Annual Trusted Adult Survey to be sent out Jan. 14

Survey to assess students’ involvement in school, helps teachers to connect


Chloe Baker

Captain Madison Chester, Class of 2020, surprised her coach, Denise Meyer, by choosing Meyer to be her SHEro during the SHEro night at girls basketball. Similar to choosing a SHEro, all students at Lafayette are encouraged to fill out the survey sent to their emails to indicate a trusted adult in the building. Trusted adults can range from any staff member that they feel safe with, including coaches they may have.

Sophia Wasson, Staff Reporter

Early in every school year, Lafayette High School sends out a Trusted Adult survey to every student and asks each student to identify at least one adult in the building that they feel is a good go-to person for them should they ever be faced with a problem or need someone to talk to.

Being all-virtual at the beginning of the year delayed the survey distribution this year, but students will all be asked to complete that survey on Jan. 14 during their 2nd Hour class using a link they receive in their Rockwood email.

Assistant Principal Mandy Lewis, who oversees the project, said, “The purpose of the Trusted Adult Survey is to make sure all of our students have a connection to Lafayette High School.  The first part of the survey asks students to list an Adult Champion. This is one person at LHS who the student can go to in case of an emergency. These names will be included in students’ schedules on Infinite Campus.”

Although some students may brush off the importance of the survey, administration documents notes for each person who fills out a form.

“If a student does not have an Adult Champion, our administrators will reach out to the student.  From there, we allow students to select all of the teachers and staff members in the building that they trust. We also ask students if they are involved in a club or activity in or out of school.  If a student says ‘no’ in this category, our Activities Director will reach out to the student to discuss the activities available here at school.  Our goal is to make sure that all students are connected to Lafayette High School,” Lewis said. 

She said even if students do not take the opportunity, there will still be sources provided to them to connect them more to Lafayette.

Family and Consumer Science teacher Leah Obenhaus has been at Lafayette for five years and likes the idea of the students identifying their Adult Champions at school.

I think the purpose of the trusted adult survey is to make students feel more connected to the school. It makes them have to think of a teacher or staff member who they connect with in some way. For many students, I think it’s hard to connect to school, especially as a teenager. So, this survey helps them create a connection if they don’t already have one,” Obenhaus said.

She added, “To me, being a trusted adult means that students feel comfortable to reach out to you if they need something. I genuinely enjoy building connections with students and I believe that this year especially it has been hard for everyone to do just that.”

Lewis said that it is more important than ever that the school identify connections for students. During the period of quarantining, students have been more distant from school and teachers and that is what makes the survey so important, so students don’t forget that just because the times are different, there are still adults at school available for them.

Language Arts teacher Amy White has been teaching for 14 years and she also believes those connections are vital.

“I think it helps students to think about and name adults they feel they’ve connected with or trust in our building. Knowing they have someone they can turn to if they need them. I think it’s powerful to recognize there are people around you that you may not see every day, but that if you need them, they would be there for you,” she said.  

She also said it is important for teachers to know the role they play in students’ lives as trusted adults beyond just someone who is delivering curriculum every day.

“As a teacher, being a trusted adult means that a student trusts me, needs me, and believes I will be there for them no matter what. That means I will go to bat for them, advocate for them, support them and be a safe place for them. As a teacher, I strive to make my students feel comfortable and safe, in my classroom and within LHS, I want them to know they are cared for, they are important, they matter to me. Being someone’s safe place to cry, yell, sit in quiet or just come to say ‘hey’ is an honor and I take that responsibility very seriously.”

After students complete the survey, staff members are notified if they have been labeled as a student’s Adult Champion and the information is also posted in Infinite Campus. If a staff member has a concern about a student, often reaching out to his or her Adult Champion is just another resource to get a student back on track in a class or make sure everything is ok with the student. 

 “I think it’s important for kids to take the survey seriously and really think about who they feel a connection with. It doesn’t have to be someone they would tell their deepest, darkest secrets to but just someone they have faith in to have their back. As a teacher, knowing that my students value and respect me is the greatest reward and reminds me daily why I do the work that I do,” White said.