Richfield Middle School Client Story

We were able to use the data from all three Wonderlic surveys to create our school improvement plans.


Richfield Middle School is a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade school organized into grade level teams. Sixth grade students are on smaller, more nurturing teams; 7th grade students “loop” to 8th grade with the same team of teachers, allowing for more personalization and depth. When students move on to high school, the teachers loop back to 7th grade to pick up a new team of students.

Wonderlic Survey Reveals Surprising Facts about School Culture

Due to accreditation requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act, Richfield Middle School Principal, Susan Sommerfeld, began looking for a way to investigate the satisfaction of students, teachers, and parents. Data was needed to analyze the school’s assumptions about what was working and what needed improvement, and she wanted feedback from the community.

“Surveying is an integral part of that process,” she says. Sommerfeld chose Wonderlic because of its easy-to-use tools and the great customer service she received from her Wonderlic consultant. “I liked all of his personal touches,” she says. “He answered all of my questions and spent lots of time with me, putting the survey together and helping me present the data later on.”

Wonderlic worked directly with Sommerfeld and her survey team to identify the kinds of questions to ask and how to present them. The response rate among students was 80%, and only slightly less among parents and staff. Wonderlic helped the school analyze results in an easy-to-interpret report. “Survey data is usually so cumbersome and dense,” Sommerfeld says. “But with Wonderlic it wasn’t like that. It was light and easy to read, but included lots of information.”

Students reported that although they felt respected by adults in the school, they did not feel equally respected by peers. Sommerfeld was surprised, but thankful the school was able to discover this information. “We customized our program based on this information,” she says.

Sommerfeld’s team created a specific action plan that included support for an anti-bullying program and a program called Essential 55, based on the book by Ron Clark on the 55 rules for teaching children. Both programs had been under consideration before the survey, but the survey data validated the need for the programs and justified the investment. “We were able to use the data from all three Wonderlic surveys to create our school improvement plans,” she says. “It was a complete affirmation of what we were doing.”

In addition to using the data to support improvement programs, Sommerfeld presented results to the community. Wonderlic helped her create a custom presentation to deliver results to administrators, teachers, and parent groups, giving her tips on how to deliver the information to make the most impact. “The advice was right on and the presentations were a huge success,” she says.