Prior to the official start of the school year, Bronxville School District educators and high school seniors, who had been selected as Freshmen Transition Leaders, worked together to review and analyze data from the Challenge Success survey.
The Challenge Success survey, which was distributed to middle and high school students in the spring, measures students’ perspectives on homework, extracurricular activities, sleep, physical health, stress, parent expectations, academic engagement, academic integrity and teacher support. Bronxville School students were among 40,000 students from high performing schools across the country to take the online survey that is administered by the Challenge Success program, a nonprofit group associated with the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
“National data suggests there is an increased physical manifestation of stress in middle and high school over the past few years,” Bronxville High School Principal Ann Meyer said. “Therefore, it was important to us to gather data to help us better understand our students’ overall experience.”
The students and staff members collaborated to analyze the different aspects of the data and provided Meyer and Bronxville Middle School Principal Tom Wilson with feedback. The survey findings will help guide school officials in deciding which policies and practices might be effective or in need of improvement. As a result of the research, Meyer and Wilson are piloting a new schedule that moves extra help from the end of the day to the beginning of the day.
“The data indicated that our students are getting significantly less sleep than is recommended for their age and less sleep than their counterparts across the country,” Meyer said. “Moving extra help to the beginning of the day will allow students who do not need to attend extra help on a particular day to sleep a little later before arriving at school for their first class.”
A group of 10 students, parents, faculty members and administrators will attend the Challenge Success conference at Stanford University from Sept. 15-16. They will meet with officials from other high performing schools nationwide to further analyze the data and discuss its implications for the middle and high school. “We look forward to bringing back [many] ideas and broadening the group of students, parents and faculty here at Bronxville who will work with this data and brainstorm ideas of how we might address it,” Meyer said.
The district’s work around Challenge Success has been entirely funded through the generous support of the Bronxville School Foundation.