January Family Trends 2023

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January Trends 2023

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Caitlin Churchill, Possip’s Community Director provides an overview of top family feedback trends from this past January!

January family trends are in! A few new and notable trends in the top 10 for this month are (#4) extracurricular activities, (#8) school safety, and (#10) facilities/cleanliness. Similar to patterns from last year, happiness tends to dip as schools approach the end of the calendar year, from an average of 82% happiness in September to 80% happiness in October and now 77% happiness this November through January. Over 41,000 families took the Possip Pulse Check in January, covering about 277 topics of importance. 

Below are the top 10 January family trends. 

#1 Teacher Feedback:

Teacher Feedback remains the top trend this winter. This trend is most often mentioned in feedback from elementary schools. Families comment on interactions between teachers and students. Hot comments are concentrated around interactions they perceive impacting their students’ emotional well-being and self-esteem. Medium and cool comments represent families asking for more structured or intentional classroom time and grading. 

#2 Curriculum Feedback:

Curriculum Feedback rises in ranks to trend #2. Families have asked for more rigorous curriculum, or resources to assist their students. In some cases, families are concerned about content they feel is not related to the subject at hand – particularly around social commentary. Possip Reporter and Tennessee AP teacher, Savannah Staley, has provided us with solutions for your curriculum! 

#3 Teacher Communication

Parents most appreciate consistent attempts to communicate about their student’s experience, as well as reasonable response times when they reach out for help. 

#4 Extracurricular Activities:

When families are asked in Pulse Checks what would help with attendance, Possip data shows they believe extracurricular activities, and a support person or mentor will help ensure attendance each day. Hear more 

#5 Academic Support:

Also rising in the ranks this month is Academic Support. Many families are asking for more support from teachers and increased tutoring opportunities. at home. Check out this highly read article from Possip on tutoring programs for your school. 

#6 Student Discipline: 

Comments on disciplinary practices may be on teachers’ responses to behavior, or on the families’ desire to improve behavior. Here are some tips for addressing bullying and restoring student relationships from Possip Reporter and Tennessee AP teacher, Savannah Staley. We also have a ton of resources on our blog to help you build out your anti-bullying programs.

#7 General School Communication Frequency: 

Similar to comments above, we hear families asking for more communication, communication with teachers, and more diplomacy in communication with administration. While frequency is tough and varies according to preferences, there seems to be a tendency to want more frequent personalized communication.  

#8 School Safety: 

Comments on school safety have progressively risen in 2023, thus far. In general families are asking for more supervision and transparency, and may share that their student has communicated not feeling safe. How safe and secure a student feels at school is a determining factor of whether they show up at school. Former Possip partner Catherine Cecere of Joffe Emergency Services shares advice on creating ecosystems of safety, We at Joffe talk with schools about: how do we keep people safe and how do we make them feel safe? As you can imagine these have so much overlap, but they are not always the same thing.” Read more on creating school safety here! 

#9 Car Line Logistics:

Carline feedback persists even at this time of year! Most of the comments were about safety during carline, expediting the car line process, and the help of crosswalk guards. Possip reporter Virginia Williams provides tips for increasing efficiency, improving safety, and creating a better experience for everyone involved in school drop-off and pick-up. Possip also has some guidance on creating a car line number system

#10 Facilities & Cleanliness

Families comment on their student’s comfort in a learning environment due to factors like air conditioning, dedicated spaces, and cleanliness. We love this story from Superintendent 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! Read more from Kayleigh here. 

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 jennifer@possip.com