The recent rush to remote learning caused by the COVID pandemic has brought many school issues to light, foremost among these is the need to keep parents informed. As we enter this summer of uncertainty, one thing that is certain is that whenever, however and wherever school picks up this fall, the school-home connection is going to be more critical than ever.
How you are reaching parents during these pivotal times is a top priority – or should be, at least. A recent poll conducted by the Campus Suite Academy showed that 70 percent of the schools have not surveyed their parents for their communication preferences.
So, in the inimitable words of Tony Soprano: “How you doin’?” Fact is, many schools don’t know how they’re doing.
It's time for a parent survey.
Survey your parents to improve the school-home connection
We’ve created survey questions you can use for your district to both get a better understanding of your parent’s eLearning experience and explore ways to more effectively engage them going forward. This benchmarking is important.
We're strong believers in the power of the survey. We've previously shared tips on our blog on Questions to Survey Your Users Before Designing Your Next School Website, and The Secret to Building an Effective Parent Survey, but wanted to help you dial in tighter in light of developments over recent months.
As you sort out school calendar scenarios, school building modifications, classroom configurations and hybrid classroom/online delivery of curriculum, your parents are clamoring for information. And they want it as soon as it becomes available. Campus Suite, for example, responded by quickly creating COVID Update Centers and Remote Learning Centers as web-based resources for schools during this time of school disruption.
Parents are indeed thirstier than ever for all kinds of school information. Not only for remote learning guidance during times of school disruption, but generally.
From the standard school event info to emergencies and everything in between, parents need information. Toss in assignment info, attendance and conduct reports, meal balances, and – oh yeah, – grades, and it’s clear there are many opportunities to improve parent engagement.
Use the following questions to conduct your parent survey. Adapt or modify them to suit your district. I recommend using Google Forms to create and manage your parent survey.
Select either the parent survey link or copy and paste questions from this article.
(Your school) eLearning Survey
- Email address _________________
- Name _________________
- I am a:
- School/district staff
- ABC Elementary
- DEFG Elementary
- HIJK Middle School
- LMNO Junior High
- PQRS High School
- K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
So far, how satisfied are you with eLearning? (1=not satisfied, 5=very satisfied)
What aspects of the eLearning experience do you like least?_________________
What aspects of the eLearning experience do you like best?_________________
Please take a moment to list any ideas that you think would make the eLearning experience better.
- Which of the following ways do you prefer to receive/access information about school and district? (select all that apply)
- Social media
- Voice messages
- Text notifications
- Mobile app
- Other ___________________
- How would you characterize the frequency of school communication? (1=not frequent enough, 5=plenty frequent)
- Overall, how satisfied are you with your district-level digital communication? (1=not satisfied, 5=very satisfied)
- Overall, how satisfied are you with your school-level digital communication? (1=not satisfied, 5=very satisfied)
- Overall, how satisfied are you with your classroom-level digital communication? (1=not satisfied, 5=very satisfied)
- What ideas, if any, do you have for ways to improve school communication with you? ______________________
During the shutdown, you relied on remote learning to get your students and staff to the end of the school year. Many challenges arose for teachers, administrators, parents and students. Most of the frustrations centered around shortcomings in applying communications technology to improve the school-home connection.
Fact is, some schools figured it out better than others.
Use this survey to gain a better understanding of how you're doing and help improve how you engage your parents going forward.
Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of web communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.