Surveys are a simple but underused way to increase parent involvement in schools.

All schools want their students to excel. But that doesn’t mean 100% of their focus should be on the students themselves. Parents can significantly influence a child’s educational success, meaning schools should strive to engage all parents. How can they do this? One simple answer is to use surveys. Here’s why they can be helpful.

Engagement Matters

Anything that raises parental engagement can be good for a school. Numerous studies by doctors of education and others in the education field have shown that parental involvement in schools is directly associated with higher student achievement outcomes.*

All varieties of parental involvement can help, including assisting kids with their homework, volunteering in the classroom, and attending school meetings. However, full engagement requires more than participation. It requires parents to develop an emotional relationship with their child’s school. A truly engaged parent feels that the school always delivers on what it promises, is proud their child attends the school, and advocates for the school when discussing it with others.

More Parents Need to Be Engaged

Currently, only 20% of U.S. parents are fully engaged with their child’s school. This is lower than the percentage of customers who are engaged with businesses in the banking, insurance, and healthcare industries. While low engagement may be tied to parents having high standards for their child’s school, schools can no doubt find ways to improve engagement.

Surveys Raise Engagement

Surveys are one of the most direct ways for schools to engage parents more. By asking parents for their opinions on various school matters and soliciting their ideas for changes and improvements, schools push parents to think seriously about their child’s school and what it means to them. But the value of surveys goes beyond simply getting parents to think about school.

When schools provide parents the results of a survey, 71% of parents believe the survey will bring meaningful change to their child’s school. This matters, because parents who believe meaningful change in their child’s school is possible are 2.6 times more likely to be fully engaged parents. By distributing a survey and sharing the results, schools can greatly increase the likelihood that the parents of their students will be engaged, which can, in turn, increase student achievement.

Most Schools Have Room to Improve

Most schools don’t currently use parent surveys, meaning most schools can immediately begin addressing engagement by creating and distributing a survey. Of the 32% of schools that do use surveys, fewer than half of those share the results with parents. By sharing results, those schools can immediately impact parental engagement.

You Can Help Improve Parental Engagement Even More With an EdD

Surveys are just one way to get parents more involved in their children’s school. If you want to help schools develop and/or implement other means of improving parental engagement, you can put yourself in position to do so with a Doctor of Education (EdD). Through an EdD program, you can gain the understanding of education you need to conduct meaningful research and implement meaningful change.

Earning an EdD is possible even if you’re already working full time in education or taking care of other responsibilities. Thanks to online learning, you can earn an EdD degree without upending your life. Through an online EdD program, you can complete the majority of your coursework from home on a flexible schedule in a program designed to work around busy lives like yours.

Parental engagement is critical to student achievement. An online EdD can give you the skills you need to help increase parental engagement in our schools.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Doctor of Education degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

*W. Jeynes, Parental Involvement and Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis, Family Involvement Research Digests, on the Internet at www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/parental-involvement-and-student-achievement-a-meta-analysis.

†Gallup, Parent Engagement: Crucial Element of Successful Schools, on the Internet at www.gallup.com/businessjournal/186026/crucial-element-successful-schools-parent-engagement.aspx.

‡Gallup, Schools Fail at Engaging Parents, on the Internet at www.gallup.com/businessjournal/199193/schools-missing-big-opportunities-engage-parents.aspx?g_source=CUSTOMER_ENGAGEMENT&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles.

Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to www.WaldenU.edu/educlicensure.

Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Teacher Education and Certification Division of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-242-9935 or www.alsde.edu to verify that these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.

Note to all Washington residents: This program is not intended to lead to teacher certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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