In Michigan, there is currently no uniform measurement of students’ wellbeing nor a common way to evaluate student engagement and the impact of related services and interventions for students beyond standardized test scores.

Yet the research is crystal clear about the significant role that student engagement and student belonging has on student success. Engaged students are 2.5 times more likely to say they do well in school and 4.5 times more likely to be hopeful about the future.1

In 2019, a group of superintendents in Kent County, Michigan developed a common survey that could provide a holistic picture of student experience including student engagement, social-emotional learning (SEL) and belonging. This led to the development of the MI Student Voice Perception Survey, which was administered by 20 school districts across the state in 2022. The work has been funded by grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and continues to grow. Participation nearly tripled in just one year, with 58 districts administering the survey in spring 2023. In 2024 that number has nearly doubled, as 108 districts administered the survey, uplifting 70,623 student voices. 

This year the survey offerings have been expanded to include an Educator Perception Survey and a Parent/Guardian Perception Survey. This full suite of surveys is intended to provide a more comprehensive view of school climate and culture, allowing for triangulation of the data, with anchor points between the surveys leading to greater insights. Reception to these new surveys has been strong – 34% of districts that administered the Student Perception Survey this spring also elected to administer both of the pilot surveys.

1 Jackson, C.K. et al. Linking social-emotional learning to long-term success. Education Next.

The MI Student Voice Perception Survey is now playing a transformative role in how education leaders approach district and school improvement planning by prioritizing the voice of students. Survey highlights:

  • It's free
  • It's flexible and may be customized to fit your community
  • It's quick and takes less than 10 minutes to complete
  • It's easy to administer with customized letters, talking points and marketing materials
  • It comes with free implementation and technical support



This work is supported by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, which works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors. You can find more information about the Health Fund at mihealthfund.org.