Caitlin Churchill, Possip’s Community Director provides an overview of top family feedback trends from February. If you love these Trend blogs, look forward to the annual Trends Reveal this April 26!
We’re entering the warmer months of Spring. This means it’s time to reflect on the top trends our team of Possip reporters saw in February.
Over the years, we have seen that response rates are often the lowest in February. So our partners likely saw a dip in response rates during February. If the feedback loop with families is strong, it is common for response rates to pick back up in March.
The good news is new voices continue to participate in each Pulse Check. Over 21,000 new people contributed in February alone. And over 42,000 families from across the country took the Possip Pulse Check in February!
Two interesting notes on what we call the Happiness Sentiment Rating. The Happiness Sentiment Rating dipped slightly in February – from 77% to 75%. One interesting note. We are finding that happiness is higher for families receiving Pulse Checks weekly, dropping a percentage point for families receiving Pulse Checks biweekly, and a couple more for those receiving Pulse Checks monthly. Parents in elementary schools tend to be happier than parents in middle or high schools.
P.s. We’ll feature praise trends next month to gear up for Teacher Appreciation Week!
Below are the top 10 trends from report recommendations in February:
#1 Teacher Feedback:
Teacher Feedback is holding steady as the top trend this winter.
When framing this trend, it is important to mention that year over year the number of praise comments for teachers outweighs the feedback.
The most urgent comments about teacher feedback were ones where families share concerns about interactions between teachers and students. We know from staff pulse checks that many school staff face burnout – and February can be a particularly tough month. Sometimes in the demands of a school day, comments can be made unintentionally. The good news is even tough student-teacher relationships can be rebuilt. Our Possip reporters recommended articles such as Repairing and Rebuilding Student-Teacher Relationships from Growing Great Schools Worldwide.
- The most urgent family comments in this category were about actions that parents perceived could impact their students’ emotional well-being and self-esteem.
- Important, but less urgent comments this month express a desire for engaged teachers with professional behavior.
#2 Communication with Teachers:
Communication with Teachers is the second trend this month. Overall communication is a significant trend – representing about a fifth of all recommendations. This trend includes communication about frequency and grades. Parents cite wanting to be in touch with how their student is progressing academically or needing a better way to contact the school. Reporters suggested this Possip blog on Communications Solutions.
#3 Academic Support:
Many families mention situations where students are struggling or feeling overwhelmed. Parents want to know about tutoring opportunities. In urgent comments, over half the ~100 comments were requesting tutoring. Check out this highly-read article from Possip on tutoring programs for your school.
#4 School Safety:
In general, families ask for supervision and transparency. Some parents share their student has communicated not feeling safe. Possip reporters recommend resharing with families the safety protocols that are in place for your school. Some of our partner schools like to share with parents and students ways they can communicate with a staff member if their child is feeling uncomfortable or unsafe for any reason. For more guidance, check out this highly-read Possip blog on school safety communication.
#5 Curriculum Feedback:
This winter families were asking for a more rigorous curriculum. The curriculum feedback has shifted more recently. Now the general ask is that schools help make learning fun and help kids generate some enthusiasm and motivation! Parents are mentioning fine arts options and other elective classes students would enjoy. Possip reporters suggested hosting a curriculum night for families and reviewing course options with a curriculum planning committee or leadership.
#6 Student Discipline:
Comments on disciplinary practices are varied. Some comments are on teachers’ responses to behavior, or on the families’ desire to improve behavior. Here’s an article with best practices for student discipline.
#6 & 7 Bullying & Student Fighting:
Two separate trends in this month’s top 10. Among the top ten trends, this month is bullying. Possip Reporters recommend reminding students and families who to go to for bullying-related needs. Here is a resource for school administrators to take to create a detailed anti-bullying plan.
#8 Transportation Needs:
Uniquely in the top ten trends is transportation. Generally, families are asking for more transportation options or safer transportation by managing bullying and safe pick-up and drop-off locations.
#9 Homework Assignments:
This month parents are commenting on too much homework, particularly if it is online work or requires technology. Possip Reporters recommended sharing the feedback at an upcoming leadership team meeting and making adjustments when possible. Here’s a Possip blog post with 8 tips to help parents be homework heroes.
#10 It’s a tie!
A close tie for #10 goes to Carline Logistics and Extracurricular Activities and we’ve coupled them together because some schools create flexible drop-off and pick-up schedules with extracurricular activities and after-school programs! Visit this clip of Lenisha Roberts from Uplift Education in Texas on how Possip feedback helped her network improve carline logistics!
We share these top family trends in the hopes that they help you have the tools, information, and ideas to support your school. Want to learn more about these trends? Reach out to Jennifer Kehl at email@example.com.