need of improvement.

The CALL system also provides district leaders with their schools' data in the aggregate in the CALL Cluster View. This feature also allows individual school leaders to examine their data year-to-year.

What kind of support does the CALL Team offer?

The CALL Team offers various services to support school and district leaders. We work with district leaders to support the implementation of the CALL system by providing live webinars and useful resources. We also work with district leaders on how they can best use CALL as a tool in their work to develop and support their school leaders. To do that, we offer site-visits and/or video conferences to work directly with district leaders. The CALL Team offers ongoing professional learning opportunities to implement CALL data. 

And, the CALL Team can work with you to customize an existing CALL survey or build a unique survey for your organization using the CALL approach to inquiry and the user-friendly CALL platform

How is CALL unique?

CALL (along with Four Domains CALL and WIDA SIS) is the first validated formative assessment that measures leadership tasks across various school settings. It is not an evaluation of the school's principal; rather it measures the performance of key formal and informal leaders across the school. Your school and district will receive customized feedback on the leadership tasks that can improve teaching and learning in your organization.

School and district leaders routinely use data to measure school success, but usually those data are summative in nature. CALL measures the work that occurs that would help schools reach their target summative data goals.

What does it mean that CALL is "practice based"?

The CALL assessment moves away from focusing on individual people. If we want to assess the effectiveness of instructional leadership, we should focus on the work that is happening in the school or district. Educators engage in certain practices to improve teaching and learning in schools. CALL translates these practices into survey items, and organizes the items into domains that make sense to educators. Posing questions about the actual practices of good school leaders makes it easy to understand what needs to be improved in a school.  Feel free to take a sample CALL survey.

When and how should CALL be administered in my school?

The CALL System (as well as WIDA SIS and Four Domains CALL) can be implemented once per year or multiple times to assess the progress of school improvement initiatives over time. Schools can have the entire staff take the survey at the same time during a committed in-service time, or you can invite staff to complete the survey on their own time using any web-connected computer or mobile device. 

Schools administer CALL at various times during the school year. The best time to administer CALL is based on your schedule.

Who Takes the CALL survey?

For the school-level survey, everyone who works with students or teachers in the school takes CALL. All classroom teachers, all administrators, teacher support staff, and student support staff take the survey to get a school-wide perspective on the leadership tasks that matter. This survey is not designed for non-instructional support staff, parents, or students.

Are CALL responses and results confidential?

Completely. The data are reported to school leaders, but individual educators are not named in reports. Participants are asked to supply an email address in order to have a link to the survey, but the email address is not linked to any data reported back to your school. Reported information is aggregated to a group level where there are more than four people in the group. The names and identifying information of each selected school will never be released to the public or in any reports or publications. 

We take confidentiality very seriously.

How long is the survey?

The CALL survey takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. It can be taken on computers or mobile devices, and can be “paused” so participants can complete it over more than one session. WIDA SIS is approximately the same length. Four Domains CALL is slightly shorter (~30 minutes).

40 minutes? Why so long?

As the "C" in CALL indicates, the CALL survey is comprehensive in nature. The questions are thought-provoking. And because many of the items do not contain standard rating scale responses, and because the items are capturing actual practices in schools, there is a bit more reading required in responding to questions. 

Because of the reflective nature of CALL, it is often thought of more as an activity than a survey. School leaders commit PD time to administer CALL, since it is itself a reflective professional development activity.

In addition, the CALL Team can discuss survey customization options if you are interested.

How much does CALL cost?

The CALL Team provides various tools and services to support school and district improvement including school-level leadership assessments, district-level leadership assessment, customized survey work, ongoing support with implementation and professional development, and platform licensing. WIDA SIS and Four Domains CALL may have different pricing structures as well depending on number schools and a district's needs.

Contact a CALL Team representative for information regarding cost.