Thank you to the 100,000+ educators for sharing your voices.

*Click Here to View the 2020 NCTWC Results*

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Due to COVID-19 school closures the 2020 NCTWC Survey was extended through April 7th at Midnight.


Welcome to the Resources and Frequently Asked Questions Page for the 2020 NCTWC Survey. 

EVERYTHING you need to help you understand, prepare to administer, take the survey, and use the results can be found on this page.

On the sidebar menu, or using the links below,  please click on the appropriate link for the following resources.

View Pre-Survey Webinars for:

2020 NCTWC Flyer

2020 Instruction Letter 

2020 Letter to Educator 

2020 NCTWC Survey Questions    

2020 NCTWC (Principal) Survey Questions 

Principal Tip Sheet for a Successful 2020 NCTWC Survey

School Representative Tip Sheet for a Successful 2020 NCTWC Survey

Resource Toolkit for District Leaders

Resource Toolkit for School Leaders

Copy of the 2020 NCTWC FAQs 

What is the NC Teacher Working Conditions (NCTWC) Survey?

The NCTWC survey is an anonymous statewide survey of teachers and other licensed, school-based educators to assess teaching conditions at the school, district, and state level.

  • NCTWC Survey is anonymous and all information, access to the survey, the results, and resources are online at 
  • The 2020 survey will be live from March 2-31, 2020.
  • Educators can access the survey anytime, anywhere, via any Internet-enabled device using an individual, confidential code that has been assigned to the individual’s school.
  • The survey takes approximately 20  minutes to complete.  

What is the purpose of the survey? Why is it important?

The state’s education leaders want to ensure that every educator has the supportive environment necessary to help students achieve at the highest level. 

The survey provides data for school and district improvements to be used along with other data points each school already has such as student achievement, percent poverty level, teacher turnover rate, etc.  Results are also expected to inform state level policy.

Research associated with the NCTWC Survey results has shown strong connections to student achievement and to teacher retention, over the past 18 years state policymakers have incorporated the use of the NCTWC survey results in various strategies for school and district improvement including annual school and district improvement plans, the evaluation of administrators, the state’s  plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title I and Title IIA programs, and the state’s Equity Plan.

What questions are asked and is it correct there are some new questions for 2020?

The questions are objective, externally validated questions which research across the nation has shown are strongly connected to both student achievement and teacher retention. 

How  to support educators  starts with ‘ASQing’ about the teaching conditions needed to do their jobs well.  There are some changes to the questions this year to make them even more reflective of today’s schools such as the new sections on Equity and School Safety.  However, the leadership questions remain the same as previous surveys because research from across the nation shows the leadership questions on this survey are strongly connected with improved student achievement and teacher retention!

Who can take the survey?

  1. All teachers and licensed school-based educators (teachers, administrators, media coordinators, counselors, etc.) in the state.
  2. Part-time, licensed school-based educators may also participate.

Where should itinerant teachers get their confidential access code to take the survey?

Itinerant teachers should complete the  survey for their base school, but they also have the option to take at any other school that they serve where they spend enough time to be able to assess the teaching and learning conditions in the school.

Are central office licensed personnel included?

No, only teachers and school-based licensed educators participate.

I hear administrators also take the survey.  Do they receive separate codes?

Administrators do complete a survey using one of the  anonymous access codes sent to the school in the letter to educators.  All codes are anonymous and can be used by any licensed school-based educator in the assigned school.  When the administrator selects their role under the demographics section, they will then receive the bank of applicable questions for administrators.

Does everyone answer the same questions?

No.  Everyone will use the same website  ( to access the survey using the unique access code.  Then, the participant will be asked to select their job category at the beginning of the survey.  The job category you identify will determine the customized questions you are asked to answer.

Which schools are included in the survey?

Public K-12 schools under the authority of DPI are the focus of the NC TWC survey. Preschools with an NC school identification number can also be included. If your school is not on the list, please contact the Help Desk  at once the survey window opens.

How do I take the survey? 

Once you receive your anonymous access code from your school representative:

  • Visit
  • Click on the “Take the Survey” button
  • Enter your anonymous access code
  • Click the submit button once all questions are answered

The survey is available 24 hours a day from any Internet-enabled device while the survey window is open using an updated (Non-Internet Explorer) Browser.

How do I receive my code?

Your school representative (School Improvement Chairperson, NCAE Representative, or Principal Designee) will receive a packet in February 2020 with instructions included.  Packages are delivered with a bright sticker on the envelope for each school.  The representative is asked to:

  • Set up a faculty meeting. 
  • Share key talking points about the survey.
  • Disseminate the letters randomly. Teachers can switch their letters once received with other licensed educators based in their same school.
  • Meet personally with anyone not in attendance to explain the process.

What if I misplaced or never received an anonymous access code, or my school did not receive the packet with the anonymous access codes?

How will I know my responses were submitted successfully?

When your responses are received, you will see a confirmation message. 

What should be done with my code once I have used it?

Each code is unique and can only be used one time, so once you have completed the survey, your code letter can be destroyed or discarded. The code is only used to assign your answers to  your school and will never be used to track participation or responses.

How do we know when a school reaches the minimum 40% response rate needed for school-level data?

Visit and click on “response rate” and view the tracker for every school in the state. The response rate is tracked in real time.

What should we do if the website has the incorrect number of people (headcount) for my school?

  • All requests for headcount changes must be submitted via by the school representative or building administrator.
  • Click Here to update your school’s headcount. Reminder request are only accepted from the school representative or building administrator. 
  • NOTE: Changes will only be accepted prior to and during the survey window. Once the survey closes, no headcount changes will be made.

What are access codes and are they really anonymous?

The access codes are randomized codes created by the Center for Optimal Learning Environments (COLE) and assigned to an individual school building in order to provide results from the teachers in that school.

  • They are not linked to any individual!
  • It is impossible to trace to an individual before, during, or after the survey is completed.
  • It does not matter which educator uses a particular code within a school building.
  • Each code can only be used once.

How do you ensure the survey is anonymous?

  • The survey is about the school environment, not about any one person or individual.
  • There are NO questions asked that refer to an individual educator or administrator, rather “leadership” at the school.
  • There are no questions that specifically ask about subject areas or grade levels.
  • When the letters with the unique, anonymous access codes are distributed in the school, educators are encouraged to switch letters, further demonstrating the codes are anonymous.
  • While there are some demographic questions on the survey, answers to these questions are only reported at the state level, not at the district or school level.

 What if I am the only new teacher? Or the only ESL teacher? How will my responses be anonymous?

There is a minimum sample size of at least 5 educators for any school-level report.  So, unless there are at least 5 educators within their first three years of teaching, no data will appear on the school report for the “New Teacher” section.

Additionally, it is not possible to view data by role, years of experience, or any other demographic information at the school or district level. And there are no questions that specifically ask about subject areas or grade levels.

When will the results be ready? How can they be viewed? 

All data will be available at  approximately 6 weeks after the close of the survey window for all schools reaching the minimum threshold of 40% response rate and at least 5 educators completing the survey.  There will be a post survey webinar offered before the release of the results which will guide viewers through the process of viewing data.

Are there resources available to help school and district leaders use the 2020 NCTWC Results?

YES!  We are very excited to announce there are NEW TOOLKITS to Using Your Data for School Improvement which have been  specifically designed for the 2020 NCTWC survey results: The Resource Toolkit for District Leaders and the Resource Toolkit for School Leaders.

The Center for Optimal Learning Environments (COLE) has designed these Resource Toolkits to provide leaders with the latest research-based connections of teaching conditions to student learning and teacher retention. The Toolkits guide leaders through a process to identify their most pertinent results based on the research and through a series of activities to use the results in their strategies in annual school or district improvement planning processes, connect to the state’s ESSA plan, and integrate into federal funding streams such as Titles I and IIA programs.

How are the administrator results reported?

Administrator responses are aggregated at the state level only and will be posted on  at the same time as the educator results.  To ensure anonymity of all respondents, administrator responses are not identified or reported on the website in the school or district web reports.

Who administers the survey in NC?

The NC Department of Public Instruction has contracted with the Center for Optimal Learning Environments (COLE) to administer the NCTWC survey.

COLE is a national organization which connects research-based strategies and best practices with key decision makers to transform school learning environments. Its focus is to help you transform school learning environments so that every student can win. COLE employs three main strategies to accomplish this:

  1. Meaningful Engagement – COLE believes that teacher effectiveness and retention are key to student success. Through its Action for School Quality Initiative (ASQi) the collective voice of the education community is heard and collected- determining structural strengths and improvement opportunities.
  2. Data Management and Reporting – COLE quantifies learnings from a variety of data sources and reports on key strategies/practices that are deemed successful and promising.
  3. Policy Consultation – COLE advises district, state, and national decision makers on successful strategies to improve teaching and learning environments. Areas of focus may include elements of school and teacher leadership; district and state policies including compliance with ESSA plans; high poverty districts and schools; and use of limited resources connected to student learning to ensure equitable distribution.

How can I view real-time response and access other NC TWC resources and information?


What is the Help Desk used for? And how do I contact them if needed?

Designated school NCTWC Representatives (School Improvement Chairperson, NCAE Representative, or principal designee) can contact the helpdesk to adjust headcount, secure additional codes, report lost codes, or ask questions about the surveys.

Individual educators can contact the help desk to obtain lost codes and ask clarifying questions. 

All communications with the Help Desk in 2020 will be via the website

Please be sure when you submit a question or request that you enter a return email address correctly so you can be contacted.

The help desk will be available Monday – Friday; 7:30am – 4:30pm during the survey window.

Who can I contact if I need help or have additional questions about the NCTWC survey?

The survey is administered by the District & Regional Support Unit of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Each region has a Regional Education Facilitator assigned that can answer additional questions about the survey initiative. The lead for the survey is Dr. Cynthia Martin at NCDPI.

How can I obtain data generated from the survey?

Anyone may view and download the 2020 survey results which will be located at  approximately 6 weeks after the survey closes. The previous results from the 2014-2018 will also be available. Instructions for obtaining specific data sets are also located on the website.

Do teacher-assistants take the survey?

No. The NCTWC Survey is designed and is  funded by the North Carolina General Assembly to assess the resources available to licensed school-based educators. 

Click Here to Download a Copy of the 2020 NCTWC FAQs