Schools to survey parents

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Parents, it’s time for you to weigh in on your child’s school.

The school division is surveying parents on their perceptions about their children’s schools. Parents will be asked to complete the email surveys between Feb. 22 and March 18, school division spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said.

Parents will receive an invitation to participate from each school where they have children enrolled by Feb. 22. The invite will include a school-specific web link to take parents directly to the online survey for their child’s school, Bradshaw said.

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Responses will remain anonymous and will be combined with responses from other parents, Bradshaw said.

Parents without access to a computer can go to their child’s school to complete the survey online or to request a paper copy.

The surveys will be used to give Superintendent Deran Whitley and school leaders school-specific information, pinpointing successful initiatives and identifying areas for improvement, Bradshaw said.

In recent years, the school system has regularly surveyed parents, teachers, other employees and students as part of its goal to strengthen communication and collaboration with parents and the community, Bradshaw stated.

Last year, 3,102 parents — 22 percent of parents — completed the survey, according to school division statistics.

According to the 2015 survey data:

477 percent of parents say schools provided extra academic help when needed;

480 percent say schools kept them informed about their children’s progress;

481 percent say schools helped their children make progress during the year;

484 percent say schools set high expectations for their children;

485 percent say schools challenged their children academically;

493 percent say schools expected their children to work hard.

Changes implemented based on survey results include increasing teacher communication with parents, offering more advance notice of school events, improving the cleanliness of the buildings, and showing visual reminders throughout common areas of the schools about student behavior expectations, Bradshaw said.

Instructional staff has been surveyed annually since 2014. The entire staff — instructional and support — were last surveyed in 2012 and will begin to be surveyed on alternating years.

The school division will be surveying students in fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 12th grades this year, Bradshaw said. The system wants to hear from students in their entrance and exit years of elementary, middle and high school.