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What do staff and families think about
Springton Lake Middle School?

Staff Member Responses

  • To understand the Youth Truth Survey's Key Measures and the specific concerns of the Staff, let’s look at the questions which comprise the SCHOOL SAFETY Key Measure and note the STAFF’s degree of discomfort with the condition in the school this year. All questions are multiple-choice format, using this 5-point scale:

    • 1 = Strongly Disagree

    • 2 = Disagree

    • 3 = Neither Agree nor Disagree

    • 4 = Agree

    • 5 = Strongly Agree

  • SCHOOL SAFETY statements

    • “Students are safe from bullying at my school”

    • "Adults at my school try to stop bullying and harassment”

    • "In my school, there are clear rules for students against hurting other people”

    • “I feel safe from harm at my school”

The Youth Truth Key Measure Percentile Chart combines the responses for all of the statements in the SCHOOL SAFETY “theme”.  Notice the trend from 2021-22’s survey to the responses from the same staff members in 2022-23.

  • SCHOOL SAFETY’s averaged response dropped from 3.73 in the 2021-22 survey of SLMS STAFF, to 3.36 in 2022-23.

  • In 2021-22, the STAFF’s responses placed SLMS in about the 70th percentile of all surveyed suburban middle schools. 

  • In 2022-23, STAFF’s responses dropped SLMS to the 36th percentile. That is, 64% of all of the middle schools that participated in the Youth Truth survey were more safe than Springton Lake MS, according to STAFF!

What were STAFF’s responses to each of the theme’s statements?


“Adults at my school try to stop bullying and harassment” 

(4.24, 70th percentile)  -- last year 4.21, ~67th percentile

“Students are safe from violence at my school”  

(3.51, 52nd percentile)  -- last year 4.07, ~85% percentile


“I feel safe from harm at my school” 

(3.77, 41st percentile)  -- last year, 4.21, ~79th percentile


“Students are safe from bullying at my school” 

(2.74, 40th percentile)  -- last year, 3.13, ~68th percentile


Looking only at the theme’s averaged responses moderates the problem.

Seeing the responses given for each statement reveals the most serious issues:

  • Students are NOT safe from bullying

  • Even the STAFF feels less safe

SLMS Staff School Safety-Safe from Bullying.png

Before leaving SCHOOL SAFETY, take a look at one more Youth Truth analysis – the table of “Positives”, for each survey statement, comparing SLMS’ current to past scoring, and to YT schools.
Positives = the sum of all responses which were either AGREE or STRONGLY AGREE.


From this we can see how many minds were changed among SLMS’ STAFF from November 2021 to March 2023.

  • 39% of STAFF considered Students to be safe from bullying – in one year, 15% of the staff respondents changed to no longer thinking students are safe.

  • Despite Staff’s near unanimous (92%) Agreement that the school’s Adults try to stop the bullying, almost all of the Staff (76% -- the converse of the 24% who do agree) do not agree that Students are safe from it. 

  • Now, even the Staff feels less safe – in 2021, 83% felt safe from harm; 11% have shifted from feeling safe in 2023.

NOTE: SLMS STUDENTS were also asked to respond to “I feel safe during school”.   Their averaged response dropped from 3.92 (near to Agree) to 3.67, from ~82th percentile to 59th percentile in this year’s survey.

In addition, they were asked to respond to “Do any of the following make it hard for you to do your best in school?”.  The Students agreed to “Getting picked on or bullied” (19%) and “Not feeling safe at school” (15%).

Note: 27% agreed to “Other” – some problem which the survey did not list.

Now, let’s quickly look at other concerning responses from SLMS STAFF in this year’s survey:

RELATIONSHIPS:  There are 15 (!) statements for this theme – we will look only at those which changed significantly.

  “I feel comfortable speaking honestly to families about their child’s progress”
    (3.63, 10th percentile)
  -- last year 3.78, 23rd percentile


“Students treat staff with respect” 

(2.55, 17th percentile)  -- last year 3.11, ~55th percentile

NOTE: SLMS STUDENTS were asked “Students from my school treat adults with respect”.
Their response (2.71, 29th percentile) was very similar to the Staff’s à that is, the issue is confirmed by both cohorts.

ENGAGEMENT:   There are 8 statements for this theme – we will look only at those which changed significantly.


“I feel proud of school”  

(3.93, 45th percentile)  -- last year 4.09, ~62nd percentile

“I feel empowered to play a meaningful role in decision-making at my school”
  (3.15,  19th percentile)
  -- last year 3.27, ~30th percentile


CULTURE:  There are 10 statements for this theme – we will look only at those which changed significantly.

“My school is managed effectively”  

(3.59, 45th percentile)  -- last year 3.80, ~62nd percentile

“My school runs smoothly” 

(3.52, 49th percentile)  -- last year 3.85, ~69th percentile

“Discipline in this school is fair”  

(2.80, 23rd percentile)  -- last year 3.00, ~35th percentile


“My school sets high expectations for students” 

(3.30, 25th percentile)  -- last year 3.56, ~40th percentile

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & SUPPORT:  There are 13 statements for this theme – none changed significantly.

Family Responses

The most concerning responses from the FAMILY survey seem to be:


“My child is safe from bullying during school”
  (3.00, 32nd percentile)
  - last year 3.43, ~68th percentile

It appears that the Families have become aware that their children are not safe from bullying at Springton Lake Middle School, based on their averaged response dropping from near to Agree, to close to Disagree, in a single school year.


“I feel empowered to play a meaningful role in decision-making at my school” 

(2.91, 21st percentile)  -- last year 3.25, ~54th percentile

This large drop in Families’ confidence that they are empowered to change/improve conditions at SLMS may be more than just coincidental with their awareness of reported bullying increasing at the school.



  • Springton Lake Middle School Staff and Family responses for the Key Measures questions are
    MOSTLY MORE NEGATIVE this  year than their responses given during the 2021-2022 survey.

  • Their responses drive SLMS further below from baseline of the conditions in other Suburban middle schools.

  • At some students are behaving more poorly than previously, to each other and to adults, and it is affecting Staff, Students, and Families.

Signal concerns for SLMS STAFF

  • …children are less safe than they were in 2021-2022

  • …staff is less safe

  • …students are treating adults with less respect

Signal concerns for SLMS Families

  • …children are less safe than they were in 2021-2022

  • …families feel less empowered to improve conditions at Springton Lake Middle School


  • It is useful and important to take the pulse of families’ sentiments. Problems can only be addressed once they are recognized.

  • Something very wrong went on in Springton Lake Middle School during the 2022-2023 school year, at the same time that RTMSD’s “DIGNITY” program was being executed.

  • The RTMSD school administration should discuss this with the school board and act to correct the course on which SLMS is headed.

About the Survey

  • Students in each of the schools of Rose Tree Media School District were administered online surveys designed by www.YouthTruthSurvey.org to multiple groups in the District:  Students (Elementary, Middle, and High School), faculty/staff, and caregivers (parents).


  • The surveys captured the opinions of these different groups about how the District was doing. 
    This week, we will look at the responses from the STAFF and FAMILY surveys for SPRINGTON LAKE MIDDLE SCHOOL.

  • The purpose of these surveys is to get a snapshot of opinion from a broad audience; contrast the RTMSD survey results with those from other SUBURBAN school districts; and use the findings to make improvements to RTMSD.  Read RTMSD’s stated purpose for at Youth Truth Survey 2022-2023.


  • The surveys are lengthy: 100 questions asked of SLMS staff, 67 for Family members.
    The “Youth Truth” (YT) reports which analyze the responses is 108 pages for the Staff survey, 103 for the Family.  The report is complex. 

Survey Tips

  • The trends from the 1st survey to this years’ are the most revealing data points – what changed to cause it?

  • For example, the STAFF survey’s drop in response rate: 

    • From 2021-22 to 2022-23, the Response Rate dropped from 96% to 76%, so the number of respondents decreased from a census of nearly all of the Staff’s population (138) to a sample of 99.

    • Other Staff surveys are reported by YT to have an average response rate of 86%.

  • The FAMILY survey’s response rate dropped even further, from 45% in 2021-2022, to only 24%.  However, YT’s cohort’s average response is 23%This may mean that this survey’s responses (232) may not be representative of everyone (987) who were invited to respond.

  • It is the averaged response which matters most – a Percentile comparison to other schools does not change whether our students said they were satisfied or not, only that others were, relative to other schools, more or less satisfied than our students.

  • Regarding the 5-point answer scale used for the multiple choice answers for this survey, Youth Truth considers a percentile ranking of:

    • Above the 60th percentile to be “higher than typical” for the cohort of Suburban middle schools

    • 40th to 60th percentile to be “typical” for Suburban middle schools

    • Below the 40th percentile to be “lower than typical” for Suburban middle schools

SLMS Staff School Safety.png
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