Measuring what Matters:
Juliet Mohnkern – Director, High Tech Middle Mesa
Dr. Jennifer de Forest, Ed.D. – Partnerships, YouthTruth
About the session
Research confirms that Social and Emotional Learning and school culture are inextricably linked, and that together they can be a powerful catalyst for students’ academic achievement and for promoting student well-being. And yet, for all the buzz about SEL and school climate, it remains challenging work to measure what matters, gather reliable data, and to turn that data into action. In this session you will hear from two educators who have tackled these challenges, a former NYC high school principal who is a member of the YouthTruth team, and a current Director of a High Tech High Middle School, a network that has pioneered systems for calibrating academics and school culture. In particular, we will answer these questions – how can we reliably measure important non-cognitive factors and school climate? How can we then turn the resulting data into action to promote student learning and well-being? And, finally – why does it make good strategic sense to embrace surveying as an educative process that in-and-of-itself builds a healthy community by involving students in this work?
About the speakers
Juliet is originally from Connecticut and has taught and led in schools in Boston and Washington, DC. She moved to San Diego to attend High Tech High’s Graduate School of Education where she earned her MA in School Leadership. During her graduate work at High Tech, Juliet was the school leadership resident and interim director at High Tech Middle Chula Vista.
Juliet loves learning and explored her passions through undergraduate work in Classics at Boston College and graduate work in Ethics, Peace Studies, and Global Affairs at American University. Juliet finds joy in working with young people – especially middle schoolers! – to uncover their potential, explore ideas, and create meaningful work. She loves running, spending time outside especially at the beach, and enjoying good food with family and friends.
Dr. Jennifer de Forest, Ed.D.
Jen has a lifelong passion for the art and science of school improvement. Prior to joining YouthTruth, Jen spent nearly a decade in the classroom. She has led schools in California and New York City, and from the perch of a state association, she worked with countless educators on school-based research projects and forged a consortium of more than 50 schools that worked together to assess students’ SEL.
Jen earned a masters as a fellow at Teachers College, Columbia and a doctorate from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. At Harvard, she served as co-chair of the editorial board of the Harvard Educational Review. As a professor at the University of Virginia, Jen published widely about education reform movements and taught courses on research design.