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Measuring Wellbeing as Part of MTSS Program Effectiveness



Now more than ever, school administrators are eager to implement programs that support effective and impactful wellbeing initiatives for their students. But measuring such programs in a way that provides immediate, actionable data can be challenging. How do you quantify the feelings a student has about school? What kind of progress is being made in developing new social emotional skills? And with the data from such an assessment, how can school leaders and teachers act to improve student performance?


In comparison to traditional curriculum components for which there are clear standards and measurement tools that have been honed over decades to provide insights into student performance and individual learning needs, social emotional learning is still evolving. PASS has developed a universal screener to objectively capture data from students in nine key areas, providing school leaders and teachers with immediate, actionable data.


The Challenge of Measuring Student Wellbeing


Student wellbeing was long seen as less tangible and more difficult to measure and guide than more traditional academic subject areas like reading and math. Thankfully this is not the case. Social and emotional skills can be observed, measured, and assessed in much the same way as core academic skills, giving teachers the same vital feedback needed to address individual needs.


There are, however, several approaches to measuring wellbeing and SEL, each with its challenges. These include:


  • Broad SEL Surveys - Wellbeing surveys provide straightforward questionnaires that can measure how students feel about the different elements of school. These questions are often open-ended and capture more qualitative feedback from students. This can be beneficial if there are specific questions about student experiences, but it limits the ability of schools to assess a program’s efficacy objectively.

  • Teacher and Parent-Reported Assessments - Where a survey is insightful but rarely actionable, assessments offer a quantitative approach to measuring SEL. However, some such assessments rely on feedback from teachers and parents. This can lead to unintentional subjectivity and bias based on the limitations of observation. Such assessments are also time-consuming for teachers.

  • Wellbeing Screeners - A wellbeing screener is a research-based assessment that measures student response to several key areas. Because they are research-based, there are clear indications of how a student performs against a broader population, allowing the screener to provide actionable quantitative feedback about each student.


PASS offers a universal screener designed to provide this type of assessment feedback in a format that enables school leaders to identify when a student is struggling and respond proactively.


How PASS’s Universal Screener Measures Student Wellbeing


The PASS screener can be administered in 20 minutes and is standardized for use in K-12 schools based on research-backed psychometric measurements. It measures three broad areas, including connectedness, self-efficacy, and motivation. Within these three areas are nine individual factors for which each student is measured. Using such a range of measures, PASS can help proactively address barriers to success, supporting student wellbeing in a quantifiable way.


Because of how the PASS universal screener is constructed, data is presented in an easy-to-read multi-level format, broken down by individuals, classes, and year groups against benchmarks. Traffic light reporting helps identify where students most need support, and intervention strategies can be quickly mapped and implemented.


An Actionable Approach to Student Wellbeing


Student wellbeing and SEL are often associated with mental health elements and therefore are approached quite broadly, addressing students in a way that relies heavily on qualitative feedback or observations from teachers or parents. While many students receive the support they need, others do not, falling through the cracks because they “seem” otherwise fine. PASS offers a universal screener that provides immediate, actionable data that can be evaluated at multiple levels to identify who needs support most. Designed to inform MTSS plans and assess the effectiveness of existing programs, PASS offers a data-based approach to proactive intervention that measures the efficacy of your efforts to improve student wellbeing.


Learn more about PASS or request a demo to see how it can integrate with your existing programs.


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