ISHC Update November 2018

No other behavior, outside of school, affects a student’s school (academic and social) performance more than his or her sleep patterns. The ISHC survey data demonstrates that, as well as the relationship between sleep and mental health. We cross tabulated students’ reported hours of sleep (ranging less than 6 to greater than 8 hours)and it was striking to see the students who reported 7-8 hours of sleep reported a lower frequency of the following mental health related behaviors:
Dx of depression
Dx of anxiety
Dx of eating disorders
Sad and Hopeless feeling for > two weeks
Seriously consider suicide
Had a suicide plan
Cheated on tests and quizzes
Intentional self harm
Sexual intercourse
Oral Sex
Students and Parents may benefit from seeing and discussing this data as a motivator to increase and protect students’ sleep time.

The Science of Adolescent Sleep by Perri Klass MD includes multiple studies that explain the influence of inadequate sleep on Teenagers mental and physical health. The link to the article is:
You might want to consider sharing this article with your students in their health/bio classes and with their parents to encourage healthy sleep behaviors.

ISHC UPDATE: October 2018

WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL! We are gearing up for a busy survey schedule this Fall session, October 10th- November 16th. We have much more flexibility with dates than we have had in the past, so please let us know your preferences and send in your registration form as soon as you can.

REGISTRATION FOR SPRING (2/5-5/17) 2019 IS NOW OPEN. The registration form is attached. We encourage you to send it in as soon as you can to secure your preferred date.

Our National Database collects data on all of the survey questions. There are many areas that invite further investigation. One in particular is about our students’ help seeking behaviors. We have been curious about the relatively low frequency of students seeking help from adults in their school communities:

ISHC National Database ( 2016-2018 25,100 students and 56 schools)
Teachers 25.5%
Advisors, Counselors 24.5%
Coaches 14.2%

The article cited below regarding college campuses might shed some light on the obstacles students perceive in reaching out within their school communities. It begs the question of our schools’ capacity to be caring, empathetic and nurturing in both our practices and policies when students turn to us for help.

Anemona Hartocollis
New York Times 08/28/18

At a time when students feel most vulnerable, they ask for help and are sent away. They are “offered” medical leave which separates them from the school environment they want to be part of. Policies that support this type of reaction to genuine help seeking behavior in colleges and in independent schools need to be reviewed and revised to allow for more rather than less support in the school environment. The ISHC National Database shows that for 25,100 students in 56 upper schools from 2016-2018:

33.3% have sought professional help from mental health professionals
32% of them were diagnosed with depression
21.5% reported that they felt sad and hopeless during the past year and couldn’t keep up with their routines
11.4% seriously considered suicide
39.4% of those with plans did NOT tell anyone

How does your school measure up?

ISHC UPDATE: July 2018

As we begin our collaboration, with Indiana University to help us administer the ISHC beginning in the Fall 2018 we are reviewing, revising and improving our systems, documents and procedures.

The Surveys: We will have two versions of the survey: Middle and Upper. Both Day and Boarding schools will take the same Upper school survey. We have made a few improvements in the wording of some of the questions. We invite you to scroll through the sample surveys.

Here are the links to the surveys:

Middle School Link: Click here for Middle School survey

Upper School Link: Click here for Upper School survey

We welcome your thoughts and reactions.

Registration form: We are now accepting registrations for the 2018-19 academic year. The registration form is attached. Once you complete it and return it to us we can send you a contract for services and secure your date with Indiana University.

OUR NEW REPORT will include three reports in one! We are benefiting from the survey expertise at the Center for Survey Research at Indiana University. They have helped us to streamline our previous separate reports into one document that will be easier to read and more cost efficient for you. The Aggregate Responses, The Data Summary Report , The Supplemental Database Report (side by side comparison of school responses with the ISHC National database), and conclusions (commendations and areas for review) from the Comprehensive Report will be integrated into one document, The Standard ISHC Report.

Standard ISHC Survey Report

Standard Survey Report*will include: Aggregate responses will be cross tabulated by gender and grade and compared to the ISHC National Database, composite scores (school connection, motivation, parental engagement, drinking, academic motivation), conclusions citing significant deviations from the ISHC National Database, and the administrative protocol.

*Each school may add up to five of their own unique questions to the end of the survey.

A sample question below demonstrates the format you may expect to receive for each question:

Cross Tabulation by Gender

*new category for 2018 survey, not included in national data

**previous category, not used in 2018 survey

Cross Tabulation by Grade


ISHC Standard Report $3,000

Optional Reports:

Year to Year Survey Analysis $275.00/hr

Customized Reports $275.00/hr

Have You Seen This

Here is the link to the article published in the summer edition of the Independent School Magazine entitled:

Research Insights:

Independent School Health Check Examines Teen Support Systems.

Independent School Health Check Examines Teen Support Systems.

Click here to read the article


Hello!  Hope you are all beginning to smell spring in the air!

We have been following the ISHC data regarding students reported use of cigarettes and vaping.  The last two years show a dramatic increase in vaping.

Last year, (10,777 students surveyed—26 schools)
5.1% smoked cigarettes 11.7% vaped.
This year, (7,095 students surveyed—22 schools)
4.3% smoked cigarettes 23.3% vaped
(double the # of vapers)


A grade breakdown for 2017-18 is:
Cigarettes Vaping
9th 1.1% 13.6%
10th 3.4% 22.3%
11th 5.3% 27.4%
12th 7.4% 30.3%

How does your school compare to this?

Best regards, Rosemary and Peter

ISHC Update: March 2018

Hello, hope you are all well.

Since the beginning of the collection of ISHC survey data, 10 years ago, we have asked questions of all students regarding how they spend their free time. We specifically ask, “On the most recent school day, in the hours you were not in class, how much time did you send watching pornography?” Our ISHC National Database (2014-16) of 23,445 students from 58 upper schools shows the following:

  • 20% (4,293) of them reported that they viewed pornography.
  • A little more than 1/2 of them viewed the sites for 1/2 hour.
  • The majority of pornography viewing was reported by boys (3,794) vs girls (461).

Regards, Rosemary and Peter


A recent article in the New York Times describes the increasing role of pornography in adolescents’ lives.


It asserts that pornography viewing has, in fact, become a major player in sex education rather than schools and parents. This begs the question of how we can help our students get a healthy perspective on sexuality and sexual behavior in the classroom and at home through education and adult role modeling.

ISHC UPDATE: December 2017

This has been a very busy ISHC survey year across the nation.  Our ISHC National database is growing exponentially.  If you haven’t already done so……please send us your School Profile if you want to schedule the ISHC for either the Winter or Spring 2018.

We wish you a joyous holiday and healthy, satisfying New Year.

Rosemary and Peter


We are living in a time of information overload and very often have trouble separating fact from fiction. I alert you to this article cited in the Klingbrief. It offers guidelines to help our students and ourselves navigate the rocky terrain of  Media Literacy.


Teaching and Learning in a Post-Truth World by Renee Hobbs

Educational Leadership, November 1, 2017

In this short article for ASDC, Renee Hobbs, the director of the Media Education Lab at the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island, offers some new strategic directions for teachers working with students on media literacy. Hobbs connects the difficulty – and importance – of developing media literacy skills to the rise of social media, the intensity of the current political moment, and broader shifts in the modern media landscape. Calling on teachers to move past an overly simplistic focus on “fake news,” Hobbs encourages teachers to use “a more precise set of definitions and concepts, including terms like propaganda, disinformation, clickbait, hoaxes and satire, pseudoscience, sponsored content, and partisanship” in order to help students better understand the complexities of the contemporary knowledge landscape. She then explores the new resonance of the concept of propaganda in the age of social media, drawing on research that shows that “most adults can’t accurately judge the truth or falsity of an online news story because they assume that content that aligns with their existing beliefs is automatically true,” as well as the emerging understanding of the roles of emotion, partisanship, and confirmation bias in our knowledge-building. Hobbs’s article is a must-read for teachers and administrators looking to update their approach to media literacy.

Submitted By Jonathan Gold, Moses Brown School, Providence, RI

ISHC UPDATE: November 2017

Hello…..Hope your school year is going well.  In the midst of the political havoc we are all immersed in we need to focus on all that we have to be grateful for.  We wish you, your faculty, and students a very satisfying and loving Thanksgiving with family and friends.
As a reminder….Please send us the completed School Profile Form soon if you wish to schedule the ISHC survey this academic year!
Warm regards,  Rosemary and Peter