Health Check Survey Released: How Healthy Are We?


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Chris Maurice with Hedy Gutfreund

On Thursday the 24th of October, all students in the upper school sat down in advisory and took The Independent School Health Check. This year was the third time that a test of this kind was administered to the students of the Upper School. Starting in 2008, the need for real data played a major factor in the decision to administer the survey. But there were problems—the data that Latin’s results were based off of were city and national results. Today, the results are compared to a database of nearly 8,400 other students from independent schools just like Latin.

 

Because of the cold days, meetings to share the information to the parents, teachers, and students were canceled. Last Thursday’s Student Life meeting was the first step into sharing the information to the community. The information given was broken up into three groups: what alarmed—facts that have to be dealt with immediately—us, what awakened us, and what affirmed us. In total, 65% of the students who took the survey answered completely honest and 31.3% answered mostly honest, making this information a very accurate way to track trends and growth in our school.

 

Alarmed us:

43 considered suicide

32 diagnosed with depression

31 females reported cutting

20% of students could get a gun

15% of freshman, 34% sophomores, 57% juniors, 59.8% seniors drink alcohol

According to Mr. Graf, what was alarming was the lack of students’ response to the programs and initiatives put in place by the school, whether they were drinking and drug abuse, or anti-bullying efforts. The school will continue to push Latin toward being a safer community for all students.

 

Awakened us:

16.7% of parents allow kids to drink at home

14% of parents allow drinking outside of home

86.5% of students spend 2+ hours on homework a night

191 students spend 3+ hours on homework a night

46% observed bullying

60% of students get less than 7 hours of sleep

There has been an increase in extrinsic motivation

 

Extrinsic motivation is the outside pressure on oneself. It could be sleep, teachers, upcoming exams, or sports. Mr. Graf said during the meeting, that ‘“we are attempting to eliminate as many extrinsic motivators as we can, but we cannot control the college process, sports activities, parent pressure, among other things…we are looking at the calendar and with time, trying to deal with sleep, stress and anxiety.” Extrinsic motivation is up 11% in 3 years at Latin with lack of sleep having a major factor in that number. Studies show that it is important for adolescents to receive at least 7 hours of sleep. As students try to study more and more for school, they sacrifice sleep—a number of negative effects can follow. They could begin to feel sick, unhappy, lonely, not like themselves, and not on top of their work.

Stress seems to be a major issue as we head into a future dedicated to creating a safe and healthy environment here at Latin.  93% of students self-impose high or extreme pressure on themselves, compared to 77% of students in the database. To feel successful at Latin, 96% of students say they need to excel in academics.

Other Facts:

Increase in school belongingness

Improved safe campus*

Low academic dishonesty

Student respect faculty and believe they’re here to help

Students feel part of the community

Screen time has increased significantly

 

Latin is noted by the Independent School Health Check to have a “high level of connection and a strong sense of belonging.” Notwithstanding, Latin hopes to fix many of the problems that plague the school. Next year, an additional part time counselor will be working with Ms. Stevens to address and fix these problems, as well as a continuation of the FCD program for freshman and sophomores to address the repercussions of drinking and drug abuse.  Along with these changes, Latin will increase networking with other Independent schools, such as Parker and Lab to share information and create inter-community awareness.

 

With this survey, administrators at Latin hope to better understand and promote its students’ health and safety. Moving into the future, Latin hopes to use this survey to follow trends and problems to ensure a safe and healthy community.

*survey was taken before laptop thefts.]]>