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Maximize resilience in your school community

At Authentic Connections, we improve well-being in schools using a holistic approach, and cutting-edge scientific surveys

Featured News Stories

Our surveys assess mental health and modifiable aspects of personal and comunity life that can be targeted to improve well-being.

Survey and Analyses Benefits

Customized List of Top Priorities

We provide each school with a custom list of recommended focus areas to help them identify and prioritize interventions and next steps.
Prioritize top focus areas
Demographic Breakdowns

Demographic Breakdowns

Our dashboards can break down results by up to two demographic variables (ethnicity, gender, grade level, etc.) at a time, allowing schools to quickly identify groups who are struggling, and those who are doing particularly well. Schools can add additional demographic breakdown variables for added flexibility.

Benchmark Capabilities

Rigorous benchmarking provides context and helps schools understand how they fare on indices of well-being relative to similar schools. Our benchmark data consists of over 20,000 students and 6,000 school adults surveyed since Spring 2020. Results can be compared to national, regional, and independent or public school averages.
Benchmarking
Free-Response Analyses

Actionable Findings

Distilled insights from responses to open-ended questions on concerns, areas in which the school is doing well, and potential areas for improvement provide leaders with clear, actionable next steps.

Scientifically Validated Survey Instruments

Our surveys are grounded in 3 decades of peer reviewed scientific research, allowing us to precisely identify mental health difficulties (e.g., depression and anxiety) and their potential drivers (e.g., envy or being bullied at school). We continue to publish research based on our work to share with educators and school leaders. Read our latest research.
Scientifically Validated Surveys
Expert Services

Expert Services

Ongoing advisory services from expert, leading psychologists help foster continued dialogue and improvement.

Surveys

Survey offerings are designed to easily translate between all learning environments (in-person, distance, hybrid)

Student Survey (Grades 2-5)

Children's Resilience Survey

The Children's Resilience Survey is a developmentally appropriate survey for younger students that assesses mental well-being and top focus areas.

  • Mental health: Anxiety, depression
  • Modifiable aspects of student life most relevant to the learning environment: feelings about school, parent relationships
  • Free-responses from all participating students, distilled into summarized, prioritized themes

Short Student Survey (Grades 6-12)

Student Resilience Survey

The Student Resilience Survey is a 15-minute, targeted survey that assesses summary indicators of well-being and modifiable aspects of student life.

  • Mental health: Anxiety, depression, substance use, etc.
  • Modifiable aspects of student life most relevant to learning environment: learning efficacy, summary indicators of important relationships
  • Free-responses from all participating students, distilled into summarized, prioritized themes

Long Student Survey (Grades 6-12)

High Achieving Schools Survey

The High Achieving Schools Survey is a 30-minute survey that comprehensively assesses all facets of student life.

  • All areas assessed from the Student Resilience Survey, including all mental health constructs
  • Multiple dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Deep-dive into modifiable aspects of student life, including parent relationships, peer relationships, and school climate
  • Free-responses from all participating students, distilled into summarized, prioritized themes

Faculty Survey

Faculty Resilience Survey

The Faculty Resilience Survey mirrors our student surveys, assessing mental health and the top risk and protective factors associated with mental health.

  • Mental health: Burnout, stress
  • Multiple dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Modifiable aspects of faculty life most relevant to teaching climate: workload, expectations, connectedness with colleagues
  • Free-responses from all participating adults, distilled into summarized, prioritized themes

Parent Survey

Parent Resilience Survey

The Parent Resilience Survey provides schools with insight into parent satisfaction, engagement, and well-being.

  • Satisfaction with aspects of school life: student emotional support, academics, wellness and DEI efforts, etc.
  • Feelings about connection, kindness, and communication within the school community
  • Free-responses to open-ended questions regarding areas for improvement and where the school is succeeding
AC is committed to helping all schools and districts maximize community resilience. To aid schools in sustaining well-being initiatives, we have compiled a list of grants and funding that can be used towards our work together.
See available funding sources here.

Research Presentations

Authentic Connections works closely with schools to foster resilience and build momentum for meaningful change within the community.

Research presentations are available after survey administration, or individually, and are tailored for the intended audience.

School-Specific Presentations Following Surveys

  • The AC team will share the most important findings from the school's data to highlight successes and actionable recommendations for improvement

Standalone Presentations: Professional Development for Faculty and Programming for Students & Parents

The AC team will share:
  • Recent findings on resilience
  • Results from schools surveyed across the country
  • Best-practices gathered from the most resilient communities
  • Insights gleaned from 3 decades of experience as educators, researchers, and parents
Authentic Connections Research Prsentations

Case Study - Mercer Island Schools

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently ranked “pressure to succeed” as a top risk factor for adolescent mental health, alongside poverty, trauma, and discrimination. Learn more about the origins of our work and our collaboration with Mercer Island Schools in this piece from CBS Sunday Morning.

Case Study - Wilton High School

After collecting data at Wilton High School in November 2017, Dr. Luthar visited the school during the Spring of 2018 to report Authentic Connections’ findings and recommendations. Dr. Luthar brought the community together to discuss results —with multiple discussions with parents, faculty and administrators, and students— and worked with the stakeholders to design appropriate interventions.

Based on analyses of modifiable aspects of school climate, the Authentic Connections team determined that the Wilton community should prioritize the top four items, which were associated with symptoms:

  • Intolerance of bullying
  • Alienation from teachers
  • Students’ belief that there is an adult at school who cares about them
  • Parent / Community involvement


What Schools and Partners are Saying

Lars Kuelling

Lars Kuelling, Academic Dean
The Harley School


AC’s sophisticated data-based approach yielded specific directions that we were able to use to make targeted changes to our programming for enhancing our students’ well being. We are delighted about this ongoing collaboration with AC!

Quinton Walker

Quinton Walker
University School of Nashville


This was our second attempt at collecting student data. The other group we worked with left us wondering, ‘what direction do we head in?’ The Authentic Connections work gave us the direction to know which way we were going. We knew what to look at and what would have an impact on our students.

Debra Wilson

Debra Wilson, President
Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS)


When I speak with school heads across the country, student mental health is the number one issue that comes up again and again. Many schools really appreciate the roadmap that AC is providing to help give them direction.