In 2017 the 8th through 12th grades participated in the ISHC (Independent School Health Check) survey which aimed to collect data on different aspects of student’s lives by testing everything from the amount of sleep they get to the percentage of drug/ alcohol abuse there is among students. The results were passed down to the students during a gathering presentation where councilors Ms. Stevens and Ms. Lawrence went over the results and gave the statistics context. Two years later, it’s unclear to most students of what actually happened with the results from the health survey.
To answer what happened with the results, one must understand why students take the health survey in the first place. The results are mainly used to “inform our specific programming for each grade level and to shape our Affective Education program,” as well as “to speak to wellness as a foundation” says Ms. Stevens. Overall it gives the faculty and staff a better idea of what student’s lives are like so that they can be the best educator possible. Speakers like Eduardo Torres, a specialist in drug and alcohol abuse prevention, are invited to Latin to help improve the results on the next health survey. Parents are also informed of the results through meetings with the councilors.
The core reason that students haven’t heard much about the survey since is that “without context, the numbers could perhaps be alarming or create narratives that aren’t true,” according to Ms. Stevens. She emphasizes the importance of having “conversations around the numbers,” because without them, “[the numbers] don’t make sense.” Since the statistics are so sensitive to interpretation, the school must be careful with how the information is conveyed to students, parents, and faculty, which limits everyone’s exposure to the test and explains why students don’t regularly hear about it. Students can expect that the next survey will likely be in October or November of 2019 and is likely to be the same as the last one.
Though the ISHC survey is well rounded and comprehensive, it is not perfect. The test is fairly heteronormative but because of the wide range questions it has, it is the most effective tool for the school to use at the moment. ]]>