YouthTruth Student Survey announced today the national release of the YouthTruth Family Survey and YouthTruth Staff Survey to complement their core student surveys on school climate/culture and teacher feedback. The new Family and Staff surveys, which collect perception data from parents and guardians as well as instructional and non-instructional school staff, capture distinct aspects of school experiences and are designed to help accelerate school improvement.
“We believe in the power of student voice to inform decisions that improve schools, and our school district partners nationwide urged us to expand to gather actionable feedback from parents, guardians, and other adults who work in schools, as well,” said YouthTruth Director of Partnerships Sonya Heisters. “With the help of our school partners, we developed and tested new surveys that ensure the perceptions of students and adults are both considered when evaluating the effectiveness of systems, strategic plans, programs, and interventions.”
The surveys were developed based on feedback received from researchers and content experts – including school and district leaders, parents and guardians, teachers, and school staff members – in interviews and focus groups. They include a series of compatible measures to provide school and district leaders with information from both alternate and complementary perspectives about the most critical elements of the school experience. YouthTruth piloted the initial instruments in April 2016 with schools across multiple states.
“YouthTruth data continues to play a huge role in enabling us to better understand our students and how to best provide the support our schools need to deliver for those students,” said Kathy Gomez, Superintendent of Evergreen School District in San Jose, CA, which piloted the Family and Staff surveys. “This data is crucial to help us serve our families, and yet again this year, YouthTruth has provided us the information we need to do so.”
The Family Survey highlights parent/guardian perspectives of their child’s school on six key themes: School Culture, Relationships, Communication & Feedback, Engagement & Empowerment, School Safety, and Resources.
The Staff Survey highlights teachers’ and staff members’ perspectives of their school on four key themes: Culture & Communication, Relationships, Engagement & Empowerment, and Professional Development & Support.
The finalized surveys are grounded in research and validated through both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The surveys are administered online in English and in Spanish, and take just 15 minutes to complete on any laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
How it works
School districts select the survey window that works best for the district calendar. Alongside student survey administration, parents/guardians, teachers, and school staff members take the online survey(s). The online survey(s) take about 15 minutes and respondents can toggle between English and Spanish throughout. Online, interactive reports are delivered to school and district leaders within about seven business days and allow users to view the data by demographic subgroups and against relevant comparisons. Open-ended comments are categorized and included to provide qualitative nuance to the quantitative ratings and rankings.
The Staff Survey can be added to any YouthTruth Student Survey program for $300 per school and the Family Survey can be added for $500 per school. Dedicated project management support, coordination, survey administration, analysis, and robust analytics through a FERPA-compliant platform is all included.
As a complement to the YouthTruth Student Survey, Family and Staff Surveys are administered alongside the YouthTruth Student Survey. Schools and districts may choose to administer the Family Survey, the Staff Survey, or both.