According to recent estimates, almost 8.4 million children in the United States have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder associated with at least a minimum impairment. Further, about 2 million children suffer from disorders with extreme functional impairments. Disorders range from anxiety to depression to substance use and abuse. They exist in all communities and cut across all levels of race, culture, and socio-economic status.
Given these staggering estimates, many schools have started to try to explicitly understand the types of social, emotional, and behavioral health challenges their students might be experiencing. Data about these non-academic barriers to learning can then be used to forge critical school-community partnerships designed to bring key services and interventions to school settings to support students.
Epidemiologic studies (or needs assessments) are typically done through carefully designed surveys. Jerry’s organization, The Evaluation Support Group, Inc., has been providing technical assistance and data analysis support to schools in Ohio interested in conducting these surveys. Many of the schools are large (more than 1,000 students) and the survey instruments themselves can be lengthy. Thus, the data entry challenge for a thorough student needs assessment survey can be substantial.
Jerry learned about Remark Office OMR at a demo at Miami (OH) University where researchers in community psychology were using it to enter project data. Jerry was familiar with other, more expensive proprietary data entry products and was immediately impressed with Remark Office OMR’s cost, flexibility, ease of use, and accuracy. The fact that surveys can be designed using standard word processing programs was extremely appealing. Also, the ability to export data to native SPSS file was helpful in getting data into the analysis process quickly and accurately. Finally, the Remark Office OMR interface and design makes it very easy to create and manage templates, read survey, correct errors, and archive data files.
“Remark Office OMR has been an indispensable component of our needs assessment process. With a reasonably fast, duplex scanner we can enter a school’s data in a day or less. This rapid data entry helps us get data back to school leaders and community partners to inform critical planning and action discussions.”