Survey of Haverhill Students in Grades 7-12 Show 18 Out of 21 Positive Strengths and Supports

Director of Guidance Counseling and Student Support Services Jami Dion during a 2021 forum at Haverhill High School. (WHAV News photograph.)

A recent survey of 7-12 graders in Haverhill Public Schools indicates students feel they have strong connections with, and receive support from, their families and peers. However, the report also suggests this is not the case when it comes to their teachers and community at large.

Director of Guidance Counseling and Student Support Services Jami Dion and School Physician Dr. John L. Maddox spoke to the Haverhill School Committee last week about the results of the most recent Students’ Attitudes and Behavior Survey. The current survey, which began in 2021, points to a link between a students’ positive strengths and supports and their continued success and healthy development.

“The Attitudes and Behaviors Survey also provides us with a perspective on how young people are growing up and experiencing life. So, we’re looking at the services and supports that students have in their lives and the correlation between any risk taking behaviors,” Dion explained.

Dion said about 2,000 students took part in this year’s survey. She said the results were similar to last year’s with students showing an average of 18.1 positive strengths. Based on the survey’s formula, this number is slightly below the desired results of 21 or more positive strengths where results have shown a dramatic drop in students becoming involved with risk taking behavior.

Dion told the Committee she hopes the survey is administered much earlier next year so that the administration can pinpoint areas needing improvement prior to developing the following year’s school budget.

Haverhill city councilors tonight are also expected to receive an update from Maddox and discuss possible next steps.

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