National Association of Independent Schools
The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is currently covering 50% of survey fees for 8 member schools.

Authentic Connections / NAIS Pilot

Authentic Connections is very excited to announce a new pilot with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to bring the High Achieving Schools Survey to eight NAIS member schools.
NAIS is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,800 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad. Through this new pilot project, eight member schools will receive partial funding from NAIS to participate in the High Achieving Schools Survey.
NAIS will contribute half of the standard fees associated with the study for eight of its member schools. For schools that would like one in-person results presentation from Dr. Luthar, the school will contribute $3,500 and NAIS will contribute $3,500. An enhanced package is also available that includes a series of three talks to faculty, the community, and students. For the enhanced package, schools will contribute $6,000 and NAIS will contribute $6,000. Schools will also cover travel and lodging costs associated with Dr. Luthar’s visit to the school.
If you are interested in participating in this survey or have any additional questions please contact Nina Kumar, VP of Operations at Authentic Connections, or Carol Bernate, Research Assistant at NAIS.

The High Achieving Schools Survey

The High Achieving Schools Survey allows our team to provide 2-3 specific recommendations to school leadership that are most likely to improve student wellbeing.

About the Survey


Based in 30 years of peer-reviewed scientific research by our team.


Continually refined to include culture-specific items that are related to distress and substance use.


Focuses on aspects of student life that can be modified to foster well-being.


Asseses areas that are important to school stakeholders.

What Do We Measure?

Student levels of well-being
Modifiable aspects of school climate
Modifiable aspects of parent-child relationships

Steps in our process

Step 1: Designing a customized survey The Authentic Connections team works with each school to tailor our survey to address any specific requests. We get to know each school — its strengths, challenges, history, and current needs — to ensure coverage of all areas that administrators see as critical in their own school.
Step 2: Collecting the data In the next phase of the project, we provide school administrators with a custom link to the survey in Survey Monkey. Students will spend approximately 45 minutes to an hour completing the survey on a tablet or computer.
Step 3: Providing customized results After about 6-8 weeks, our team, led by Dr. Luthar, will provide customized survey results with actionable suggestions for change. As a school wishes, we can present results and engage in collaborative discussions with school administrators, the school community, and the students themselves.
Step 4: Implementing solutions and tracking results Based on our findings, our team will help each school as it rolls out proposed solutions and programs. If desired, our team is also available to resurvey the school annually.


Survey Customization (2 weeks)
Data Collection (1 week)
Data Analyses (6-8 weeks)
Delivery of Results


Choose a package that meets your school's needs

Our Report-Only option gives schools what they need to start improving student wellbeing.

School Report

Ideal for schools looking for guidance and a facilitated discussion to drive next steps.

Teleconference presentation and discussion

Perfect for schools wishing to engage their community, with a campus visit from Dr. Luthar

Presentation to faculty or parents

Our holistic approach for schools seeking to unite their community to drive change with a series of on-campus discussions with Dr. Luthar.

  • Presentation to faculty
  • Presentation to parents
  • Focus group with students
All packages include the School Report with:
  • Comparisons with similar schools and national averages on...
    • Personal adjustment (such as anxiety, substance use)
    • Parent-child relationships
    • Peer relationships
    • School climate
  • An analysis of the top 3 risk and protective factors each for
    • School climate
    • Peers
    • Parents
  • Specific intervention recommendations based on findings

Case Study

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:

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

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Get started with the High Achieving Schools Survey in your school or district today