Family Trends for Fall 2021 Semester

family helping their child ride her bike.

Since August this school year, Possip has heard from almost 77,000 unique family members through Possip Pulse Checks! As an average for the year, 72% of families stated they were happy with their school. We are excited to hear from Amanda Richards, Possip Reporting Lead, dive into the list of family trends for the fall 2021 semester.

Top 10 Feedback Trends from Possip Families in the 2021 School Year

As we head into 2022, it’s a great time to look back on the school year so far. We can reflect on all we’ve accomplished, and set new goals to tackle challenges or obstacles in the coming year. Our trends blog this week will cover the top 10 family trends for fall semester 2021. We hope this will help you reflect on the past and continue shaping future actions based on family feedback and needs. 

We know parents and family members hear from their school after Possip Pulse Checks, but you may wonder what else is happening across the 29 states where Possip partners with schools, districts, and families. Take a look at an overview of parent praise and insights from across the country!


Since August this year, Possip has heard from almost 77,000 unique family members through Possip Pulse Checks! As an average for the year, 72% of families stated they were happy with their school.

a graph with different percentages for 68,630 responders noting how happy they are with their school experience. Family Trends for Fall Semester 2021

What has been top of mind for families this school year so far? Parents share both praise and feedback about academics, teachers, school culture, and operations.

Family Trends for Fall Semester 2021


After analyzing responses from 77,000 unique family members across the country, here are the top 10 trends in parent praise and insights:

Trend #1: COVID Safety Measures and Mask Usage

Families shared differing opinions about what safety measures they wanted at their student’s school. This continues to be a trend and is moving towards conversations around vaccination mandates in some of our Possip partner states. The main points of conversation were:

  • mask mandates
  • social distancing
  • outdoor lunches
  • schoolwide temperature checks.

Trend #2: Increased Communication From Teachers

Parents want to hear from teachers and the school more frequently. Specifically, families want to know:

  • how their student is performing academically and behaviorally in class
  • more information regarding the curriculum taught in class
  • the speed of instruction
  • more opportunities to make personal connections with the teacher
  • volunteer opportunities for parents to connect with their child (ie. lunch day)

Trend #3: Carline Logistics

This could be because many families had a year-long break from carline, but families want safer, more efficient, and more strategic pick-up and drop-off systems.

Trend #4: Bus Feedback and Student Transportation Needs

This trend has become much more prevalent than any other year that we’ve seen. Some hot in-depth topics include:

  • bus driver shortages
  • late bus pick-ups
  • inefficient or inconvenient bus routes
  • busses getting students to school late

Trend #5: Curriculum Interests 

Parents want to know what is being taught in class. This has become is a major trend and we want to share that would have global intrigue. Check out this recent article to read more! We heard families share requests for more emphasis on:

  • life skills like financial literacy and job preparedness
  • more challenging course offerings
  • more of an emphasis on languages and the arts
  • less screen time in class.

Trend #6: Increased Academic Support

Finding ways to help students learn better, beyond normal curriculum and teachings is needed for students. Parents are concerned their students are falling behind and are in need of more one-on-one tutoring support or intervention. Check out some tips on this blog: Tips for Supporting Your Students’ Academic Recovery.

Trend #7: Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities for students to build connections and a sense of joy after school. Families are asking for more:

  • sports offerings
  • club or event opportunities
  • clarity around how to learn about extracurricular offerings
  • information on how to sign up their students

Trend #8: Bullying

Notably, bullying on campus has been top of mind this school year more than in the past. Families are sharing that their students are getting bullied or that their student sees others getting bullied. Check out this blog on supporting mental health in schoolsFamilies want action taken on:

  • bullying allegations
  • appropriate consequences given
  • clear policies to prevent and resolve bullying on campus

Trend #9: Cafeteria Food and Logistics

Cafeteria food and logistics are a new trend this year. Again, this could be a consequence of having lunches at home for a year during at-home learning, but families are more in-tune to what students are eating at lunch. Top requests we heard from parents about involving cafeteria food and logistics include:

  • the cafeteria food and providing more healthy options
  • requests for more time in the cafeteria to finish their meal
  • more social distancing in the cafeteria
  • more supervision from teachers and cafeteria staff

Trend #10: Homework Assignments

Families are requesting less homework overall so students can have some downtime at home, while some families are requesting more homework be sent home. There is also confusion about what the homework is and when it is due, feedback on grading policies for homework, and requests for example problems or tips for parents so they can help their students with the homework. 


We wanted to start with a few noteworthy trends that didn’t make the top 10 trends, but we thought they were interesting to highlight: 
  1. We heard more substantial feedback from families of students with 504 plans or Individualized Education Plans. This ended up as #14 on our top trends list this school year. Families are advocating for their student’s plans and feel their needs aren’t always being met. Additionally, we’ve also heard a need for more Special Education teachers and support staff on campus to meet IEP or 504 plan requirements. 
  2. We also are continuing to see that families are sharing feedback around decreasing fighting and unsafe student behavior on campus. Families are asking school leaders to provide effective discipline to students to resolve safety concerns, provide students with social-emotional or mental health supports, and increase security. This trend landed on our list at #17 this school year.
  3. School Uniform feedback was surprisingly in the top 20 on our list this year. Families are giving feedback about uniforms, the cost of uniforms, and asking for uniforms at schools that don’t currently have uniform policies. In addition, families are sharing feedback about gender equality regarding the enforcement of dress code policies.
And here are some additional Possip blogs related to the trends that can assist your school!

Thank you to all of our Possip parents for making the Family Trends for Fall 2021 Semester available to share with Education Leadership Teams, Parents, and Staff! Your voice DOES make a difference! 

If you have questions about these trends, how to resolve them in your school, or have feedback on our trends blog, please reach out to amanda@possip.com

a graphic with a list of words pertaining to trends that we heard from possip families this school year