All of us here at SurveyMonkey are passionate about education and supporting schools has always been a top priority. That’s why we partnered with Dr. Hunter Gehlbach of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the creation of the K-12 Parent Survey–the very first of its kind. The goal of this survey template is to help K-12 schools ask the right questions of their parents and measure essential aspects of the family/school relationship that drive student outcomes. After an extensive review process, Dr. Gehlbach and his team created survey questions that assessed key areas such as parent engagement, school climate, child behaviors and more. Any K-12 school–public, private, independent, charter, urban, or rural–can use this survey in order to understand how they’re doing with parents.
The Menlo Park Elementary School District (MPCSD) of California is the first in the Bay Area to launch the innovative Harvard Graduate School of Education Parent Survey. The survey, distributed today to the parents of the district’s more than 2,700 K-8 students, is attempting to identify the potential communication gaps between parents and educators, and evaluates crucial areas of improvement to assess what factors matter most in determining student success. This partnership represents a pioneering effort for the MPCSD, employing technology and innovation to help students reach their greatest potential.
Welcome, Dr. Ghysels!
Our district’s mission here at MPCSD is all about working together as a community of educators, scholars, parents and staff in order to inspire high academic achievement among all students. Our aim is to serve their needs, challenge their minds, and enrich their lives. In doing so, we’re laying a foundation for success and participation not only in our democratic society but as citizens of the world.
These goals aren’t limited to academic excellence either. Becoming emotionally and physically stronger and giving children the opportunity to discover and build upon their talents are both equally important endeavors that we are committed to achieving.
How do we aim to accomplish this? By focusing on our five Core Values:
- Engagement: We believe that an educational experience where students are highly engaged and challenged to achieve mastery, built upon a foundation of strong relationships, is integral to delivering our mission.
- Innovation: Our community supports and values staying current on the latest thinking, trying new ways to reach students, and taking the initiative to develop and share best practices.
- Leadership: Children and adults should continually seek to challenge themselves, be willing to step out in front, and act as role models and guides. We believe service to others is a foundation of leadership.
- Partnership: We value a strong partnership among students, staff, and parents, and we also seek to partner with and benefit from the unique strengths of our broader community.
- Perseverance: The community that never gives up on themselves or one another, views obstacles as opportunities, and strives to achieve more than was thought possible, is the kind of community we highly value at MPCSD.
Parents are also obviously a critical part of the MPCSD community. This survey, and our partnership with SurveyMonkey, allows us to hear directly from the strategic group of stakeholders. It will also inform our five-year strategic plan and help lay a strong foundation for success among all students.
All four of our K-8 schools– Laurel, Encinal, Oak Knoll, and Hillview Middle Schools– will be participating in our ongoing effort to maintain educational excellence. Through the survey, we’ll be able to quickly measure all aspects of the parent-school relationship. It will also enable us to determine which of seven key areas need the most improvement to benefit our students’ success:
- Parental support: How much help are students getting at home?
- Child behaviors: What habits have students developed that shape their success?
- Parent engagement: How engaged are parents in their child’s schooling, and what potential barriers exist?
- Parent self-efficacy: How confident are parents in supporting their child’s schooling?
- School climate: How do parents view their school regarding academic and social standards?
- School program fit: How well do a school’s academic program, social climate, and organizational structure match a student’s needs?
- Parent roles and responsibilities: How do parents view their roles as well as teachers’ roles in different aspects of their child’s schooling?
The K-12 Parent Survey aligns perfectly with our five Core Values and will help us identify areas of improvement. We’ll also be able to track our performance over a period of time and compare ourselves to other leading school districts. Our teaming up with SurveyMonkey truly represents a groundbreaking effort of the Menlo Park City School District to help students achieve their greatest potential and maintain our excellence in leadership in K-8 education.
We’re proud that we can help support Superintendent Maurice Ghysels and the Menlo Park City School District in realizing their educational goals and continuing to better students’ lives.
Interested in learning more about the Menlo Park City School District? Click here.
If you’re a school administrator/educator and are interested in learning how to get started with the Harvard Graduate School of Education K-12 Parent Survey or would like to get in touch with us, please visit our resource page.