In Part 1 of this blog we discussed the importance of providing the opportunity for each parent or caregiver to be part of his/her child’s classroom and highlighted the work of Wong and Wong (2005) and Studer (2008) about the importance of providing personal service.
One of our partner school districts, Jackson Public Schools, Michigan, focused on increasing parent participation and upon doing so saw their parental participation and parent satisfaction scores increase. Consider the following graphic comparing the number of parents responding to a district-wide Parent Satisfaction Survey in 2011 and in 2012, and the overall district mean calculated.
These are a few of the highlights from Jackson Public Schools (MI):
There was a 333% increase in the number of parents participating in the survey (increase of 583 individuals).
The overall district mean increased by 0.44 between the May 2011 and May 2012 administration.
Each of the 17 survey items increased (Range = 0.26 – 0.82) and the items increasing the most were:
I receive positive phone calls, notes or emails about my child from the school. (Increase of 0.82)
The Superintendent of the Jackson School District makes decisions that are in the best interest of children and parents of the district. (Increase of 0.64)
I regularly receive feedback from school staff on how well my child is learning. (Increase of 0.57)
The top three survey items parents were “most satisfied” with in the May 2012 administration were:
My child’s learning is a high priority at this school. (4.55)
My family is treated with respect at this school. (4.50)
My child has the necessary classroom supplies and equipment for effective learning. (4.44)
Some of the parent comments from the survey included:
I am happy with her teachers. They are knowledgeable and care about her.
My child is happy and is learning.
The staff truly cares about each and every student. Teachers know each student whether they are in that particular class or not.
Communication from school to home. Parental involvement.
The teachers are always willing to talk to me when I want to find out how my children are doing in class.
The teachers care about the kids. It’s not just a job to them. I feel they truly share the children’s’ accomplishments.
The teacher staff is wonderful, especially in the younger grades. They make an effort to get to know the whole family.
The teachers care a great deal about their students. They go above and beyond the call of duty.
The principal is very concerned with the best-interest of each individual child, and displays this to parents and teacher.
The principal is genuinely concerned for each student and this is evident. My child’s 3rd grade teacher is concerned for the emotion, physical and educational well-being of her students, and this is evident.
My daughter’s teachers have all been amazing. I am that parent who is constantly emailing or calling about certain issues/subjects, and I receive a return email/phone call within hours! The level of concern that the teachers have for their students is unbelievable. As parents, we cannot thank the faculty enough at [school name], as it simply is not enough. Keep up the amazing job… our children wouldn’t succeed without your guidance, patience, and support. Kuddos to an awesome 2010-2011 school year.
Wow! These comments are representative of all the responses to “What’s working well at your child’s school?” The teachers in Jackson Public Schools (MI) have provided personal service—caring for, educating, and communicating with—their students and their students’ families; the return is that parents trust them with educating and caring for their child whom they care deeply about and that parents are confident that their child is getting a great education. Celebrate with us the outstanding effort of Jackson County’s teachers and leaders; we thank them for all that they do to provide their students with opportunities to be successful.
Jackson Public Schools, located in Jackson, Michigan, believe that learning is best facilitated by a strong partnership among students, staff, parents, and community. Visit their district website at http://www.jpsk12.org/Default.aspx to learn more about their connection to parents and the community.
Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. To do this we teach teachers and leaders how to get the best student learning results and create results-oriented school cultures. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com to learn more about Studer Education Teacher Development Institutes (TDIs), Leader Development Institutes (LDIs), and Evidence-Based Leadership. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, the recipient of a 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.