Case Studies

Defining Success: Crafting a Profile of a Graduate

  • Community Engagement for Continuous Improvement
  • Data-Driven School Culture Improvement

A mid-sized suburban school district in south-central Pennsylvania, serving approximately 3,500 students, faced significant challenges when a new superintendent was hired. With a history of frequent leadership changes, the need for stability and a clear direction was paramount. The new superintendent, familiar with YouthTruth from his previous role, saw an opportunity to use YouthTruth data to establish a baseline, set cohesive goals, and foster a unified vision among staff. “I wanted something we could hang our hat on to help drive not only district goals but building goals,” he explained. YouthTruth data became critical in this goal-setting process, allowing for a reflective and adaptive strategy.

Under his leadership, the district developed a new “profile of a graduate,” aligning it with YouthTruth survey questions on engagement and belonging. The superintendent emphasized the value of obtaining meaningful metrics: “It’s easy to say, ‘Hey, we’re working on that,’ but it’s hard to get metrics on those things.” YouthTruth provided an invaluable tool to measure what truly matters. “You know that old saying, ‘What doesn’t matter is easy to measure. What matters is hard to measure.’ So for me, YouthTruth is about having a tool to measure what’s hard to measure.”