A Partnership Between The Hope Laboratory and your School


Thanks for your interest in partnering with The Hope Laboratory.  Following is information regarding the nature of a possible partnership.

What is the Goal of a Partnership?

The goal of a partnership between a school and The Hope Laboratory is to bring cutting edge research-based interventions into the schools.  The Hope Laboratory specializes in positive perception-based academic interventions that aim to increase the achievement of minority and disadvantaged youth.  Partnering with The Hope Laboratory will help administrators and teachers better serve students through having an increased awareness of students’ perceptions about school-related topics (e.g., feelings toward teachers, school belonging, growth mindset, etc).  In addition, your school can play a pivotal role in the field testing and further development of quick perception-based interventions that can change the academic trajectory of students.


What are the Possible Benefits of a Partnership?

The possible benefits of a partnership are threefold. The first is information. Can you say that the school-related perceptions of each student is known by at least one adult at the school? Does at least one adult know about the strengths/weaknesses, aspirations, school belonging, engagement, growth mindset, well-being, and goals of each student? If not, having these data provided to the principal in aggregate can help the administration be more in tune with the students and can help guide school policy.  Teachers with similar information about each and every student in the classroom can tailor lesson plans and guidance to students in a more nuanced way that is likely to be more effective.  The second is training.  If teachers or the administration identify an area in which they would like to improve their skills as a faculty that is related to the survey (e.g., helping students feel a higher sense of belonging, higher hope, higher academic engagement, etc.), the Principal Investigator of Hope Laboratory will come to your school to provide a workshop on the topic.  The third is intervention.  The Hope Laboratory will coordinate and deliver cutting edge psychosocial interventions to students in your school, directly implementing the latest research-based strategies and techniques on students in your school.

What Would a Partnership Look Like?

The process of a partnership can be broken down into four parts (with minimal costs to the school).  First, a teacher or administrator would need to email the Principal Investigator at ddixson@thehopelab.org to schedule a phone call or in-person meeting to discuss logistics and any lingering questions. Second, as approval from a district or schoolboard is usually required (if not skip to next section), that process will begin soon after the two parties agree to partner.  Members of The Hope Laboratory will fill out all required paperwork and go through any required processes of the district or schoolboard. 

Third, after approval is garnered, a school survey will be administered to either your whole school or specific grades in your school to gather baseline data.  The survey can be administered online or members of the lab can administer it in person.  A report is generated based on the data and delivered to the principal, giving the administration an overview of their students’ thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs about the school.  The data can be broken down by class and grade as well. This will provide information about students’ perceptions about the school, their engagement, their belonging, their aspirations, and their goals.  Imagine how many students can be better served if their teachers had this type of information.  This can be the extent of the partnership if the school would like. The Hope Laboratory can administer the survey every year and train the school staff on how to make decisions based on the survey data.  For example, if a subgroup of students have low school belonging, low hope, low curiosity, or low growth mindset, we can provide both training and targeted strategies to improve those areas.

Fourth, if desired, members of the Hope Laboratory will come to your school and administer one of three hope-based interventions to students in groups of ten.  These interventions have been found to increase the hope, engagement, school belonging, and well-being of students via changing the perceptions of students and creating a positive feedback loop.  To administer the interventions, all the school would need to provide is a classroom, the students, and at least 90 uninterrupted minutes. Everything else is provided by The Hope Laboratory. For more details about the interventions, email the Principal Investigator (ddixson@thehopelab.org).


What are the Responsibilities of the School?

There are few responsibilities of the school in this partnership. They consist of:

  • helping coordinate approval from the school district or schoolboard.  This means letting The Hope Laboratory members know who to contact, how best to present information to the governing body, as well as indicating the school’s support of the project.
  • helping coordinate the administrations of the survey.  This means making sure students have enough time to take the survey (about 40 minutes) and providing the classrooms/space for students to take the survey.
  • helping coordinate any teacher trainings or workshops to be given to school staff. This entails being flexible with the Principal Investigator, provide the equipment to deliver the workshop (e.g., a projector), and a space for the workshop.
  • helping coordinate as well as providing logistical support for the hope-based interventions.  This means making sure the students that are scheduled to be in the intervention are in the classroom on time, providing a classroom for the intervention, providing a projector for the intervention, and providing a full 90 minutes for the intervention to take place.


What are the Responsibilities of The Hope Laboratory?

The Hope Laboratory will undertake the majority of tasks associated with the partnership as well as the costs associated with the partnership.  We will:

  • Complete the district/school board approval process.
  • Administer the survey, input the data, analyze the data, and create reports for administrators and teachers.
  • Run workshops and trainings for teachers and administrators on increasing hope and other psychosocial factors of students.
  • Conduct the hope-based interventions and follow-ups.
  • Problem-solve any issues that arise

What Does the Survey Look Like?

The survey asks students for information about their characteristics (e.g., age, GPA, grade, socioeconomic status), hope, well-being, curiosity, engagement (behavioral and emotional), student belonging, feelings toward teachers, work ethic, academic self-concept (i.e., their belief in their academic capabilities), academic self-efficacy (i.e., their belief in their ability to reach their academic goals), growth mindset, academic motivation, grit, and academic goals.