Youth Insights from the STEPS School Climate Survey

While there is a lot to be said about direct student engagement, the School Climate and Connectedness Survey (SCCS) can be another great way to understand youth perspectives. Because the survey is confidential, comprehensive, and reaches a wide cross-section of youth in our communities, it offers insight into areas that may be harder to capture directly from students.

What are students saying about their experiences in and outside of school?

STEPS youth generally feel more positively about school climate compared to the rest of the state. Take a look at the publicly available STEPS SCCS Results Page

Below are data highlights from the 2021 6th-12th grade survey.

1. Connection during COVID – STEPS youth felt supported by adults at their school during COVID-19 but disconnected from their peers. However, rural students (from Chatham, Hoonah, Hydaburg, and Yakutat) felt more connected to their peers than urban students (from Sitka and Juneau).

2. Student Involvement – About half of STEPS youth feel that students at their school are able to provide input into making decisions and solving problems (“Student Involvement” Scale). This increased by about 3 percentage points since last year. There is still work to be done in this area.

3. Peer Climate Improvements – STEPS youth’s perception of the climate among their peers (respecting, helping one another) improved during this last year by more than 10 percentage points. However, Peer Climate continues to consistently be one of the lowest rated scales on the survey statewide.

This information can help inform program decisions and can also be shared back with youth to bring in student ideas to improve the school climate, peer supports, or connectedness. Youth or adult advocates can share the results with school and state decision makers as they set priorities. 

There are lots of ways to better understand student perspectives. 

Feel free to reach out to AASB staff to dig into the data further! 

Resources and further reading: