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Lake Forest Academy Creates Educational Outcome Index to Track Student Performance

Lake Forest Academy enlisted Hanover Research to conduct a student perception survey to define and measure Lake Forest’s performance against its four institutional pillars of success.

The Challenge: Establish a measurement framework for institutional success

As one of the top-ranked boarding high schools in the United States, Lake Forest Academy offers a transformative school experience with its rigorous academics, global outlook, and dedication to hard work and community. Lake Forest’s mission is to achieve excellence in four institutional pillars—Character, Citizenship, Responsibility, and Scholarship—but without a consistent way of measuring progress in each of the pillars, Lake Forest turned to Hanover for help. “Our head of school and board wanted a way to obtain metrics that identify what we have been doing well and where there can be areas for growth. We want to constantly hold ourselves accountable to move in a good direction regarding these four pillars,” Chris Tennyson, Assistant Head of School, Dean of Students & Academic Affairs, and Mathematics Teacher, explained.

“Our head of school and board wanted a way to obtain metrics that identify what we have been doing well and where there can be areas for growth. We want to hold ourselves accountable to be constantly moving in a good direction when it comes to these four pillars.”

Chris Tennyson
Assistant Head of School, Dean of Students & Academic Affairs, and Mathematics Teacher

The Solution: Identify how to measure growth over time

To define and measure Lake Forest’s performance against its four institutional pillars of success, Hanover Research conducted a student perception survey.

Research Goals

  • Track school progress over time by quantifying pillar performance
  • Create a year-over-year comparison of their 2016-17 and 2017-18 school year performances
  • Spot pillar strengths and opportunities for improvement

Methodology

In order to measure student perception of and progress against Lake Forest’s institutional pillars of success, Hanover designed a student perception survey and analyzed academic and behavioral data.

Using the survey results and the analysis of the academic and behavioral data, Hanover developed an Educational Outcome Index that gauged each institutional pillar on a scale of zero to 100. The index uses weighted averages to evaluate the performance of each pillar individually and then collectively to measure Lake Forest’s overall pillar success.

On an individual basis, Lake Forest can investigate which variables are driving pillar growth, stagnation, or decline and target their resources to drive improvement. Collectively, the index can be used to guide resource allocations, academic programming, and initiatives to boost student satisfaction. The index can be run annually to track year-over-year progress and can adjust to Lake Forest’s changing priorities with flexible pillar weightings.

lake forest academy

 

The Outcome: New insights lead to year-over-year growth

Mr. Tennyson reports, “we have a mission to cultivate and embody our four pillars. There are some areas where we have identifiable performance metrics, like a student’s GPA, how many AP classes they are taking, etc.—but there was a call to find tangible metrics to demonstrate growth over time for areas like Character and Citizenship. Hanover’s survey instrument provided a subsection of questions and topics for each pillar, so being able to break down from the macro view to look at detailed insights let us examine if we were doing anything differently that led to our success or if our students have a greater awareness of the things around them.”

Informed by Hanover’s educational outcome index, Lake Forest Academy:

  • Identified areas to dedicate greater resources to and trends or patterns in growth, stagnation, or decline using the year-over-year comparison
  • Identified Global Education as a key priority area on campus and began offering global citizenship credits to students who attend school-provided multicultural events
  • Optimized its campus initiatives and extracurriculars to provide activities that will boost student satisfaction and performance

“Hanover’s survey instrument provided a subsection of questions and topics for each pillar, so being able to break down from the macro view to look at detailed insights let us examine if we were doing anything differently that led to our success or if our students have a greater awareness of the things around them.”

Chris Tennyson

Assistant Head of School, Dean of Students & Academic Affairs, and Mathematics Teacher

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lake forest academy
The Client

Lake Forest Academy

Industry

Education

Headquarters

Lake Forest, IL

Research Methodologies

Student Perception Survey, Academic & Behavioral Performance Data, Quantitative Analysis

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