Pennsylvania School Increases Survey Response Rate with LifeTrack Surveys

Last spring, a castudent girl in graduation cap with diplomareer and technical education
center,  located in Pennsylvania,  reached out to LifeTrack Services, Inc.  for help with their state follow-up surveys. Previous year surveys, resulting in a 9.8% completion rate, resulted in a penalty issued by the state due to a poor response rate.  The search then began for an effective and affordable solution to increasing survey response rates among students.

After employing LifeTracks’ popular survey program, survey response rates went from 9.8% to 56.6%, almost a 47% increase, indicative that LifeTracks’ proven approach to graduate follow-up does yield results.  The difference from other standard survey programs is that they use every avenue possible to get a survey response from a student.  This would include the largest differential from other standard survey methods, a call center dedicated to contacting each student in multiple attempts using different methods.  From texting links to surveys, emails, letters with QR codes that students can scan with their smart phones to access surveys and calling cell and home phone numbers, LifeTrack gets the highest possible survey response rate.

Responses are tallied and presented in easy-to-read, usable pdf files to schools.  Uses for this data are endless for school administrators, districts, teachers, PTA leaders and community.  If you want feedback from graduates, LifeTrack Services is your one-stop solution!

LifeTrack Services, Inc.
1271 Port Drive
Clarkston, WA  99403
1-800-738-6466
www.graduate-surveys.com
www.athleticsurveys.com

Not Surveying Grads? A Missed Opportunity for School Improvement?

With more schools reporting an increase in students taking college-level courses and graduating with college credits, are we really preparing them better for college?  If more students are participating in Advanced Placement Exams, does that mean we are preparing them better?  Who would know better than your graduates?

GraduatesHow many schools successfully follow-up with seniors 6-18 months after graduation?  How many schools gather senior exit data as they prepare for graduation?   Imagine being able to see the fruits of your hard work in preparing students for success in their chosen career.    From their perspective, how well were they prepared and what could have been done better?  Without this information, schools may just be missing out on the most valuable tools available in determining their success as an educational institution.

This monumental task just may be too cumbersome to ensure a successful outcome in-house. Sure, there are easy-to-use survey programs available on the internet.  However, this is only part of the total equation.  What about the time involved in formulating questions, distributing the surveys and keeping up with address changes of graduates?  Then, there is the time-consuming task of producing the data in an easy-to-read format.  There is also the issue of data integrity and making sure that each student who responds only takes the survey once.  After all of this work, how many responses do you really get? 

Businesses such as LifeTrack Services, Inc. offer a proven and secure third-party, unbiased approach to collecting and reporting both senior exit data and postgraduate data at 18 months and 5 years.  LifeTrack touts their most popular Graduate Survey program which tracks your student from graduation for 5 years using all avenues for a response including traditional mail, follow-up calls, via a fully staffed call center,  QR codes,  email and text response.  This gets your school the best response rate while saving you time and money allowing you to focus on your job and receive this valuable data.

Prices for the  LifeTrack Graduate Survey program are an affordable $14.00 per student for this comprehensive service including the compilation reports as well as follow-up contact with the student.  Given that schools invest $50-70,000 to educate a student from kindergarten to graduation, spending $13.50 to follow-up on this investment seems to just make good economic sense.

Contact LifeTrack Services at 800-738-6466, www.graduate-surveys.com

 

McKinney ISD Finds Value to End of Season Athletic Surveys

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Surveying your students, tabulating and presenting the results can be a time-consuming task.  McKinney ISD has found that using LifeTrack Athletic Surveys helps their programs and keeps them moving in the right direction.

“We began using LifeTrack Services this year for an end of season survey for all of our high school sports.  After finishing our fall sports this year I would say that we will be using this service for a long time.  The feedback we have received from our athletes and parents has been very valuable for us as we evaluate and make decisions on how to improve moving forward.  We have used the surveys to evaluate our programs and to have great conversations with our head coaches, helping them and their programs grow in the right direction.”

Shawn Pratt                                                                                                        McKinney ISD Director of Athletics 10-5A DEC ChairRegion 3 Director – THSADA 469.302.4184

Fauquier County, Finds Positive Feedback with School Surveys from LifeTrack

 Students rate Fauquier Public Schools positively in survey

Friday, Aug. 14 | By Fauquier Times Staff

The vast majority – 93 percent – of the Fauquier County Public Schools Class of 2015 say they had a positive learning experience in high school. The 837 seniors who participated in the survey gave generally high marks in all 15 areas that they rated as part of the “Senior Exit Survey,” a LifeTrack Services survey administered annually during the final week of the school year.

Fauquier County’s most recent graduates gave slightly higher marks than the previous year’s graduates in most of the areas surveyed.

As the highest rating in the survey, 98 percent of students agreed their teachers were knowledgeable about the subject taught. Teachers fared well on two other survey questions: 97 percent said teachers generally have high expectations for quality work, and 95 percent of students felt teachers were available for assistance with academic concerns.*

Coming in with the lowest rating was the choice of electives as 84 percent of students felt that their high school offered enough elective classes for them to explore different career opportunities.

Ninety-one percent of students felt that counselors and teachers were helpful in the selection of a plan to follow after graduation. The survey showed that 87 percent of the Class of 2015 planned to attend a two- or four-year college upon graduation, 3 percent were going to vocational/technical school, 12 percent planned to work full-time and 14 percent part-time, 1 percent planned to work in an apprenticeship and 5 percent planned to join the military. (Students could select all answers that applied.)

Eighty-six percent of the Class of 2015 felt that students at their high school were accepting of diverse races, religions, nationalities, lifestyles and abilities, a percentage that has edged upward by 1 percent each year since the question was first added to the survey in 2012.

The survey revealed that the Class of 2015 felt safe in school; 97 percent of the students felt their high school provided a safe learning environment.

The survey also revealed the following:
· 85 percent felt that school rules were enforced consistently and fairly.
· 88 percent of students felt that staff cared about them.
· 91 percent of students felt their high school provided a strong foundation in the use of technology.
· 95 percent of students felt their high school was clean, orderly and well maintained.
· 96 percent of students felt their high school’s facilities (buildings and equipment) were adequate to meet their needs.
The Class of 2015 gave high markings to their educational experience at high school with 41 percent rating it as excellent, 40 percent as good, and 15 percent as average for a 96 percent positive rating.*

* Six survey questions are in a yes/no format, and nine allow students to assign ratings of excellent, good, average, below average, or needs improvement. Ratings of excellent, good or average were considered positive ratings and below average and needs improvement as negative ratings. The accompanying chart includes the percentage total for excellent, positive and average ratings in brackets for questions 8 through 16.

FCPS high school principals, who receive survey results for their specific school, share the information with their faculty and staff and also use the data in preparing their annual school improvement plan.

There is a second component to the LifeTrack survey service, and that is when FCPS graduates are surveyed two years after graduation using what’s called the “Postgraduate Survey.” While the response rate to these surveys does not match that of the Senior Exit Survey, the data provides a glimpse of how well students feel the school division prepared them for the world of work or the challenge of higher education at a point they’re actually experiencing those things.

Hearing from the Class of 2013

Surveyed two years after graduation, the Class of 2013 still held their education in Fauquier County Public Schools in generally high regard. Of the 278 graduates who responded (out of 819 contacted), 83 percent felt FCPS had offered them a quality education.

Although as seniors 99 percent of the class felt their teachers had held high expectations for quality work, two years later 78 percent of the respondents felt that way and 8 percent disagreed (not all respondents answered all questions). Seventy-five percent felt the academic standards at their high school had been high enough, and 13 percent did not.
Two years out of high school, members of the Class of 2013 were asked how well FCPS had prepared them in the core subjects plus technology. Their responses:
· Math – 81 percent positive and 7 percent negative
· English – 85 percent positive and 3 percent negative
· Science – 87 percent positive and 2 percent negative
· History – 83 percent positive and 6 percent negative
· Technology –71 percent positive and 6 percent negative
They were also asked how well their high schools had prepared them for entering the work force and for continuing their education. Sixty-six percent felt they had been well prepared to enter the work force (12 percent said no), and 79 percent felt well prepared to continue their education (7 percent said no).
As far as safety, 88 percent of the Class of 2013 felt their high schools had provided a safe learning environment (97 percent of the class had answered affirmatively as seniors).
Two years removed from FCPS, 84 percent of the Class of 2013 rated their schooling in Fauquier County Public Schools as a positive learning experience.
A third component of the LifeTrack survey service involves surveying FCPS graduates five years after graduation; the FCPS Class of 2011 will be the first class to participate in this “Culminating Survey.”

See the article on the Faquier online newspaper at:
http://www.fauquier.com/news/article/students_rate_fauquier_public_schools_positively_in_survey

 

Provide Insight for Prior Years with Graduate Surveys

Graduates Are you new to surveying your graduates with LifeTrack Graduate Surveys?  If so, you may be reviewing your first set of reports and graphs, providing insight into your students thoughts and allowing you to evaluate your programs and assess your performance as an educational institution.  You may even be looking forward to adding more statistical data and tracking trends by surveying this years’ graduates.

Did you know you can survey prior year grads?  Look back into the past and evaluate the results of programs you may have added using prior year surveys.  We do the work for you using our fully staffed call center that sets LifeTrack apart from all other survey programs.  Get the best response rate possible, just as you do with current year surveys, by surveying for prior years and add to your knowledgebase of valuable information about your students.   Interested or wish to discuss the possibilities?  just call us at LifeTrack at 800-738-6466 or send an email to Larry@LifeTrack-services.com.

Graduate Follow-up Programs Popular Among CTE Schools

student girl in graduation cap with diplomaCareer and Technical Education (CTE) or vocational schools have blossomed since the initial establishment of trade or apprentice schools of the past.   In today’s education world,  one can attend a CTE School for everything from Automotive Repair and Maintenance to Marine Biology.  Many students, after completing their CTE school, then transfer their credits earned to colleges of their choice and continue on with higher education.   Still the same questions beckon, which students will thrive in a hands-on environment?  Will students graduating from your school end up in the vocation you have trained them for?  How many went on to other colleges?

At LifeTrack Services, Inc., an increasing amount of CTE Schools have added Student Exit Surveys, as well as LifeTrack’s full Graduate Survey System, which includes follow-up results and reports on students for up to 5 years.   It makes sense that these types of schools would be interested in seeing whether the students they turn out in the real world end up in the vocation that they have trained for, and whether or not they stick with it.

For more information on survey programs for CTE Schools, please visit Graduate-Surveys.com or call LifeTrack Services, Inc. at 800-738-6466.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LifeTrack Surveys Provide Great Feedback and Fulfill Title IX Requirements for Aurora, Illinois Schools

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At LifeTrack Services, Inc., we value each and every one of our schools that we work with.  One such school district is located in Aurora, Illinois where an Athletic Director for West Aurora High School shares his comments about using  LifeTrack Surveys for their Athletics and Title IX requirements.

“LifeTrack Services surveys have been very instrumental in providing excellent feedback for our Athletic Programs. The questions asked of our athletes provided us opportunities to work with our coaches to identify areas of future focus within each program. In addition, we were able to address some facility concerns that were raised that may have otherwise flown under the radar.

The best part of the process was the simplicity. For our Athlete Satisfaction survey we took no more than ten minutes at the beginning of a practice toward the end of the season for every team. Once we had all of the surveys completed, they were sent to LifeTrack, who turned around with a nicely presented statistical breakdown of all the data from each question. The coaches loved the idea of getting great feedback without losing valuable practice time. While these surveys were not used in an evaluative mode, they did provide some discussion points during the evaluation meetings.

In addition, we also utilized the Title IX surveys for our high school and four middle schools. We surveyed random students at the high school and all eighth graders at the middle schools. These were utilized much in the same fashion, taking approximately ten minutes out of a study hall to survey, then sending them out to be scored. Results were back within two weeks in electronic form, as well as in a bound booklet.

I whole-heartedly appreciate the work that Larry and his staff has done to provide such vital information for our high school to improve what we do and how we do it. ”

Jason Buckley

Athletic Director
West Aurora High School

Athletic Surveys Provide a Path for Growth and “Ah-ha” Feedback for Coaches

Athletic Surveys As a business, we are privileged to be able to share the thoughts of clients who have used LifeTrack School Survey programs.    One such client is Bruce Brown, the current Executive Director of the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA) and former Athletic Director of Uniontown Lake High School both from the great state of Ohio.   Bruce shares with us his thoughts on the benefits of LIfeTrack Athletic Survey programs both as an AD and as the Executive Director of the OIAAA.

“The surveys were excellent supplements to feedback processes we utilize for our seasonal athletic programs.  We have been oriented to creating “growth plans” rather than “gotchas” as assessment planning with our respective coaches.  As such, we have a culture of feedback in place with our teachers and coaches (although, it sometimes has some “sting” to it!).” “The data turned up by the student surveys was good in tracking trends and perceptions among the student-athletes.  As with most surveys, it either reinforced what we and/or the coach believed about how our kids feel about their sport/program/coach as well as provide some “ah-ha” feedback.  Most importantly, it provided us a survey tool that heretofore was difficult for us to secure from our students.  I also believe our students appreciated knowing there was a specific mechanism for them to provide us information as to what they are thinking.” Bruce Brown, Executive Director OIAAA Former Athletic Director Uniontown Lake High School, OH For more testimonials and information regarding LifeTrack Athletic Surveys, please visit www.AthleticSurveys.com

 

Surveys Can Help Gauge Student Interest in Sports

Female Tennis Player at NetSince Title IX was enacted as a portion of education amendments in 1972, many changes have taken place in Athletics, particularly for women.  Just imagine the number of female athletes participating in High School Athletic Competition increased from 7% in the early 1970’s to over 38% in the early 1990’s.  Over 42% of college athletes worldwide are now women competing in athletic sports activities.

Satisfaction with the Title IX law and its requirements have not been met without issues over the years and some schools have seen a decrease in Men’s Sports programs due to Title IX compliance.     There have been amendments and changes and there is no doubt that it has been a controversial stepping stone through the complex issue of gender discrimination in school athletics.

Satisfaction of any one aspect of the three prong test provides the government with the compliance that schools need to continue to receive federal funding and to satisfy Title IX requirements. One being that male and female athletes are proportionate in enrollment in sports programs. Two being that the school has a history of creating new opportunities and programs for female athletes or three by showing, that the interests of female students are fully accommodated.

Recent 2010 changes in the law states that schools can use a survey to satisfy a portion of the third prong of the compliance requirements in addition to other factors such as tracking athletic trends.   There have been many discussions over whether or not surveys portray a correct representation of female interests in athletics and activities.

One thing a survey can do is give your students a voice.  Washington State Schools is one such school community that continues to survey their students on their views and sports participation interest.    After the TItle IX legislation in 1972, Washington Stated enacted their own similar legislation to Title IX for school activities funded by the state.  For compliance with their own state, many schools utilize LifeTrack Services Inc.’s Title IX Survey Package.

The first 11 questions capture information outlined by the Washington State OSPI, the additional questions 12-23 can be customized by school to capture information desired from their students about the facility, equipment, coaches, etc.  Not only are they capturing a students interests in sports but their views about other areas of interest or possible improvement strategies for the school.

The debate will undoubtedly go on about Title IX compliance and the best way to measure equal opportunities in sports activities for students.  However you cannot deny that not only can it assist a school in compliance issues, surveys can give students a sense of commitment of the school to honor their needs and opinions and to let them know that they are being listened to.

Of course, a high response rate can lend more authenticity to your survey.  Stay tuned for our next discussion about how LifeTrack Surveys can gather the best rate of return for your school surveys.

Check out more about Title IX Surveys by following this link:  http://graduate-surveys.com/Title_IX_Interest_Survey.html

LifeTrack Services, Inc. Hits The Road to New Orleans

 

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As the National School Board Convention Attendees descend up on the always entertaining town of New Orleans this weekend, the annual NSBA exhibitors set up shop in the exhibit hall hoping to meet and greet with as many attendees as possible.  

LifeTrack Services will be hosting a booth at this years event.  Showcasing their always popular Graduate Follow-up Survey and Senior Exit Survey programs, they hope to be talking with their existing  clients and looking forward to meeting potential new ones.  

The fact that current LifeTrack Schools, utilizing the Graduate Follow-up program, enjoy a 60-65% response rate for their surveys taken at graduation, 6 months and again at 5 years is something to boast about.   Given that the national average is around 6-8% for using stamped envelopes  or other online survey methods, LifeTrack’s method of surveying through utilizing their fully staffed Call Center, based in in Clarkston Washington, really sets them apart from other Student Survey Methods and delivers the numbers to their schools.

 

So, if you happen to be browsing through the NSBA exhibit hall and ever wonder just how do the numbers really look for your school’s exiting seniors when it comes to college, vocational school, joining the workforce, military or just whether or not they took a successful path, stop by the LifeTrack Services Booth and check out what they have to offer.  Larry Ledgerwood, LifeTrack’s company President, and Bob Eichensehr, a retired school principal, who knows first hand about the benefits of school survey programs, will both be on hand to answer questions and discuss the benefits of surveys.

 

Have fun in New Orleans everyone!

 

Please visit 0on the web at www.graduate-surveys.com