Organizational Health Inventory for Middle Schools (OHI-M)

A healthy school is one in which the institutional, administrative, and teacher levels are in harmony; and the school meets functional needs as it successfully copes with disruptive external forces and directs its energies toward its mission.

Dimensions (Subtests of the OHI-M)

Institutional Integrity is the degree to which the school can cope with its environment in a way that maintains the educational integrity of its programs. Teachers are protected from unreasonable community and parental demands.

Collegial Leadership is principal behavior that is friendly, supportive, open, and guided by norms of equality. But, at the same time, the principal sets the tone for high performance by letting people know what is expected of them.

Consideration is principal behavior that is friendly, supportive, and collegial. The principal looks out for the welfare of faculty members and is open to their suggestions.

Principal Influence is the principal’s ability to influence the actions of superiors. Influential principals are persuasive with superiors, get additional consideration, and proceed relatively unimpeded by the hierarchy.

Resource Support is the extent to which classroom supplies and instructional materials are readily available; in fact, even extra materials are supplied if requested.

Teacher Affiliationis a sense of friendliness and strong affiliation with the school. Teachers feel good about each other, their job, and their students. They are committed to both their students and their colleagues and accomplish their jobs with enthusiasm.

Academic Emphasis is the extent to which the school is driven by a quest for academic excellence. High but achievable academic goals are set for students; the learning environment is orderly and serious; teachers believe in their students’ ability to achieve; students work hard and respect those who do well academically.


Each of these dimensions was measured by a subtest of the OHI-M. The reliability scores for the scales were relatively high: Institutional Integrity (.93), Collegial Leadership (.94), Principal Influence (.94), Resource Support (.93), Teacher Affiliation (.94), and Academic Emphasis (.94).

Construct Validity

A factor analysis of several samples of the instrument supports the construct validity of the concept of organizational health (Hoy & Sabo, 1998).

Administering the Instrument

The OHI-M is best administered as part of a faculty meeting. It is important to guarantee the anonymity of the teacher respondent; teachers are not asked to sign the questionnaire and no identifying code is placed on the form. Most teachers do not object to responding to the instrument, which takes less than ten minutes to complete. We recommend that someone other than an administrator collect the data. It is important to create a non-threatening atmosphere where teachers give candid responses. All of the health instruments follow the same pattern of administration.

Scoring the OHI-M

The responses vary along a four-point scale defined by the categories "rarely occurs," "sometimes occurs," "often occurs," and "very frequently occurs." (1 through 4, respectively). When an item is reversed scored, "rarely occurs" receives a 4, "sometimes occurs" a 3, and so on. Each item is scored for each respondent, and then an average school score for each item is computed by averaging the item responses across the school because the school is the unit of analysis.

Step 1: : Score each item for each respondent with the appropriate number (1, 2, 3, or 4). Be sure to reverse score items 7, 8, 13, 18, 23, 25, 26, 32, 37, 41, 44.

Step 2: Calculate an average school score for each item. In the example above, one would add all 50 scores on each item and then divide the sum by 50. Round the scores to the nearest hundredth. This score represents the average school item score. You should have 45 school item scores before proceeding.

Step 3: Sum the average school item scores as follows:

Institutional Integrity (II)=8+13+18+23+25+ 26+33
Collegial Leadership (CL)=1+4+5+10+14+24+30+35+39
Principal Influence (PI)=3+9+19+34+41+43
Resource Support (RS)=6+11+15+20+36+40
Teacher Affiliation (TA)=12+21+28+31+32+37+42+45
Academic Emphasis (AE)= 2+7+16+17+22+27+29+38+44

These six scores represent the health profile of the school. You may wish to compare your school profile with other schools. To do this you will need to standardize each school score. The current data base on elementary schools is drawn from a large, diverse sample of schools in New Jersey. The average scores and standard deviations for each health dimension are summarized below:

  Mean (M) Std. Deviation (SD)
Institutional Integrity (II) 16.41 2.82
Collegial Leadership (CL) 26.61 3.71
Principal Influence (PI) 16.37 2.12
Resource Support (RS) 16.72 2.63
Teacher Affiliation (TA) 28.34 2.57
Academic Emphasis (AE) 20.11 2.80


Computing Standardized Scores of the OHI-M

Convert the school subtest scores to standardized scores with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100, which we call SdS score.

First: Use the following formula:

SdS for II=100(II-16.41)/2.82+500

Compute the difference between your school score on II and the mean for the normative sample (II-16.41). Then multiply the difference by one hundred [100(II-16.41)]. Next divide the product by the standard deviation of the normative sample (2.82). Then add 500 to the result. You have computed a standardized score (SdS) for the institutional integrity subscale.

Next: Repeat the process for each dimension as follows:

SdS for CL=100(CL-26.61)/3.71+500
SdS for PI=100(PI-16.37)/2.12+500
SdS for RS=100(RS-16.72)/2.63+500
SdS for TA=100(TA-28.34)/2.57+500
SdS for AE=100(AE-20.11)/2.80+500

You have standardized your school scores against the normative data provided in the New Jersey sample. For example, if your school score is 700 on institutional integrity, it is two standard deviations above the average score on institutional integrity of all schools in the sample; that is, the school has more institutional integrity than 97% of the schools in the sample. You may recognize this system as the one used in reporting individual scores on the SAT, CEEB, and GRE. The range of these scores is presented below:

If the score is 200, it is lower than 99% of the schools.
If the score is 300, it is lower than 97% of the schools.
If the score is 400, it is lower than 84% of the schools.
If the score is 500, it is average.
If the score is 600, it is higher than 84% of the schools.
If the score is 700, it is higher than 97% of the schools.
If the score is 800, it is higher than 99% of the schools.

Health Index

An overall index of school health can be computed as follows:

Health=[(SdS for II)+(Sds for CL)+(SdS for PI])+ (SdS for RS)+(SdS for TA)+(SdS for AE)] divided by 6

This health index is interpreted the same way as the subtest scores, that is, the mean of the "average" school is 500. Thus, a score of 650 on the health index represents a very healthy school, one that is one and a half standard deviations above the average school, and a score of 400 represents a very sick school climate. Most school scores, however, fall between these extremes and can only be diagnosed by carefully comparing all elements of the climate. We have changed the numbers into categories ranging from high to low by using the following conversion table:

Above 600 VERY HIGH
551-600 HIGH
490-510 AVERAGE
400-449 LOW
Below 400 VERY LOW

We recommend using all the dimensions of OHI-M to gain a finely tuned picture of school health.

For further information:

Hoy, W. K. & Sabo, D. (1998). Quality Middle Schools: Open and Healthy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Hoy, W. K., & Tarter, C. J. (1997). The road to open and healthy schools: A handbook for change, Elementary Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Ohio State School of Education
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