It’s clear students need well-being support. Ongoing concerns around school violence, bullying, politics, teacher burnout, and rising rates of anxiety and depression contribute to a more challenging learning environment for students. In response, K–12 districts across the nation are implementing SEL, DEI, and school climate programs designed to support students’ well-being.
But many districts are not able to clearly demonstrate what’s working or not working. Program evaluation provides a process for districts to critically assess new and existing programs to gauge whether they’re working or if they need improvements.
Download this checklist to learn all the steps you need to conduct a systematic, evidence-based process to measure a program’s effectiveness, including:
- Designing a program plan
- Setting evaluation goals
- Deciding what data to monitor
- Sharing findings with community members
“When done correctly, careful evaluation of well-being programming is a proactive step leaders can take to truly ensure students feel safer, more connected, engaged, and ready to learn.”
Why Don’t More Districts Conduct Program Evaluation?
Decades of research show that a safe and supportive school climate with opportunities for SEL are linked to improved student achievement and engagement outcomes. But not every school or district evaluates their well-being programs to verify if they are maximizing results for students or to find out if a program’s financial investment is worth it.
Although K–12 program evaluation is effective, some schools and districts struggle to regularly conduct it because it involves some know-how and resources. Most education leaders don’t receive training in how to conduct program evaluation. In fact, just 53% of school administrators feel fully equipped to do so. Effective program evaluation also takes some time and staffing resources because the process involves collecting and analyzing data.
However, if students need additional support and only 48% of teachers are confident in their ability to develop students’ self-management skills, district leaders must not only equip educators with training, but also prioritize program evaluation. Doing so enables districts to quantify program results, measure student outcomes over time, and articulate those changes to the community.