Parent Surveys – Tools and Benefits

If you talk to people in education, you will undoubtedly hear about the importance of parent’s involvement in a child’s academic success and parent surveys can help.  Schools make an effort to have conferences, calls, and regular communication with parents.  However, this can be time-consuming and not always get to the heart of a problem.  In a face-to-face teacher conference, parents are not likely to let the teacher know they are struggling with food insecurity or if they are worried about their child’s behavioral issues at home.

Surveying parents of students regularly can fill this knowledge gap, because it is fast, easy and due to its automated survey format, it reduces the likelihood the questions will seem too personal reducing the likelihood of someone feeling defensive or taking a question personally.

Doing micro-surveys via text also allows more frequent communication. Automation of data collection and surveys can be completed in a few clicks, on the phone, or in under 30 seconds, making it easier for parents to share meaningful data with schools.

Outstanda Pulse is a messaging tool that can automatically do micro-surveys as often as a school desires, can ask questions that engage parents, look for important responses that need intervention or support, and can improve the dialog between parents and school officials.

Here is a list of benefits when surveying student’s parents: 

parent surveysFlag Academic Concerns with Parent Surveys

Through micro-surveys, parents can answer questions about how they feel their child is doing academically.  Because micro-surveys via Outstanda are done regularly, you can see when a parent starts to trend in a different direction, which can flag a student’s new gaps in learning and/or is starting to fall behind.  With this information, very early intervention can quickly catch a student up, and prevent more serious gaps or poor testing results.

Discover Changes in Living Situation

Life at home has an enormous impact on how a student does at school.  And life is unpredictable.  Using micro-surveys from Outstanda, a school is more likely to be aware of problems such as food, shelter, and safety issues.  The micro-survey gives people a fast, safe way to report on issues they are experiencing.  Schools usually have the partnerships and resources to help students’ families, but if a school does not know there is a problem, they cannot help until things escalate and become more dire.  Knowing families’ issues earlier can help schools intervene and keep kids on track academically.

Remind Parents to Help with Homework

Surveying parents is not only for troublesome issues.  It is also an effective way to remind parents to ask their children about homework and school.  Asking parents each week if they have talked about school and reviewed homework with their child is going to make it more top of mind, and increase the chance that parents are more involved.  It is a simple, polite reminder.

Generate Referrals for Enrollment

If your school is in a competitive enrollment environment, then asking parents if they know other families who might be interested in having their kids attend your school is a great, automated form of soliciting referrals for enrollment.  When they answer yes, a simple phone call from your enrollment specialist can result in adding more students to your school, increasing school funding, student population, and resources for your school.

Identify Behavior Changes or Concerns

Parents see their children every day and may not be aware of behavior changes that are occurring.  Students may seem more quiet, sad, or aggressive.  Knowing this can be a sign of bigger problems, and by reminding parents to pay attention to unusual behavior in their child, they can help target and solve a serious issue.  And if the parent reports back in a survey that they have noticed changes, a call or meeting can help a child who might be hurting.  With all of these cases, early detection can mean better outcomes, and not losing precious time where academics might slip, or behavioral issues might escalate.

Build a Better Bond with Family

Schools strive to have better relationships with families.  This might be because a child requires more attention, or it might be because a parent is very involved with the school.  There is also a large group of families in schools that have kids doing fine and are busy working.  These families might not need a lot of attention, but by doing regular, automated surveys that ask how they are doing, your school can build a better bond with them.  Even if the data is fine, and there is no need to follow up, asking them regularly sends the signal you care about every family.

Demonstrate Concern for Student’s Wellbeing

More frequent communications with parents about student’s performance, happiness, and well-being let a family know your school is committed to doing the best job possible for the students.  This improves retention and gives families more confidence that the school and the staff care about the well-being of the student, even if everything is fine, at the moment.  Data can also be used to illustrate how the student population is doing as a whole, via emails, newsletters, or reports on the website.

Get Actionable Information to Help Students Success

The ultimate goal of parents’ surveys is to give you general data, as well as actionable data on family issues that might impact a student at school.  This data can be used to give students and family support in times of need, as well as provide academic or behavioral interventions if things are changing and a student needs new individual support.

General data and actionable data are the most important benefits of doing parent surveys.  While you could use email and survey systems that are on the market, micro-surveys via text and automates to go out regularly make the whole data collection process much simpler.  Outstanda Pulse is designed exclusively to do this for schools.  Parent surveys, student surveys, and school staff surveys can all be done automatically and provide valuable data to administrators to make a school the best it can be.

Schools that want to improve need to have actionable data that is updated on a regular basis and allow for trend analysis.  Outstanda Pulse is a systems that helps you publish surveys for parents and students, and gives you access to valuable data that can boost school performance in many areas.