Thank you, New Tech School Directors, for your interest in participating in the YouthTruth Student Voice Initiative.
Through a collaboration between the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, YouthTruth Student Survey, and New Tech Network, we are inviting up to six New Tech middle and high schools to participate at no cost in a two-year Bay Area YouthTruth Student Voice Initiative. If chosen to participate, your school will receive valuable, actionable information about student attitudes and perceptions that can help inform school design, LCAP, and instructional strategies now and in the future.
Nominations must be submitted by Friday, February 9th through the form below.
What is the Student Voice Initiative?
The Bay Area Student Voice Initiative aims to understand the extent to which funders, in partnership with local schools, can learn from student perspectives expressed through the research-based YouthTruth survey. Typically, schools pay ~$1,200 – $2,000 per year for YouthTruth’s validated survey instruments and professional development trainings. However, by joining the Bay Area YouthTruth Student Voice Initiative, the selected schools will participate at no cost.
How will it work?
We are looking for six New Tech middle and high schools that believe that student voice matters and are willing to participate in this experiment. If your school participates:
- You’d partner with YouthTruth – youthtruthsurvey.org – (at no cost) to administer one ~20-minute survey during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years (you will also have the option of adding Family and Staff surveys);
- Online, interactive reports will be delivered to you within ~7 business days that, we believe, will provide incredibly rich, robust, and valuable data;
- As your sponsoring partners, New Tech Network and the Hewlett Foundation will also receive reports summarizing the survey feedback, which will be utilized in strategic planning efforts;
- Follow-up support will be provided to help you and your team use the data in alignment with your current goals and initiatives – either a phone/video-conference consultation for your school leadership team, or an in-person professional development workshop bringing school leaders together (TBD based on participating schools’ interest); and,
- At the end of each school year, you will be invited to participate in a learning community meeting with all of the other participating districts and funders in the Bay Area to debrief, learn from your peers, provide feedback on the process, and discuss plans for the next year. This is optional, but we hope some school representatives will choose to attend. All expenses will be covered.
I have questions about the survey; who can I speak with?
YouthTruth’s Director of Partnerships, Sonya Heisters is available to answer any questions. You may schedule a conversation directly on her calendar here or contact her via 415.429.5222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
YouthTruth is a national nonprofit based in San Francisco that has helped thousands of schools across the country listen to and accelerate improvements based on feedback. It was founded in 2008 through a collaboration between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and has since surveyed over 700,000 students across 38 states and four countries. Through validated survey instruments and tailored advisory services, YouthTruth partners with schools, districts, states, and educational organizations to enhance learning for all students.
Their climate and culture surveys measure the things that matter most to school climate and culture and creating high performing schools – like student engagement, rigor, relationships with teachers and peers, and school culture. It also provides insights about middle and high school students’ perceptions of motivation and grit, and high school students’ preparedness for college and career – key areas for our particular interest.
In California, many schools and districts use YouthTruth for LCAP, strategic planning, and school improvement plans. For more information, please visit www.youthtruthsurvey.org.
How this is not “just another thing.”
YouthTruth surveys are so comprehensive and easy to administer, that it can actually save schools valuable time and effort. Middle School principal Nikki Hinostro, whose school is featured in the Sundance award-winning film, Most Likely to Succeed gives a 5-minute talk about how she uses YouthTruth data: video here.
Here are a few things you can expect . . .
- It will be easy to administer. The High School survey is just 55 questions and takes about 20 minutes to administer, and yet is more comprehensive in the themes covered than California Heathy Kids Survey at 120 questions. YouthTruth also provides dedicated project management support – from kick-off webinars to survey proctor scripts, they’ll do the heavy lifting.
- The results will be turned around quickly. You typically get your report back within 7 business days instead of waiting months for your reports.
- It’s designed with school leaders in mind. Online, interactive reports allow you to disaggregate by student subgroups like grade level, race/ethnicity, gender, FRPL, and more. Relevant comparisons put your ratings in context so you can see if your ratings are higher than, lower than, or typical, when compared to other suburban schools, schools in California, or other school types of interest. To explore a sample High School report, click here.
- This is a unique, time sensitive, learning opportunity. You are one of many districts/networks invited, and will be joined by other schools in neighboring counties (Marin and Sonoma Counties, the East Bay, the South Bay, and Monterey Peninsula). Not only will you be able to gather valuable data from your students, you’ll also receive hands-on training for using the data to accelerate change against the goals that you are already working toward. This is also a wonderful opportunity to grow your professional network of other educators as well as local funders such as the Hewlett Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Community Foundation Sonoma County, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Richmond Community Foundation, and others.