Mark Desjardins, headmaster of Holland Hall, emailed the following in response to my posting on the High School Engagement Survey:
“Great work on the blog in regards to HSSSE. We are doing it in a few
weeks at HH which will give us 5 years of data. I am excited to see where
we are today in regards to engagement. We have made major curriculum changes in
the past 4 years and my thesis is that our engagement numbers will be much
higher now as opposed to 5 years ago.
HSSSE also breaks down data by grade level and race and gender. You get
roughly 150 pages of data that you can comb through—one section focuses on
social adjustments—do students feel welcomed etc.
We also do GPA data. We compare the overall HS GPA to that of the GPA
for the first year of college. We have been tracking that number for 10
years. We also do an alumni survey (graduates of the last 10 years) every
other year—so simple and easy with Survey Monkey—and get data on what
programs and skills our graduates felt prepared or not so prepared…..this is
great information to pass along to parents and also we list it in our college
profile. Our accrediting association ISAS is the only one on the country
that requires GPA data from the freshman year in college. My understanding is
that NAIS is looking to make this a universal recommendation for all schools in
the coming years. We just get kids to sign a waiver when we do graduation walk
through and their transcript comes to us and we keep records.
Talk about the “real proof in the pudding.” We have found over the
past 10 years that there is very little difference in the average GPA between
the high school and college experience—which is a great story to tell.”