As providers of school survey programs , LifeTrack Services Inc. was recently featured in the November 2017 New York State School Boards Association “On Board” newsletter article entitled ” Surveying HS graduates helps districts improve.”
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
How do you measure your school climate? The power of the school survey is evident as many schools get a good idea of how they are doing from their student’s perspective by using LifeTrack’s Snapshot Survey. Schools survey their students on a variety of topics ranging from how they feel about their school lunch program and their nutritional habits, do they feel safe in their school environment and are they challenged at what they are learning? Have they been bullied, or is harassment common on the school premises? If so, what type of harassment are they experiencing? Some schools also survey their parents and/or community to get their perspective on school issues.
The Possibilities for Snapshot Surveys are countless. What kind of feedback/data would benefit your school? Consider another way that you can use these helpful surveys by using them as a focus for where to add staff to your school.
Former School Principal at Lycoming Valley Middle School in Williamsport, PA, Bob Eichensehr, found school snapshot surveys could even help him in justifying budgeting for additional staff.
“In my school, I had one guidance counselor for approximately 550 students. For three years in a row, I asked my Superintendent and Board to provide an additional counselor. Each year the additional counselor was cut due to budgetary constraints. Finally, I put the question “Was your guidance counselor available to you?” on our student survey. The students responded overwhelmingly that their counselor was not available to them. The fourth year, I took the results of the student survey to my Superintendent and Board and they found the money to hire additional guidance staff for our school. I truly believe that the additional guidance counselor would have never been approved had it not been for the students’ survey responses.”
Monetary restraints are an issue for all schools and to have direction and perspective from your students can prove to be helpful in making useful budgeting choices for your school.
Be sure to check our graduate-surveys blog regularly for more hints and tips for your school surveys or sign up to receive regular notifications.
You can find more information on Snapshot Surveys as well as Graduate Surveys at
Fall school superintendent and principal conferences are in full swing this year. With 39 shows on the calendar, LifeTrack Services is scheduled to attend even more shows than the 2012 season. From New York to California, attendees will be able to browse LifeTrack Services exhibit with information on all products and services including Middle School Surveys, School Snapshot Surveys, Athletic Surveys and the most popular Graduate Exit Survey program. There are some great themes this year, Montana’s Conference is titled “Innovation and Choices in our Public Schools”, while New York’s NSSBA kicks off its 94th Annual Convention and Expo titled “The Power of Education” later this month. All in all, a great season and a chance to get that personal contact with potential customers and say hello to current customers in the area as clarified by Larry Ledgerwood, President of LifeTrack Services.
“We attend many trade shows and conferences each year. They continue to carry on the importance of Face to Face conversations with customers about how the program is working for them while creating general awareness and other vendor contacts that might help to spread the word about LifeTrack.”
You can follow LifeTrack on the road at https://www.facebook.com/LifeTrackServicesInc
Also check out http://graduate-surveys.com/
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……….