Fort Worth Parents are happy with school climate and academic preparation for college
Fort Worth ISD parents think the District does a good job of preparing students for a globalized economy. They feel welcomed and respected in schools. And, they place confidence in the leadership of the Fort Worth ISD.
However, they think there is room for improvement in how educators communicate with parents, especially at the secondary school level.
Parents were surveyed during the month of October, 2011.
Campuses attempted numerous strategies to increase the response rate, and the online response rate improved somewhat. However, the overall response rate decreased this year, and high school and African American parents are still underrepresented.
“We’re pleased so many parents responded to this year’s survey with positive feelings about feeling welcomed in our schools. They, too, are a part of our ‘singleness of purpose’ campaign toward improving the academic success of our students,” said Superintendent Walter Dansby. “Communication is a first and essential step in involving parents in students’ academic lives.”
Mr. Dansby says the survey’s key recommendations include:
- Develop and deliver more comprehensive information about the process of planning for college
- Continue to target eighth-grade parents with communication about high school Programs of Choice
- Consider new strategies for communicating the importance of the Parent Survey to groups of parents that are underrepresented in survey results so their views are better represented in subsequent surveys.
“We know we have more work to do and these responses will help us strategize about how we may best improve our communications with parents,” the Superintendent said.
Additionally responses concerning use of the District’s Parent Portal did not reflect the effective campaign to sign up parents beginning in February, 2012. (More than 18,600 parents are now signed up for the Portal, as of May 26, 2012.)
>> Read the complete survey, but here are some key points:
- Overall satisfaction rates remain relatively high across all constructs in the survey, but parents tend to be less satisfied with communication than with most other aspects of schools.
- Parents are satisfied with the opportunities to communicate with teachers and the timely information provided about school events/activities.
- However, high school parents in particular indicate that there is room to improve communication about student performance and behavior between teachers and parents.
- Parents appreciate the school climate in FWISD. Parents across all school levels feel safe, welcome, and respected in schools. They place confidence in school leaders and, moreover, embrace efforts to provide students with skills for a globalized world. However, high school parents are much less satisfied with enforcement of school rules and control of discipline problems.
- In general, FWISD parents express satisfaction with the quality of instruction their children receive. They are also confident that their children’s classes are preparing them for success in higher education.
- As the District and schools strive to ensure that students are college-ready, this level of parental approval indicates that these efforts are having an impact.
- However, parents need schools to provide more information about college education planning and financial resources for college. Parents appreciate classroom-based efforts to prepare students for college, but parents need guidance on how they can prepare, as well.
- Programs of Choice get high marks from parents for being a positive experience for students. However, parents would appreciate more information and an easier application process.
- Parents report helping children with homework is their most frequent school-related activity, and they attend school-based academic events quite often.
- Secondary school parents are not as likely to agree that the school informs them about how to accelerate students’ learning at home; this may suggest that, with appropriate guidance and support, secondary parents have an interest in being more involved with students’ homework.
- Surprisingly, the Parent Portal, which offers information about what is happening at school, was used by less than a quarter of parents in the pilot schools in the fall; only a little more than half of pilot school parents had even heard of it.
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