CRMS Shines in National Survey of Independent and Public High School Students

by Mark Bell

An overwhelming percentage of CRMS students report feeling supported by their teachers, comfortable being who they are, and believing their opinions are respected at school.

According to a recent national student survey, CRMS excels in areas of belonging, respect, and fairness relative to how students feel at other independent schools and public schools around the country. Specifically:

  • 99% of CRMS students feel supported by their teachers, compared with 94% of students from other independent schools.
  • 97% of CRMS students believed that there was at least one adult at school that “knows them well,” compared to 85% at other independent schools.
  • 96% of CRMS students share that they are comfortable being themselves at school, compared to 81% of students feeling this way at other independent schools.
  • 94% of CRMS students believed “their opinions were respected,” compared to 79% at other independent schools.
  • 86% of CRMS students report feeling the school’s rules are fair, compared with 68% at other independent schools and 58% at participating public schools.

The High School Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE) is used to monitor student thoughts, beliefs, and perception about their school experiences. Data is collected each spring from students at CRMS and across the country to provide a national benchmark of both independent and public schools. The results offer insight into the effectiveness of the CRMS educational model, the impact it is having on students, and helps the school to understand how successfully it is advancing students towards the outcomes it seeks by the time a student graduates.

Colorado Rocky Mountain School has participated in the HSSSE since its inception. 4,652 students from 22 different schools in 11 different states participated in this survey in 2023.

“Over the years we have seen a consistent pattern in CRMS’s strengths identified through this survey,” according to Head of School Jeff Leahy.

Generally, the survey identifies a “strength” as an area in which the school distinctly separates itself from other peer independent schools (CRMS significantly separates itself from the public school cohort in every category).

The HSSSE surveys three basic categories: Personal Growth, Academics, and Culture and Relevance. Students answer an array of questions relevant to these three topics. By participating in this survey every year, CRMS can track its annual performance relative to performance from previous years.

“We have received consistent results on this survey each year we have participated,” Leahy said, “We know that the CRMS program has a positive impact on our students if they fully engage in the opportunities that are available to them.”

“At the end of their time at CRMS, we want our students to feel connected in a myriad of ways, that they understand that they matter, and that they are empowered to experience a lifetime of growth and learning,” Leahy continued. “We want our students to feel that they have agency over their lives, a sense of choice as to who they can be, and at least a sense of what that best self looks like to them.”

Click here to learn more about the HSSSE.


Tags from the story

Academics, Community, Student

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