Q: Can’t we do our own survey?
A: The ISHC draws on its creators’ experience in schools and actual experience with surveys. Items have been vetted in student focus groups and field tested. The ISHC also employs some very technical statistical processes to enable correlation of different items. The Standard Report includes the aggregate survey responses 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.
Q: Why should we do a survey at our school?
A: There are many positive and negative factors that affect student wellness and academic performance. Knowing how those factors specifically affect your students can help shape appropriate and cost-effective educational initiatives to improve wellness.
Q: What if the results of the survey are bad?
A: In all likelihood, one should expect a mix of outcomes. Some of the data may be troubling; some may be rather mixed; some may be very encouraging. The point can be made, however, that those areas that are troubling are rarely unknown to the community. Indeed, many communities find that what has been believed true—the extent of drug use, for example—often dramatically over-estimates the numbers involved. In any event, if the survey identifies problem areas, then they can be addressed in an educational way; dealing with the real issues is the objective of the survey.
Q: Can I see the questions?
A: Decision makers may be given access to the survey link to review the questions to help them make an informed decision about the usefulness of the data for their school.
Q: What if parents do not want their children to take the survey?
A: The ISHC should be administered according to the legal and ethical standards prescribed for surveys. Parents should be notified of the survey and be asked to contact the survey administrator if they do not wish their child to participate; this format is called ‘passive consent’. Withholding permission to take the survey is a parental right that can not be questioned, challenged, or denied; a careful log of such parental requests should be kept. We do not recommend showing the survey to parents. This might offer them the opportunity to influence student’s responses.
Q: What if students do not want to take the survey?
A: A student’s rights are identical to the parent’s rights. A student who does not wish to take the survey should notify the administrator. The student’s decision may not be questioned, challenged, or denied. Likewise, instructions on the survey itself advise students not to answer any questions they do not wish to answer.
Q: Can any student be identified?
A: For students and parents, anonymity is very important. It will be impossible for anyone, including ISHC staff, to link a student with a survey response.
Q: Can I download the Administration Manual?
Q: Where can I find the Registration Form?