What We Have Heard from Families

What We Have Heard from Families
Posted on 11/05/2019
Our School Council and Family Engagement Team have each had a chance to reflect on data from the district’s family engagement survey from last spring as well as from questionnaires filled out at Back to School Night. As you recall, the window for collecting the survey was extended to increase participation rates, so we were not able to look at that data until this year. Teachers and administrators are already actively using the data to guide their work this year. Here are some highlights:

Family Engagement Survey:-
  • Completion rate increased dramatically since last year, so we believe the data is generally representative:
    –172, or 66%, of our families families completed the survey,
    45% White, 43% Families of color which mirrors our overall school demographic breakdown
    This compares positively to last year when we had 30% completion rate; and only 12% families of color
    –RAUC had the highest completion rate in the district
  • In general there were many positives and we compared well to the district:
    –By far the biggest barrier to engagement with the school is family schedules and not other barriers coming from the school.
    –School staff aren’t too busy for us: 82% favorable (74% district)
    –Teachers respect students: 88% favorable (82% district)
    –School values diversity of student backgrounds: 87% favorable (84% district)
    –Families generally know how to communicate with the school: 80% favorable (79% district)
  • We noticed several patterns in responses, including some that give us areas for growth:
    –Immigrant families, families with students on IEPs, and families who receive subsidized lunch tended to have highly favorable responses.
    –Our Latinx and multi-racial/multi-ethnic families were somewhat less favorable than other subgroups in several areas (belief that teachers respect students, teachers aren’t too busy, and understanding of how to communicate with school).
    –Only 57% of our Multi-generational black families believe the school values the diversity of student backgrounds (compared to 87% overall)
  • Our biggest area for growth is in making families more confident that the school understands their student and is providing the support they need to be successful.
    –59% of RAUC families responded favorably to this question compared to 64% in the district (although our responses were comparable to other upper schools)
    –Only 38% of multi-racial/multi-ethnic families responded favorably 

Back to School Night Data:
Below are themes from the questionaires families filled out. Teachers are using this to inform how they are engaging with families and students.
  • Families hope their students will: love learning, be curious and open-minded, be challenged academically, find at least one academic passion, become more independent, be able to stay organized, develop positive friendships and be able to avoid distractions and negative social drama.
  • Families’ fears are really the opposite of all they hope for--that students will give up and won’t “aim high” (push themselves to be the best they can be), that social drama and negative interactions will interfere with their learning, that they will be too hard on themself. (Note--there were also a lot of people who said they had no fears because they had confidence in the school!)
  • What families need from the school is deeply centered on clear and effective communication--about academic and social concerns as soon as they come up, and that includes specific ideas for what families can do to support their student. Families also want to see that the school knows their child as an individual and a learner and cares about the student.
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