NAIS Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism

The anonymous NAIS Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) will provide The Colorado Springs School's Community, Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) Task Force with an in-depth look into the culture and climate of CSS.

Survey Timeline

Date Launched: February 4, 2022
Date Due
: March 4, 2022
Report Returned to the Committee
: March 2022
Report Shared with Community
: TBD

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the AIM survey?
How does the AIM survey align with our School's mission?
Why is CSS utilizing the AIM survey?
How will AIM survey data be utilized?
Who are the individuals that make up the School’s Community, Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) Task Force, and what is their primary role in evaluating the AIM survey results?
Who is being asked to participate in the survey?
What is the cut-off age for students who can take the online AIM survey?
What is the desired sample size needed to complete the AIM survey?
How long will the survey take to complete?
I have additional questions and/or would like to submit feedback based on my completion of the AIM survey? Who should I contact?
I’m experiencing technical difficulties in completing the AIM survey. Who should I contact for assistance?

What is the AIM survey?

The AIM survey is an anonymous, online tool provided by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). It is used to measure the multifaceted and complex culture comprising schools nationwide. As institutions look to evaluate the alignment of their actions and offerings with their overall mission, it is essential that they understand how each community member experiences the school, its events, interactions, and curriculum. The AIM survey is an instrument designed to assist in strategic planning initiatives aimed at building and sustaining school communities focused on the individual as a whole and enhancing best practices.

How does the AIM survey align with our School's mission?

The Colorado Springs School mission statement says, “Through superior academics and mentoring, The Colorado Springs School prepares students to think independently and to meet the challenges of a dynamic world with leadership, ingenuity, problem-solving skills, and personal integrity.” Supporting our mission involves not only assessing and supporting student needs but also reviewing and assessing the School as a whole institution. How do we meet students’ needs? How do we respond to diverse learners? Do we make our students feel valued, heard, and seen? What challenges are our students facing that we must respond to? The AIM survey is a tool for measuring these questions and obtaining community input. Both recognizing the strength of our School’s overall diversity and understanding how inclusive we are of others are key to ensuring our students are poised to meet the challenges of a dynamic world.

Why is CSS utilizing the AIM survey?

As a National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS) accredited institution, CSS is regularly evaluated on how well it meets its mission and supports an all-inclusive environment. The International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA), formerly known as the NAIS Commission on Accreditation, was established in July 2018 to provide quality assurance and accountability for the accreditation programs of independent school member associations. As an international body, the ICAISA values the unique qualities and diversity of each member accrediting association and encourages engagement in research to inform accreditation policies, standards, and practices. The ACIS likewise relies on a number of criteria for evaluating institutions for accreditation, one recent addition being diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a governing entity, the ACIS requires that schools strive to have equitable, just, and inclusive communities that embrace the value of diverse races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and religious beliefs. It also mandates that such commitments be evident in each school’s governance, administration, marketing, curriculum, program support, staffing, admissions, and other activities.

How will AIM survey data be utilized?

The AIM survey serves dual purposes. First, data will be used by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to compare The Colorado Springs School’s culture and climate to that of institutions across the country. Second, anonymous assessment results will be used by the School’s Community, Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) Task Force, along with the Board of Trustees, to not only gauge constituents’ former and current impressions but also to learn more about CSS through the lenses of inclusion and multiculturalism. This information will be used to develop recommendations and actions for improvement, and inform the allocation of resources going forward.

Who are the individuals that make up the School’s Community, Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) Task Force, and what is their primary role in evaluating the AIM survey results?

The Community, Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) Task Force is comprised of the following individuals with direct ties to The Colorado Springs School and greater Pikes Peak region either as CSS Board of Trustees members, faculty and staff, current and past parents, alumni, or representatives from affiliate organizations:

  • Ben Ralston ’01, P’30, Board of Trustees

  • Dr. Josh Gillon, Upper School History & Mathematics

  • Brooke Kelly-Rawls P’32, P’30, Admission Associate

  • Carlos Jiménez, Chief Executive Officer, Peak Education

  • Caren Goldberg, Children’s School Teacher

  • Ellen Crow P’20, P’20, Faculty / Staff Member to the Board of Trustees, Children’s School Teacher

  • Vennita Browning P’08, Director of Programs, Peak Education

  • Kate Nehring ’01, President & Founder, Infused

  • Tambi L Tyler Head of School

The CDI Task Force will be responsible for assessing anonymous AIM survey data, and providing a summary of results obtained by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to both the Board of Trustees and – eventually – CSS community members regarding the School’s current climate. Together with the Board, the CDI Task Force will work to provide solutions for steering the School toward greater inclusivity and offer strategies for enhancing multiculturalism.

Who is being asked to participate in the survey?

The AIM survey is accessible to a variety of CSS community members, ranging from students, faculty, and staff to administration, board members, parents, and alumni. Each constituent group outlined above plays a crucial role in assisting the Community, Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) Task Force with its measurement of the ways in which we are inclusive and identification of areas in need of improvement with regard to the treatment of individuals and groups of individuals at The Colorado Springs School.

What is the cut-off age for students who can take the online AIM survey?

The online AIM survey is appropriate for individuals age 12 and older. A separate version of the survey is also available to younger students ages nine through 11, and includes questions geared toward a Children’s and early-Middle School audience.

What is the desired sample size needed to complete the AIM survey?

Your active participation in the AIM survey is of critical importance for enabling CSS to effectively assess the culture and climate within our tight-knit community. According to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), most institutions report between 80 and 90 percent community participation among constituent groups completing the online AIM survey. While other schools have scored higher or less, The Colorado Springs School desires to achieve participation in the top tier when compared with other independent schools.

How long will the survey take to complete?

We anticipate the survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

I have additional questions and/or would like to submit feedback based on my completion of the AIM survey? Who should I contact?

The AIM survey is being provided by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in conjunction with The Colorado Springs School’s Community, Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) Task Force. Additional questions and/or feedback can be directed to the CDI Task Force directly at cdi@css.org.

I’m experiencing technical difficulties in completing the AIM survey. Who should I contact for assistance?

For technical questions regarding the online AIM Survey, please contact the NAIS Data and Analysis for School Leadership (DASL) team at surveycenterhelp@nais.org.