At SurveyMonkey, we’re proud to help support the important work that educators and administrators do every day in guiding students along the road to academic success. The K-12 Parent Survey is a result of our partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is aimed to help schools ask parents the right questions in order to measure critical facets within the family/school relationship.
The survey template can be used by public, private, independent, charter, urban or rural schools to measure how they’re doing with their parents. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) in Nashville, Tennessee have partnered with us in their launch of the Parent Survey to all 148 schools within their district. Here to share with us how the survey is helping them achieve their mission of working to engage their students’ families and caregivers is Gini Pupo-Walker, Director of Family and Community Partnerships at MNPS.
Our school district formed in 1963 when the schools in Nashville and Davidson County consolidated. Over the past fifty years we have seen Nashville evolve into a very diverse and complex urban center, and our schools have always reflected these demographic shifts. Currently, we have approximately 82,000 students in 148 K-12 schools. The majority of our schools receive Title 1 funding, which are federal funds that can assist schools in offsetting the costs of serving students that come to us with a variety of needs. Title 1 schools are required to survey parents every year, but our surveys were not consistently designed or utilized, and results were not monitored and gathered at a district level. As a result, we have been unable to take advantage of these information gathered at the school level.
We decided to use SurveyMonkey’s K-12 Parent Survey template because we wanted to measure what parents are truly saying and find out what they really need. The survey will also let us know how we can be more responsive. We’ve sent the link to the survey to our schools who will then post on their individual websites; some schools opted to go with the paper version instead.
Principals are most interested in learning about their school’s climate and by the time August 1st rolls around–the first day of school–we’re hoping to let our principals know how the various groups within their schools feel about issues such as ethnicity and language issues. Learning how to make people feel more welcome and how to make educational resources more accessible are also issues we hope to cover through the data we receive.
Parent leadership training and other workshops are other important places where we hope to utilize the survey both beforehand and afterwards. Why? Measuring parents’ perceptions of themselves as advocates of their children are important insights to have handy in order to continue supporting our children’s academic goals.
There are four major reform initiatives district here at MNPS, and one of them is Community Achieves. Our goal is to implement 19 community schools in Nashville in the fall of 2013. Community Achieves schools will serve as their community’s hub, and offer wraparound services and resources on-site. We hope to offer health and wellness opportunities, adult education programming, social services, and after school enrichment, among many other programs. We want our parents to be engaged and for our students to feel that school is an important place for them to be. The K-12 Parent Survey will help us understand where gaps exist, where we need focus, and how we can support our Community Achieves principals as they begin to design and offer programs for the whole family.
My team continues trying to tap into national resources such as the Coalition for Community Schools, The Children’s Aid Society, The Johns Hopkins National Network for Partnership Schools, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. We love to learn from other urban districts across the country and we’re passionate about having a set of best practices available to us from other communities. SurveyMonkey has been a tremendous partner to us as we have learned how to deploy the survey, utilize it and how others are developing programs as a result of the data collected. Our hope is that others will learn from us and share with their parents and students!
We’re proud that we can help support the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in realizing their educational goals and continuing to better students’ lives.
Interested in learning more about Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools? 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.
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