About the Independent
School Health Check
The Independent School Health Check was developed in 2006 by Peter Wells and Rosemary Baggish. The survey design was overseen by Michael Stevens, Ph.D., Director of Child and Adolescent Research at Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT. After a year of focus group input from independent school administrators, counselors, and pilot testing the survey was first offered in 2008. The survey and data handling protocols were approved by the Institutional Review Board of Hartford Hospital.
The ISHC is a project of BMW Consulting, LLC. BMW has contracted with Indiana University, Center for Survey Research to provide survey development and administration services. Please contact us for more information and to arrange an online preview of the survey. We will provide you with the link to the survey, and you can scroll through the complete survey. This will help you decide if the data collected in the survey fits the needs of your unique school community.
What is the Independent
School Health Check?
Separate surveys for Middle School and Upper School students.
A 30-45 minute, 100 +/- question survey.
Answered anonymously by students on school and/or personal computers or laptops.
A comprehensive look at student behavior and attitudes including risk and protective factors.
The survey report will be available in two weeks.
The standard survey report will include:
- Aggregate results compared to the ISHC National Database
- Frequency graphs for each question
- Responses broken down by gender and grade
- 5 composite scores
- School Connection
- Drinking Behavior
- Parental Engagement
- Academic Pressure
Conclusions based on statistically significant differences between a school’s responses and the ISHC National Database.
Customized reports and analysis may be requested for additional fee.
- Academic achievement and motivation
- Attitudes about school, teachers, parents
- Parental oversight and support
- Academic pressure
- Academic honesty
- Use of out-of-school time
- Internet use and misuse
- Alcohol and substance use
- Social life
- Sexual activity
- Gender Identity
- Sexual Orientation
- Help Seeking Behaviors
- And many other topics relevant to independent schools
*All schools may add up to five additional questions to the end of the survery that are unique to the school’s culture. These questions may be requested on the Survey Registration Form.
Previewing the Survey
We recommend that all schools have several faculty and staff preview the entire survey online. We do not distribute any hard copies for security reasons.
This review serves the following purposes:
- It will help you decide if, in fact, this survey will give you information that will help your school community.
- You will be able to answer any questions from faculty and parents, if you are familiar with the survey questions.
- Parents will know that you have been responsible to preview this survey to assess the survey’s usefulness and appropriateness for your school community.
- You will be able to identify any topics that you might want to address in additional questions that you may add to the end of the survey.
We recommend that you select a group to preview the survey that consists of any of the following roles in your school: head, assistant head, division head, school counselor, school nurse, health educators, director of residential life, head advisors, and others who might use the data for program planning.
Please be advised that to maintain the integrity of our data programming for analysis, the individual survey questions cannot be changed or reordered. There are several skips incorporated into the survey. If they say “no” to the first question on the topics listed, the following relevant questions will be automatically skipped: gender, social media account, community service, medications, suicidality, parties, vaping, intercourse, oral sex, sought professional help, rode with a DUI driver and have an adult to talk to.
Here are the links to the sample surveys. You can access them from your own computers. It takes about one half hour to scroll through the survey. We look forward to your reactions and working with you to offer your students the opportunity to take the ISHC survey.
Middle School Link: Click here for Middle School survey
Upper School Link: Click here for Upper School survey
Rosemary C. Baggish M.Ed., MPH
Developed and directed therapeutic school programs for over two decades at Yale Psychiatric Institute and The Institute of Living. Rosemary has consulted nationally to schools, colleges and hospitals regarding model programming for children and adolescents with mental health needs. She is the founder and Director of BMW Consulting, LLC and author of When the Bough Breaks: How to Really Be There for your Children, a communication guide for parents.
Peter H. Wells, Ph.D.
A senior consultant with BMW Consulting, LLC with primary responsibilities for the ISHC. Prior to BMW Consulting, LLC, he had forty-two years of independent school administrative experience at Hopkins School as a teacher, department head, upper school head, dean of students, director of admissions and college counselor. In 1980-81, a Klingenstein Fellowship facilitated his becoming a certified school psychologist at Hopkins.