Committee to administer workload survey, evaluate student stress levels

Nikta Mansouri

A workload survey will be administered in November to monitor and understand student stress  related levels and to  track stress issues between generations of students.  This assessment will be the third installment of the survey, which is administered every six years. However, this year the survey will include to seventh and eighth graders, middle school Latin teacher Moss Pike said.

The survey will include a variety of questions about homework, sleep, sports, expectations, class selection and the overall Harvard-Westlake experience. The survey includes 70 to 80 questions although the 10th grade survey will be longer in order to better understand the transition from ninth to 10th grade.

Science teacher David Hinden, who chaired the first workload study, and Pike are overseeing the project. Pike is working on transferring the survey onto Google Docs so that it is easier to assess the data, instead of a handwritten evaluation like before.

Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said that the surveys have usually been followed by policy changes that serve to lessen the stress on campus.

Pike is also optimistic that the survey results will lead to improvements in school.

“We will convene a committee with an assortment of members from each campus who will review the data and make any appropriate recommendations,” Pike said. “The workload study has led to the homework survey, formation of the Sports Council committee and other important changes in the way we conduct daily business, and we’re confident again that we can help our community, should there be important issues to address.”

Pike said that they do not know what to expect with the addition of seventh and eighth graders though they do not expect it to cause major changes.

They will be focusing mostly on homework load, and they are “keen to see what trends [they] can identify in comparison to prior years,” Pike said.

“We expect that our students are busy and under a fair amount of stress, but we also believe that they’re generally happy,” Pike said. “If we can find ways to make them even happier, we hope that the survey data will help us to do [so].”