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  • Writer's pictureKevin Graham

Community and Belonging Survey of Students – November 2024

Your invitation to participate – Click here to register your school

Dear Friends,

In November 2022, we administered a Community and Belonging Survey of independent school students in Grades 9-12 across the U.S. and Canada. 96 schools participated, involving more than 22,000 students. Participating schools each received reports on their own results within 24 hours of completing the survey, and the aggregated results were shared both on Kevin’s website and in various articles and presentations. Here is a summary of those results in an article written by John for Independent School Magazine. If you have not yet reviewed the full results, they can be found here.

In short, this project presented us with an opportunity to learn about, and to shed meaningful light on, the experience of high school students just coming out of the pandemic on a range of topics, including community, belonging, engagement, emotional safety, and self-appraised preparedness across a list of academic and life skills.

Based on the feedback received for this project and believing it essential to know how things have changed over the last couple of years, we are pleased to announce that (at no cost to participating schools!) we’ll be administering the survey again this coming November. In addition to the hope that all the schools involved in 2022 will see fit to do it again, we are inviting other schools to participate with the understanding that we may need to restrict the number of participating schools. If we do, we will accept registrations based on the order received. We hope to finalize the list of participating schools before the Summer break…. it won’t take more than a minute to register, so if you’re interested, sign up today. 

We especially appreciate the support of Debra Wilson, President of NAIS, and leaders of the many regional associations who promoted awareness of this project in 2022.

Debra says:

“Student wellness is proving to be one of the most pressing challenges in education today. Two years ago, this survey helped to provide a baseline understanding of the data within independent schools both for the industry and for the individual schools that participated. NAIS appreciates the interest and commitment of people associated with EE Ford Foundation, Penn GSE, and Lookout Management to continue this vital work by again offering the tool and providing us all with useful insights.”

If you decide to become involved, you will receive a report of your own school’s results shortly after the questionnaire is completed by your students and a full aggregated report on all schools involved once the study is completed. This will be a great opportunity to learn about where your school sits on these vital issues and how your students fit in the mix of a very large sample. We hope to present findings from this study at the NAIS conference in Nashville next February.

If you’d like to see the actual questionnaire:


With warmest regards and great excitement, John, Steve, & Kevin.


We are:

John Gulla (former Head of School, The Blake School)

Executive Director

The Edward E. Ford Foundation


Steve Piltch (former Head of School, The Shipley School)

Director, School Leadership Program

Graduate School of Education

University of Pennsylvania


Kevin Graham


Lookout Management Inc.


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