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[Administrator Tips] 6 Best Practices for Surveying Your School Community

[Administrator Tips] 6 Best Practices for Surveying Your School Community

Satisfaction surveys can be useful tools to build connections and capture some great insights from your students, families, teachers, and staff. Especially during a school year like this one, with so many challenges and changes, taking the time to get feedback from members of your school community allows them to feel heard.

Conducting routine surveys also provides your team with the valuable opportunity to investigate and address any issues or concerns head-on and communicate proactively about how you plan to tackle them. In addition, satisfaction surveys can aid in your recruitment efforts by helping match your messages to student and family interests, collect testimonials from families to use in your recruitment efforts in the future, and gauge your program’s retention rate so that you can plan for the coming school year.

Here are a few best practices to bear in mind when conducting a satisfaction survey for your school community:

1. Choose a flexible online survey tool

There are numerous online survey tools to choose from. Some features to look for are the ability to export data, the customization to add branding, survey logic, and a variety of question types. Some free options to consider that include unlimited responses and other useful features for surveying families are: Typeform, SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, and ProProfs.

2. Ask short and relevant survey questions

To ensure a greater response rate from busy families, be sure to choose questions for your survey carefully. Keep them brief, and focus on the topics and objectives that matter to you most. 

Here are some example questions that you can download and use to build your own surveys. Use these questions as a starting point for your satisfaction survey. Mix and match or customize these questions based on your objectives and program.

Edmentum – Parent/Family School Satisfaction Survey Template

Edmentum – Teacher/Faculty School Satisfaction Survey Template

3. Give a lot of thought to when you will present the survey to families

There are a few approaches as to when to survey families. The most common time to survey them is at the end of the academic year when classes have wound down and families have time to take a retrospective view. However, sending out multiple, shorter surveys during the course of the school year—especially if they are aimed at measuring satisfaction—can help improve retention by connecting you directly with families based on their feedback. If guardians are unhappy or their child is having a difficult time, you can listen to them and have time to work toward making the experience better for students and families, helping to develop a deeper connection with them.

4. Offer an incentive for participating, if possible

Offering some reward for participation can help motivate families to respond. For example, parents can enter their email address to be entered into a drawing for a gift card to a local business. Often, just letting participants know that the survey’s primary purpose is to help make improvements to serve them better can be an incentive.

5. Thank families for their feedback, regardless of the nature of it

Send a quick, follow-up email blast thanking families for their time and participation. Consider personal follow-ups with respondents who have urgent issues that need attention or clarification.

6. Share applicable results and the impact that responses will have going forward

Sharing results will give you the opportunity to show families that you heard them and to indicate to them how you plan on using their feedback. This can also make them more likely to participate in the future. When sharing, consider including both the positives and the actionable items that you need improvement on. Include specific data using visual aids like tables and graphs, and highlight plans for addressing areas of improvement.

Looking for resources to plan ahead for the summer months?  Edmentum has the right resources at the ready to help make sure that your summer program is set up for success. Explore our Summer Planning & Success Kit Now!

teresa.tirabassi's picture
Teresa Tirabassi

Teresa Tirabassi received her B.S. from Notre Dame of Maryland University and has worked at Calvert Learning since 2008 in both the curriculum and marketing departments. As part of the Edmentum team, Teresa is excited to support teachers and help them make a difference in their students’ lives no matter where they live.