The Shipley Magazine

Using Data to Support Well-Being

Vision 20/26 pushed Shipley to “advance its position as a recognized leader in social, emotional, and ethical development education” as part of its drive for Educational Excellence. Since then, the School has become a pioneer in the field of Positive Education. It is now pushing the boundaries around what it means to educate for flourishing by incorporating DE&I and pedagogy principles into its evolving, science-based framework. Well-being is a school-wide priority that goes beyond students to include all adults in the Shipley community, and data is a vital component of that work.

What You Treasure, You Measure

Data plays an important role in Shipley’s efforts to become a leader in this space.  Data/studies suggest that people who have higher levels of well-being ultimately perform better. Since 2016, regular surveys have measured student and colleague well-being at Shipley, gathering both quantitative and qualitative data. Findings have informed targeted interventions to enhance well-being at the group level, as well as to provide personal support for individuals with a high risk of depression and anxiety.

Supporting Teachers 

Teacher well-being can have a direct impact on student outcomes, and Shipley showed its commitment to supporting it last year. Dozens of changes and initiatives were aimed at enhancing well-being, including significant investments in extra staffing to reduce non-teaching duties; morale-boosting activities and edible perks; a larger gratitude campaign organized by families; and Teaching Resource Center sessions focused on core well-being skills like resilience and recovery.

Looking Ahead

Co-Directors of Positive Education Sharron Russell and Nick Holton are excited to enhance Shipley’s use of data by piloting a tool called FlourishDx. The system is designed to help both students and colleagues more regularly provide and access empirical self-report data on their own well-being and/or the well-being of their students or advisees. The platform offers many of the tools Shipley has used to assess well-being in the past, plus additional measures that will be used to gauge other aspects of the student/colleague experience.

Survey Says...

Data collected from Shipley colleagues in the fall of 2020 informed efforts to help boost the well-being of Shipley colleagues during an immensely challenging time.
  • 5,000 data points collected from Shipley colleagues during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • 66% of respondents reported struggling with burnout/exhaustion.
  • 34% of respondents reported struggling with their mental health.
  • 83%  of respondents reported “living well despite struggle” or “not feeling bad, but just getting by”
  • 17%  of respondents were “consistently thriving” or really struggling.

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The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.