Top 10 October Family Trends

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Amanda Richards, Possip’s Reporting Team Lead, analyzed data from our Pulse Checks! The results were able to provide us with the top 10 family feedback trends from this past October! 

October is a notoriously difficult month for schools. The “new school year” honeymoon phase is over, a holiday break seems far away in the future, and the deadlines for both school staff members and students can feel like they are piling up. It’s no surprise that October was when the Possip-launching dinner table conversation about the tough time in schools happened.

As we head into November, we want to share some of the key highlights from October we pulled out in our family Pulse Checks™. This data represents comments from about 54,000 people who shared through Possip™ over the past month. On average, 80% of families said they were happy with their child’s school this past month. This is slightly lower than the 82% family happiness in September.

Before we dig into the 10 top trends this month, what are some key takeaways we noticed:

Family trends

  • Teacher feedback is increasing – Families are giving feedback about staff members on campus more frequently through Possip. We’re seeing specific feedback trends about professionalism, having positive attitudes with students, and requesting more feedback and support for students. 

  • Student safety is top of mind – Families have an increased awareness of fights and violence happening between students on campus. This was also a trend we saw last year through Possip as schools reopened. Families generally want more transparency from leadership about these incidents on campus and would like to see more personnel monitoring students. Possip is hosting a Campus Safety event in December to help school administrators come up with solutions.

  • Information is key – Families are asking for more communication and information from the school on a consistent, proactive, and streamlined basis. Improved communication about curriculum information and school events were two frequently discussed trends.



Below are the top 10 October family & parent trends. 


#1 Teacher Feedback:

Families are asking for more positive interactions with students and families, including having more patience and increased professionalism. We also surfaced a trend about teachers sharing more helpful feedback on student work and progress with students and families. More transparency in grading practices, an increased understanding of individual student areas of growth, and listening directly to students to hear what they need were all highlighted through Possip results this month. 

#2 Teacher Communication:

More photos of classroom happenings, more individualized insight on how students are progressing behaviorally and academically, and consistent communication regarding deadlines and responding to emails or calls. We heard a few ideas to improve teacher communication. This includes more opportunities to connect with teachers at the beginning of the year to learn about how they can communicate with teachers and build a relationship from the start. Many parents and families didn’t know how to contact teachers. They felt unsure about what was going on in their student’s classrooms.  

#3 Curriculum Feedback:

Families asked for more interactive and engaging curriculum, more projects and real-world applications to the content, different book selections in reading classes, and less test preparation. A few other more specific topics we heard multiple families discussing was the pacing of the curriculum, more support with foreign language classes and math, avoiding any topics of politics with elections coming up, and feedback on the rigor and difficulty of the curriculum. Families are increasingly becoming more engaged with the content being taught in class and are wanting information consistently on what students are learning.

#4 Academic Support:

Many families are asking for more support from teachers, increased tutoring opportunities, and additional assistance solidifying learning or preparing for exams. Families also noted that the expectations and workload seemed very high and they felt students were struggling and not able to keep up. Overall, families are asking for more support for their students, and more tips for how they can support their student academically at home.

#5 General School Communication Frequency:

We heard a desire to have emails and calls returned consistently. Also, they want more direct communication to necessary stakeholders and not mass communications, and correct event dates that are not changed frequently. Families also asked for communication to be outside of social media for those that don’t use the mode of communication. 

#6 Carline Logistics:

Most of the comments were about safety during carline and expediting the carline process. Families added a lot of helpful ideas through Possip to help brainstorm solutions. Some ideas included more officers or staff to direct traffic, reiterating to families the carline rules, not allowing parking in specific locations near the carline, and school-specific ways to speed up the drop-off/pick-up process. 

#7 School Safety:

Families shared tangible ideas to make the campus safer. This includes more student monitoring in specific places and adding additional safety training. In addition, they want schools to transparent communication with families, so they are aware of safety measures or concerns. We also noticed this tied to our #9 trend this week regarding student fighting on campus. Families are worried about violence escalating to more severe situations inside the school and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

#8 Extracurricular Activities:

Families want schools to provide more activities, sports, clubs, and opportunities for their students to be social with friends in a fun way. Families are advocating for schools to add specific clubs or sports. Other families that have students involved in clubs or sports are asking for more facilities, more organization and communication of schedules. They also want more information about how their students can participate. 

#9 Student Fighting:

Families are hearing about increased fights at school and want more transparency about these situations. We heard families advocating for more consequences for fighting, and more information on what is being done to prevent fighting. Also, there were requests for more counselors or resource officers to support in decreasing fights.  Families are sharing worries about these fighting behaviors escalating into more school violence and dangerous situations on campus. 

#10 Cafeteria Feedback:

Families are requesting higher quality food for students. They also want more variety in the menu and correct lunch menus posted online and in newsletters. Additionally, families want to be able to bring food to drop off to students during the day or visit to have lunch with their students. In terms of the logistics of lunch, families are sharing feedback about removing assigned lunch seats for students and allowing them to choose their own seats. In addition, families also want longer lunch periods for their students to have ample time to finish their food. 

We share these top 10 October family trends in the hopes that they help you have the tools, information, and ideas to support your students, families, staff, and school.  We love being a partner – so just reach out to us at if you want to chat more!