FAQs

The MI Student Perception Survey is a tool to help provide a holistic picture of student experience at school. Topics covered include students’ perceptions of their engagement, belonging and social-emotional learning. The survey is designed to capture feedback from students, uplifting student voice to help guide district and school improvement planning, including classroom instruction, support services and facilities improvements.

More globally, measuring these areas paints a broader picture of school quality -- beyond what is currently available through test scores. While academic outcomes are important, these indicators help to better represent the multi-faceted functions of public schools.

The Student Perception Survey was developed by Michigan Superintendents in 2019 to address the need for a common measure to provide a holistic picture of student experience. This led to the development of the MI Student voice Perception Survey which was administered in 20 school districts across the state in 2022. In spring 2023, 58 districts administered the survey in their schools statewide to a total of 33,366 students – a 176% increase in students who took the survey.

A subcommittee of members and Kent ISD staff drafted the survey instrument. The Survey subcommittee also partnered with local and national education researchers in its development. To note, none of the questions were written locally by subcommittee members. Each question is derived from nationally recognized student perception and culture surveys. The committee prioritized and selected the types of questions to be included.

When the survey questions were first assembled in 2019, we involved other research organizations to review the questions. In addition, we conducted cognitive interviews to ensure that all students in grades 5 -12 understood the questions that are administered in the survey. In spring of 2021 we pilot tested the survey. BASIS Policy Research and American Institutes for Research (AIR) helped with the final process of assembling questions that were aligned to measure SEL, Engagement and Belonging and removed questions that had poor alignment with the three domains - a standard process in survey development.

The survey was first administered in spring of 2021-2022 school year and 25 school districts participated. Spring of 2022-2023 school year was the second administration and 58 school districts participated. There is a technical committee that reviews how survey questions are working between survey administrations and makes recommendations on whether questions should continue to be part of the survey.

The MI Student Voice Perception Survey is designed for students in grades 5-12. Exemptions should only be for those with significant exceptionalities. The survey is optional and not required. Students may also skip any questions they do not wish to answer.

Completion of the Student Perception Survey takes approximately 10 minutes. Participants are not required to complete each question.

The MI Student Voice Perception Survey is administered each spring. Districts select the administration window of their choice during that timeframe. 

The MI Student Voice Perception Survey will be administered at school using Qualtrics CoreXM software through a designated online weblink. The survey may be completed on a computer, tablet or mobile device. Surveys will be available in multiple languages including English and Spanish.

It is very easy to administer the survey. After a district signs up for the survey and chooses their customizations, they will receive a link. Students will use this link to access the district’s questions. To encourage full participation, we strongly suggest the MI Student Perception Survey be administered during school hours.

The intent of the MI Student Perception Survey is to gauge student perceptions of their experiences at school. Questions about drug or alcohol use, intimate relationships, political or religious affiliations or other personal information are not included in the survey.

Survey participation must adhere to local district policies. Participating districts are provided with a sample parental communication and opt-out form. This is known as passive consent. Parents who do not want their child to participate may opt out. Parents are not required to opt in for the survey.

Yes. The MI Student Voice Perception Survey does not identify individual students or classrooms.

Optional demographic questions help identify the needs of diverse groups of students.

Once the survey is completed and submitted, Kent ISD will provide reports to the district. These will include a district-wide report, as well as an individual report for every single building that took part in the district. New in 2023, Kent ISD will also provide a Domain Level Report to the district and each individual building.

The Qualtrics XM software includes “ballot stuffing prevention,” bot detection and other fraud prevention to ensure that only students in your districts complete the survey. Additional information on fraud and survey protection measures within Qualtrics can be found here and here.

Kent ISD provides resources and guiding questions on how to use the survey data. Currently, some school districts are using survey results with other systems that are already available, such as MICIP, to create their data stories and show how they utilize the data for school improvement. In addition, Kent ISD will host a Fall Conference where school districts will share how they are using survey results to help with their school improvement plans.

Data will be stored locally on Kent ISD’s servers in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kent ISD’s data privacy policy can be found here and here. Qualtrics is the survey platform adopted for administration and will not have access to individual results. Qualtrics’ data privacy policy can be found here.

No. Results will not be used for any school, district or staff accountability purposes.

The Parent/Guardian Perception Survey and Educator Perception Survey will be pilot tested in Spring 2024 during the same administration windows as the Student Perception Survey. By using all three surveys, school districts will have a holistic approach to improve measures of school quality in their school improvement plans. Once pilot testing is completed, the intent is to have all three surveys used operationally in 2024-2025 school year.

This work is currently funded by a grant from The Michigan Health Endowment Fund (MHEF). The MHEF grant is just the beginning. Kent ISD is committed to continuing the work, with the vision that a MI Student Voice suite of surveys will serve as a shared standard to measure student experience across the state. As such, Kent ISD is submitting for additional grants.

The MI Student Voice Perception Survey was developed to complement other surveys – not to replace them. Different surveys serve different goals. However, some questions on different surveys may measure similar factors.

The Student Perception Survey aligns with the CASEL framework and is designed to focus on educational climate and culture. The three domains on the MI Student Voice Perception Survey have a strong connection with academic performance. Research has shown that engaged students are more than two times likely to say that they do well in school and more than four times to be hopeful about the future, while Social-emotional learning builds character, values and mindsets for students to be successful later in life.

Other surveys focus on behavioral and emotional health, and summative and formative assessment. Together these help to develop the whole child.

Different surveys serve different goals. However, some questions on different surveys may measure similar factors. The three domains on the MI Student Voice Perception Survey have a strong connection with academic performance. Research has shown that engaged students are more than two times likely to say that they do well in school and more than four times to be hopeful about the future while social-emotional learning builds character, values and mindsets for students to be successful later in life.

The ASCD survey has questions that show the level of engagement, support and challenges that students have in school. There are questions on the MI Student Voice Perception survey that can give similar information. However, The ASCD surveys have questions on safety and health behaviors which are not the scope of the MI Student Voice Perception survey. The MI Student Voice Perception survey was developed to complement other surveys and not to replace them.

Please refer additional questions to Jen Rotach from Kent ISD at JenRotach@kentisd.org or Dr. Davie Store at DavieStore@kentisd.org.