Why do you need to investigate your school?
Before you can start advocating for healthy changes, you have to find out what's going on in your school RIGHT NOW. Maybe there was a problem in your school that made you visit this website or start a Students Taking Charge group with some friends. Investigating your school helps you see how that one problem fits into the BIG picture. By investigating your school, you'll find out what other people think about school wellness, collect the data you need to convince school leaders, and understand your school's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to health issues.
How long will it take to do an investigation?
Depending on the size of your school, the support you have from administrators, and the approach you take, your investigation could take less than two weeks...or more than two months! Think about what investigation approach works best for your group:
- A visual assessment where you take photos of your school lunches, gym equipment, and vending machines?
- A focus group with student council members, teachers, and school leaders?
- A student survey that goes out to everyone's homeroom class?
- A combination of all three?
The method you choose depends on your school and your Students Taking Charge group. Remember, the best investigation uses a variety of different tools to create a complete picture of your school.
Where can I find some surveys to use at my school?
Students Taking Charge has surveys that are ready to go! Check out our short and long student surveys to find out if your school supports the changes you want to make. You can also survey parents to get even more support. Or work with your STC advisor and other allies to do a whole school survey. By using these tools, you can compare your results with other Students Taking Charge groups across the country and get ideas for projects that match up with your findings.
Sometimes a group of 6 or 8 students can have hard time deciding how to make their school a healthier place. While surveys, interviews, and focus groups can all help, one school in Kansas decided to bring their whole student body together for two Students Taking Charge forums.
Are you getting a lot of resistance from your principal or school nutrition director? Does it seem like you're just not speaking their language? Or do they not understand what your changes will really look like? Find out how Northampton High School took their school leaders to visit another high school that has already put their ideas into action!