4 Principles of Feedback From Extraordinary School Leaders

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Caitlin Churchill, Possip Customer Experience team member, complied four principals of feedback from the extraordinary school leaders who spoke with Possip at our recent event! 

—“We really believe in the power of using data to drive the work you are doing.” – Julie Kennedy, Executive in Residence at Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF).

Last year, under the leadership of Julie Kennedy, Charter School Growth Fund piloted Possip Pulse Checks™ with 22 portfolio schools spanning 11 different networks. These schools heard from up to 80% of their families throughout the course of the year, gathering authentic feedback and praise! 

Leaders from the initial group of 22 schools have expanded their use of Possip!  It includes additional campuses – now 90 participating – as well as new stakeholders such as students and staff.

We wanted to hear how it’s going! So, Possip and CSGF got together with a few of these charter school leaders. We talk about how Possip Pulse Checks are strengthening their school communities.  

Headshots of the four speakers in the CSGF Video

That conversation highlighted 4 Principles that the Possip team and our partners want to share in the work of building stronger schools. (Note, some quotes have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.)


1. Feedback Helps You ‘Get in Front’ of Needs

Lenisha Roberts:Carline was one that just slammed us… One thing we took away from feedback on carline last year is to be really intentional in how we address it this year. Our schools produced videos for families with tips for how to keep the carline going. We showed the ‘do’s and the don’ts’ and got ahead of it. We were more intentional about after school programs and aftercare because we know if we provide those programs, everyone won’t come at once to pick up their children. And we have some incentives at schools where they are doing carpooling.”


2. Feedback is a Gift

Dr. Trevor Ivey: “We’re only going to get better if we get feedback… we’re very clear on the parent side when we recruit that we believe feedback is a gift. It is a part of our policy for family engagement – and even our Title 1 plan. It’s in our Commitment to Success Pledge that parents and scholars sign. We make no apology for asking for your feedback! We get in the carline every time Possip goes out – every other Thursday afternoon. Our leaders have the eagle mascot holding a sign that says, “We need your feedback!”  We also do a reminder on our school wide text message app after the Pulse Check goes out.” 


3. Authentic Feedback Yields Confident Decision-Making

Barb Campbell: “Over 62% of our families speak Spanish, and the survey method we’ve been using – it’s like the annual survey with nationally normed data – that’s great, but we weren’t hearing from a representative sample of our families. And so to see that over 50% of our Possip feedback was in another language, I felt more confident in the data that we were hearing from the communities that we actually serve. And just an overwhelming amount of gratitude for a lot of positivity coming forward. The loudest voices can lead to an inaccurate perception of the family experience, so it’s allowed us to be more cognizant of the reality. 


4. Feedback is Routine & Ingrained in Your Culture

Kayleigh Colombero: “Possip is really helping us get information we might not have otherwise heard. Things as simple as, my student comes home everyday and says the classrooms are too cold.  It really has an impact on their experience! We want to know that and be able to address those things! Our leaders did a lot of thinking about making our after school programs more robust and making our messaging for after school a little bit clearer and a little bit earlier for parents… just by being able to hear from parents on a regular basis.”

“Our school gets a lot of praise for our teachers and I email that to all staff and get to highlight those teachers. And it’s such a wonderful thing, to be able to say, look at all the positive comments from parents about what you are doing everyday! It just really makes a big difference for our staff.” 


Check out more of the conversation! Kayleigh shares powerful stories from student Pulse Checks at Etoile. Trevor debriefs Liberty’s experience surveying staff routinely.