Adams County Student Survey Report 2016
The Adams County Youth Initiative (ACYI) is honored to continue our partnership to support you by providing the results of the 2016 Adams County Student Survey (ACSS).
ACYI’s overall role within the partnership is to guide a shared vision and goals, to support continuous improvement across our partnership and to advance policy and mobilize funding to improve student outcomes across six cradle to career outcomes (kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, 8th grade math, high school graduation, post-secondary enrollment and post-secondary completion). We know that healthy communities closely monitor these key outcome areas and ACYI is proud to support improvement toward these ends.
Adams County Student Survey 2016 Overview:
The 2016-17 Adams County Student Survey was administered to 35,586 students across Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Adams 14, Westminster Public Schools, Mapleton Public Schools, and School District 27J. The survey was administered online for all students and the administration window was open from October through December 1. Students in grades 3-5 participated in the survey in Adams 12, Mapleton, Westminster and 27J, and students in 6-12 participated in all five partner districts. Overall the 2016-17 ACSS yielded a response rate of 83.75%.
Enhancements and Adjustments:
To continuously improve our practice, ACYI made enhancements and adjustments to the 2016-2017 ACSS instrument and reports.
- The 2016-2017 ACSS instrument was customized by each district. Partners had the opportunity to add, remove, change and rearrange items for each of the three survey instruments (elementary, middle and high school) administered to their students. This allowed district partners to tailor questions related to specific programs offered in their districts or around core philosophical constructs they believe are critical to providing students an excellent education.
- The 2016-2017 ACSS school reports were adjusted to show greater detail. In previous years, student responses were grouped and reported at an aggregate level for each item. For example, in a question that offered students the categories of, “0 times, 1-4 times, 5-9 times and 10 or more times” all of the responses from “1-4, 5-9 and 10 or more times” were grouped together and reported. Given the nature of many items, the 2016-17 reports included student response percentages for each category. Thus far, schools have responded very positively to this level of detailed information.
- The 2016-2017 reports include the responses of all students. The ACSS follows best practice in student perception research as it allows students to skip items. In previous years, when students have skipped an item, their non-response was removed from the sample for that item. This year, all students’ responses were included and the non-response rate for each item was reported at the school and district levels.
Implications & Considerations:
As a result of the customization and adjustments to reporting there are a few implications that are key to consider when consuming the 2016-2017 ACSS data.
- Customization of the ACSS instrument for each school district impacted the ability to report longitudinal data and to roll the results up to the county level report. Specifically, customization left approximately 64 items common across all five partner districts. Only these items were included in the county report. Additionally, customization left many questions without longitudinal comparison. At the county level, all items included across all five partners were reported with a five-year comparison however, longitudinal data (other than for the key questions in Section II) was not included in the school level reports.
- Including all students in the 2016-2017 sample at the individual item level impacts the percent of students reporting in each category. By including all students, the overall sample is larger which typically causes percentages to be smaller. While this adjustment for 2016-17 has elevated the voices of all students and enables schools to examine survey fatigue and charged items via a non-response rate, it may cause consumers of the data to falsely believe that there are very large changes in how students are reporting on any given item. When comparing data from 2015 or before to the 2016 data, it is crucial to focus on trends and not percent changes. Additional analysis was run and confirmed that the trends reported by students (increase, decrease or maintenance) are accurate regardless of including the non-responses or removing them.
Across Adams County, students’ responses trended favorably in several categories.
- Bullying and Fighting: Students reported a significant reduction of being “harassed or bullied on school property.” The trend holds true at both the middle and high school levels and is reported in conjunction with reductions in students reporting that other students have “said bad things about you to hurt your reputation or friendships with others” as well as that someone “has said something bad about you because of your weight, size, gender or physical appearance” at the middle school level.
- Gangs and Weapons: Students reported significant reduction in gang presence at both the middle and high school levels.
- Substance Use: Middle school and high school students reported that it is more difficult to access drugs and alcohol. Additionally, high school students reported reductions in alcohol, marijuana and recreational prescription drug use.
- Substance Use – Access and Driving: Significant reductions in driving and riding in vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the high school level (These items are not included in the middle school survey.).