Who can determine if a student has been harassed or bullied? Your students! Schools too often must focus on test scores, attendance data and discipline data in an effort to demonstrate adequate yearly progress. Rarely is perception data gathered and used as a tool for school improvement. LifeTrack School snapshot surveys have been administered as low as 4th grade through 11th grade. Perceptions regarding safety, technology and harassment, as well as other areas, can also benefit an overall education. When equipped with feedback from students, administrators can hold staff accountable for change. Education is a continually changing process. Feedback can help our schools act versus reacting. Feedback also gives a school board necessary tools for making decisions in the best interest of their districts. Nothing speaks stronger to a community than feedback from graduates. Student feedback can be the ultimate measure of a school’s success! For further information, please go to www.graduate-surveys.com
Schools struggle to collect necessary data regarding how well their graduates were prepared for “life after high school”. Graduate follow-up surveys can gather feedback from graduates that are college bound, entering the work force, serving our country in the military, or pursuing other paths. More importantly, they collect perception data about their students’ experience. Knowing how graduates feel about their preparation for life after graduation can help schools adapt to better prepare future students.
Too often, a school is evaluated based on how many graduates attend college. Since college is not feasible for all graduates, schools should not be penalized if graduates choose to work or enter the military. If graduates are equipped with strong reading, writing, and math skills, they can enter the work force and fill jobs needed in every community while supporting themselves. This is success by your school!
Regardless of what graduates choose to pursue after high school, they are the best source for identifying areas where your school is excelling, as well as areas that need improvement. A school may have the most qualified teacher available for a subject. However, students/graduates reporting that they were not prepared in that area reveals a focus for improvement. On the other hand, if you have a teacher that can successfully connect with students, their successful teaching style can be adapted to ensure ALL STUDENTS SUCCEED.
Schools that do not follow-up with their graduates, are missing a critical piece of their success. Graduate follow-up is the ultimate measure of your school’s ability to prepare students for their lives after graduation. Most schools spend $50-70,000 to move a student from kindergarten through graduation. Don’t let that investment walk out the door without having the ability to use their experience for school improvement.
LifeTrack Services, Inc. can offer proven programs to gather feedback from students and graduates. Their graduate follow-up approach is unique to all other school survey programs, utilizing every method available to obtain a response and maximize the response rate to your survey including a fully staffed call center, online surveys, QR Codes, email and text. High response rates and meaningful data are the key to your success with school surveys. LifeTrack takes this burden off of school staff members and provides an affordable, secure method to magnifying their graduates success with surveys.
Visit www.graduate-surveys.com or call 1-800-738-6466 for more information.
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!
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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?
How 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
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
Students rate Fauquier Public Schools positively in survey
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.”
Career 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.
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
As the warm days of August fade into September, many of us, regardless of our age, are reminded that for 12 to 20 years of our lives we headed back to school during this time of year. For High Schools across America, new students come to class, and graduates head out into the “real world.” The question is, how prepared are they? The even bigger question is, how prepared will they think they were five years from now? All of the money and time spent in altering curriculum, designing classroom structure and scheduling all to prepare students for their next step in life is great. But, how well is it working? Senior exit surveys are incredibly helpful in providing a benchmark of how your grads feel about where they are now, their plans and thoughts about how they intend to use their high school education and where they would like to be five years from now. Graduate surveys that measure a students thoughts, not only as an exiting senior, but also at six months after graduation and at five years after graduation can give educators and school administration a good look at whether or not their curriculum and programs are working. How prepared were your students when they entered college or the working world and how have their views changed since graduation? Imagine what just 10 years of data from your graduates could tell you about your efforts to send them into the world with the tools they need to be successful? As schools start their new year, now is the time to get survey programs started and in the budget for 2014 grads. It’s time to start tracking those students you have given a strong start on their paths to success.
As September approaches and summer fades into the cooler months of fall, wherever we are in life, we are always reminded that it is time for the majority of students to head back to school. Teachers prepare their curriculum, while this years’ seniors settle into their last year of High School. Last years’ seniors have graduated and are on to another stepping stone on their journey to success and adulthood. What really happens in the lives of all of these seniors after they graduate? Do they go on to fulfill their dreams of college and a successful career? Were they well prepared? Do they think they were well prepared? How can the accurate reporting of this data help schools in their quest to educate students to the best of their ability and to prepare them for life after HIgh School.
At LifeTrack, we deliver this data in a manner that no one else does. We find out where your seniors are, in their paths to success, up to five years after graduation. In this blog, we plan to look at everything from examples of how schools, armed with this data, have used it to improve curriculum and teaching practices to the thoughts and comments from actual graduates and their experiences. Stay tuned for more posts as we explore The Power of Student Data……….