Spring is here. The weather is warming, and days are getting longer and busier. For most educators, springtime is also when state standardized tests occur, with time spent getting students ready for the test, then implementing the tests over several weeks, depending on the state.

Additionally, Spring means that the end of the academic school year is quickly approaching. While many educators await the end of another year and look forward to summer, there is also anticipation for the new school year ahead.

That’s why Spring can also be a perfect time to start student wellbeing universal screening in your school or district.

The research is clear. Student wellbeing is a crucial component to effective learning. Studies from the CASEL highlight the practical benefits of SEL and student wellbeing programs. Included in those findings are that about 27% more students would improve their academic performance due to SEL programs, and 24% more would have improved social behaviors and lower levels of distress. Universal screening can start your school or district on the path to this type of success.

PASS as a Universal Screener

PASS is a universal screening tool that helps schools uncover hidden non-academic barriers to learning. Screening provides the actionable data needed to address student needs, proactively respond to risks of absenteeism, and implement broader interventions and initiatives that support students at school. 

With PASS, you can see students’ attitudes to things like how they feel about themselves as learners, how connected they feel to their school, and how motivated they are by their curriculum. All types of districts use PASS across the country, including high achieving districts like South Fayette Township School District in Pennsylvania and districts with highly transient populations like Erlanger-Elsmere ISD in Kentucky. 

Start Student Wellbeing Universal Screening in the Spring 

Here are three reasons you should start universal screening for student wellbeing in the Spring.

  1. Contribute to the success of your district or campus improvement plan: These plans identify specific areas of strength and weakness in addressing ways to improve student achievement, increase school district capacity, and improve performance in each component of school district effectiveness. PASS data can give you insight into the areas of focus needed directly from the student’s voice.
  2. Plan for staff professional development (PD): Since PASS provides multi-level reporting from the district level down to the individual student level, you can easily identify those areas that will need special attention from the district. You can then build relevant staff professional development for the coming school year. PD planning can be much more intentional, focusing on areas where students in the district most need support. And since much of that PD planning takes place in the summer, the immediate reports that PASS produces will be waiting and available for you to take action, using the data in conjunction with academic, behavioral, and attendance data. 
  3. Get an indication of what the students will be like in the new school year: With PASS data, educators will get a good picture of what students will look like coming into the new school, gaining an understanding of students who should be on their radar and determining how they can set them up for success. For example, what are the needs of students coming into middle school for the first time? What activities will your school counselors need to do to prepare to support these students? How can the information be used to create interventions across Tier 1, 2 and 3. This data can also be instrumental in creating class rosters, small groupings, and more. 

With PASS data, the district staff can use their time wisely to prepare for the coming school year, knowing they are focusing on areas where students are indicating they need some help. 

Measure the Effectiveness of Student Wellbeing Programs

It’s important to remember that Spring surveys also measure the effectiveness of student wellbeing programs: If your students have already taken a PASS survey or other universal screener in the Fall, you’ve already identified students who needed student support initiatives and areas of concern for smaller groups and the district as a whole. During the Spring, you can see how the interventions and supports you’ve implemented have impacted your students. What has been working? What programs might need some adjustments? Are there individual students that need extra support beyond these programs?

Even if you have not administered a universal screener with your students in the Fall, Spring survey data will give you a good temperature check of your current programs, allowing the district to determine where they need to focus. The data allows you to start creating a positive school climate. 

Learn More About PASS 

Schedule a demo with our PASS team to learn more about how PASS can support your school or district. We would love to partner with you to help your district address student wellbeing, challenging behavior, and poor attendance to improve academic success and college and career readiness.