Independent School Health Check

Independent schools want to provide a healthy and safe environment where all students can thrive. To create effective supports and partnerships that facilitate student and community success, NAIS now offers the Independent School Health Check (ISHC) Survey to interested schools.
  • The spring survey opens January 29, 2024, and must be completed by May 17, 2024. (The last day to register for the spring survey administration is May 3.)

Register for the Independent School Health Check: Upper School Survey

Register for the Independent School Health Check: Middle School Survey
The ISHC is a comprehensive survey instrument developed to evaluate middle and high school students’ behavior and attitudes, including risk and protective factors, such as:
  • Nutrition and sleep;
  • School connection, social life, and help-seeking behaviors;
  • Alcohol, substance, and internet use and misuse;
  • Sexual activity (for middle school, questions ask about students’ perceptions of the sexual activity of peers, but not the activity of the survey-taker);
  • Parental engagement; and
  • Academic pressure, motivation, and honesty.
As an added benefit, schools can add up to five customized questions to get data specific to their concerns. Schools can register their students for the middle school or the upper school version of the survey.
Analysis provides composite scores on measures of risk and protection, and you receive conclusions for your school based on statistical comparisons with the national ISHC dataset. These data provide important insight into the well-being of your students and can help you better facilitate support in your school. Understanding and mediating student well-being is an element of good practice that also can help lighten the load on teachers, who often manage student mental health challenges on their own.[1]

 Source: “Student and Teacher Wellness Amid COVID-19,” NAIS, 2020

Schools have used ISHC data to:
  • Benchmark against peer institutions;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of current programming, such as health curriculum, special programs, and counseling services;
  • Develop effective programming for student support;
  • Facilitate productive conversations among parents, students, and administrators; and
  • Establish and normalize a culture that centers well-being and difficult conversations.

When Your School Can Take the Survey

NAIS has partnered with Indiana University Center for Survey Research to provide services related to the administration of the ISHC Survey. The survey takes about 45 minutes to complete. Scheduling one hour will allow time for the proctors and students to review instructions and sign in. The survey can be administered during one of two sessions during the academic year:
  • The spring survey opens January 29, 2024, and must be completed by May 17, 2024. (The last day to register for the spring survey administration is May 3.)

Surveys are conducted during the school day on weekdays, not evenings or weekends, to assure good proctoring and IT backup.

Survey Process Overview

Reviewing the Survey and Planning

  • Review survey items with a committee of appropriate faculty and staff, such as counselors, nurses, and health educators.
  • Participating schools appoint a survey manager at the school to manage the planning and administration of the survey, as well as the review of findings provided by NAIS. Schools also are encouraged to appoint a planning committee to assist with the administration process. The survey manager oversees:            
    • Planning survey administration, including timeline, design of additional questions, and troubleshooting challenges as they arise.
    • Preparing the school community, including getting written consent from parents and guardians, presenting information about the survey to students and getting their consent to be surveyed, communicating about the survey with teachers, and preparing proctors for administration. The ISHC provides templates for communications to parents, school staff, and students about the survey, as well as guidance for responding to parent inquiries about the survey.
    • Survey administration, including verifying computer capacity, working with relevant IT administrators to facilitate online data collection, and handling interruptions if they arise during the data collection block.
The survey is administered online to all students during an in-person, proctored time block. Schools are encouraged to perform all data collection in one sitting, like an assembly or study hall, to ensure high-quality responses with minimal disruption. Individual survey responses are confidential and will remain anonymous.

Survey Report

The two-part report includes:
  • Part I: Aggregate Survey responses. These are shared within a week of taking your survey.
  • Part II: Statistical Analysis report. This is shared within a month of survey administration and includes:           
    • Analysis of each question by gender and grade level.
    • Comparisons to the ISHC database and conclusions noting statistically significant differences between school results and the ISHC database. The national data includes data collected from fall 2018 to spring 2022, except for fall 2020 and spring 2021 due to the pandemic. The ISHC database includes responses from more than 27,000 students across 73 high schools and about 3,800 middle school students across 26 schools.
    • Composite scores on school connectedness, motivation, parental engagement, drinking, and academic pressure.
For a preview of the report structure, click here.       
In addition to the report, your school’s survey manager will receive data-sharing and summary worksheets to facilitate the presentation of findings to the community.

Survey Pricing and Registration

The cost for the standard survey report:
  • NAIS members, premium subscribers, and subscribers: $2,650
  • All other schools: $3,650
To purchase the middle-school or the upper-school version of the survey, simply select them from the survey catalog available in the NAIS Store. Please note that you will be asked to enter the contact information of your survey manager.
Once you have purchased your survey, you will receive a message from NAIS confirming your purchase, followed by a communication from Indiana University addressed to your survey manager with instructions on how to register your school on the ISHC interface.

Register for the Independent School Health Check: Upper School Survey

Register for the Independent School Health Check: Middle School Survey

Payment Policy

The school agrees to pay NAIS the listed fee for the ISHC Survey and services to be provided, as described above, upon purchase.
If a school wishes to cancel their participation in the NAIS Independent School Health Check Survey, they must do so in writing. If work has not yet begun to create and launch your school’s survey, a full refund will be provided. If work has begun to create and launch your school’s survey, but the survey has not yet been administered, a refund minus a $300 administration fee will be provided. Once survey administration has begun, no refund will be provided. 

Intellectual Property

The ISHC is a comprehensive evaluation tool, and planning is an important part of the survey process. The ISHC provides thorough guidelines and associated resources, including communication templates, to provide high-quality data collection and a smooth administration process for participants.
The ISHC, including but not limited to the name, logo, survey instrument, administration manual, communication templates and appendices, reports, individual school data, and benchmarking data, is the exclusive intellectual property of NAIS. The purchasing school will receive a limited license to use the survey reports and statistical data provided to them for the school's noncommercial and educational purposes. You may not sell, reproduce, copy, provide, share, post, publish, or otherwise transmit or distribute, in whole or in part, the survey instrument (including survey questions), the administration manual, communication templates and appendices (except to the extent that these documents are personalized for your school to communicate with parents/guardians and students), the survey agreement, or other materials that are provided to assist in the implementation or evaluation of the survey and survey results (the materials), in any form (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, streaming, etc.) with third parties or on websites, social media, or other publication vehicles without written permission from NAIS.


General Questions About ISHC:
Please contact us through our Help Center.
Questions on Survey Administration and Technical Support:

Kathleen Lorenzen
Study Director
Center for Survey Research, Indiana University
(812) 855-3849
[email protected]

[1] Carol Bernate, “Student and Teacher Wellness Amid COVID-19,” NAIS, November, 2020; online at