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SAIS Value Narrative Survey
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The SAIS Value Narrative Survey is designed to help schools understand the relationship between the value stakeholders place on a variety of characteristics and the perceived performance of the school at delivering on those characteristics.

Overview of Survey Questions and School Report

After completing basic demographic questions, respondents are asked to provide feedback in nine different categories: curriculum and programming, faculty, athletics, fine arts, clubs and other curriculars, safety, preparatory, diversity, technology, and mission skills. Within each of the categories are specific items. At the specific item level, respondents indicate how important each item is to them and how well the school performs at delivering on those items. The respondent also answers the "ultimate question" about whether or not they would recommend the school. The image on the right shows a sample rating grid.

For each category in the school report, data points are provided that demonstrate the congruence between the categories as well as the items within each category. These data points are called congruence coefficients and they highlight areas of greatest and least congruence, which suggest categories for further study as well as items for potential action and resource allocation. Additionally, breakdowns of the individual items ranked by importance and performance are also provided. Data from the "ultimate question" is used to help group responses using the net promoter concepts.


Quick Links

Survey Deployment Schedule and Messaging

Register and submit stakeholder email addresses  School Minimum 10 days prior to deployment
Pre-survey notification School 3-5 days prior to survey deployment
Survey deployment SAIS Deployment date
First reminder SAIS 2-3 days after deployment
Second reminder School (typically as part of a
pre-scheduled newsletter or communication)
3-5 days after deployment
Third and final reminder SAIS 5-7 days after deployment
Survey closes SAIS 7-10 days after deployment
Thank you note School After the survey closes; either before or after you have received results
Results sent to school SAIS Approximately 14 days after survey closes

Survey Costs

   0-999 stakeholders $500
   1000-1999 stakeholders $550
   2000+ stakeholders $600
   Custom Questions
   Open-Ended Questions  $25
   Matrix/Rating/Multiple Choice Questions     $50
Custom virtual workshop to debrief results

The survey may be deployed to the following stakeholder groups:

  • Parents
  • Trustees
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Alumni

You may choose all groups or select only specific groups to survey.

Custom Virtual Workshop

While the school report will include a tutorial on how to interpret the survey results, an optional custom virtual workshop is also available for $400. This will provide an in-depth and personalized analysis and is delivered as a 75-minute live virtual session. It will provide tools to analyze and interpret your data, comparative benchmark analysis, and ample opportunity for questions. You will have the opportunity to register for this workshop when you receive your results.


  • Why doesn't the school send all stakeholder communications instead of SAIS? 
    By using a third party such as SAIS, your stakeholders will have a higher confidence level in the integrity and validity of the survey process. Also, SAIS is able to send follow-up emails to the people who have not yet responded to the survey.

  • Why doesn't SAIS send all stakeholders messages? Why does the school send the first message? 
    The initial message announcing the survey should come from a recognized and credible source, such as the head of school. There is compelling research indicating that a pre-survey announcement from a trusted source increases response rates.

  • How long will it take respondents to complete the survey? 
    The average amount of time to complete the survey is 10 minutes.

  • Are custom questions available? 
    Yes! But keep in mind that there is already one narrative question at the end of the survey where respondents are asked to describe why they rated the school the way they did on the net promoter question. These results are presented to the school grouped by stakeholders and sorted by promoter status. This yields rich context to the responses the respondent gave and most schools find this sufficient. If you do wish to request additional questions, information about how to do this is available on the survey registration page at Additional fees apply as follows: $25 for each open-ended question and $50 for each matrix/rating/multiple choice question.

  • Can we change any of the questions?  
    The phrasing and format of the questions cannot be changed as that would invalidate the benchmarks.

  • What if we don't have athletics? Or what if we aren't a faith-based school? Do you still ask those questions?  
    Yes. Remember, this survey is establishing the congruence between what families value and how well they perceive how you perform at delivering what they value. Just because you don't offer something doesn't mean your stakeholders don't value it (nor does it imply that you should start offering it). This survey is about measuring the congruence between how much (or little) your community values something and how well (or poorly) they perceive that you are delivering on those things.
  • What if we don't have email addresses for students - or have them set in a way that they can't receive outside emails?
    We can provide a web link for this group. However, in that case we aren't able to send reminders or monitor who has or hasn't completed the survey. If it is necessary to use a single web link for this group, we recommend arranging for students to take the survey all at one time or during a specific class. If this is the scenario that best meets your needs, be sure to select the web link for students option when you register for the survey.

  • What if some stakeholders are in more than one group? 
    When you fill out the registration form, you will receive detailed information about how to prepare the email addresses for us and the instructions advise you to identify which group the stakeholder most align with. For example, if someone is both a parent and a faculty member, select faculty (other possibilities are included in the confirmation after you register).

  • Is there a technical manual? 
    Please view our technical manual here.


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Annual Conference
October 21-23 | Virtual
Various dates & topics
Virtual Roundtables
Held monthly by role
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