We’re proud to announce that Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) in California has partnered with us in their launch of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Parent Survey. The survey template is designed to help K-12 schools ask their parents the right questions to measure crucial aspects of the family/school dynamic. Crucial areas such as child behaviors, school climate and level of parent engagement are all addressed in the survey’s questions. Public, private, independent, charter, urban or rural schools can utilize this template in order to learn how they’re doing with parents.
Here to share with us how the insights gained from their survey launch will help OUSD collect more in-depth findings on the parent/child relationship is Raquel Jimenez, the district’s Family & Community Engagement Specialist.
Here in OUSD, we strive to work in partnership with the Oakland community in order to develop students who are thriving not only academically but socially and who are prepared to contribute to society. We’re a full-service community school which means that in addition to a high-quality education, our students receive physical health, mental health, dental, eye care, nutrition and recreation services. Housing and employment assistance as well as parenting, job skills and language acquisition classes are also provided. We expect our children to succeed, but it’s only by providing the conditions necessary for high-levels of teaching and learning–academic, social and emotional–that we can we achieve this result.
We decided to use SurveyMonkey‘s K-12 Parent Survey template because we were seeking Baseline Data that would help us meet our family engagement proximal outcomes. We understand that we must meet proximal outcomes in family engagement before we can start to move the needle on our academic outcomes. The data from the survey launch will tell us what we need to work on in terms of building our parents’ confidence and engagement levels. By improving these specific aspects of family engagement, we’ll also improve the parent-teacher relationship and this will result higher academic outcomes.
Our strategic plan specifically mandates that in Year 1 (2011-12), a Family Engagement Collaborative and Family Engagement Standards will be developed. After successfully accomplishing this goal, we focused on our Year 2 (2012-13) goals–implementation. We chose to go small and deep with the survey launch. It was distributed to six schools within our District Family Engagement Cohort (five elementary schools and one high school); these schools are being supported by our newly created Student, Family, Community Engagement Office. The Office’s purpose is to increase positive educational outcomes for all children.
As Year 2 comes to a close, we’re getting ready to apply what we’ve learned so far from the survey findings to Year 3 (2013-14). We plan to build an infrastructure that will support family engagement system-wide and expand the current capacity of principals and teachers so that they can implement better family engagement practices at their schools.
We’re proud that we can help support Oakland Unified School District in realizing their educational goals and enriching the lives of students, parents and teachers. Visit their page to learn even more about Oakland Unified School District.
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.
Have educational stories to share of your own? Please share them with us in the Comments section below!