Top Ten Trends from Beginning of the Year Pulse Checks

Communication, Feedback Trends / /

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Mandy Wallace, Possip’s Manager of Knowledge and Content, provides an overview of top feedback trends from August and September. 

Starting the year asking for family feedback and input builds community and makes stronger schools. Already this year Possip has collected over 30,000 responses from Pulse Checks sent by 388 schools across the nation. Almost one-fifth of the responses were sent in languages other than English (mostly Spanish but also Arabic, Nepali, French, and more!). We’re thrilled that so many school leaders are checking in with their communities and building trust as they ask what they are doing well and what they can improve!

Sentiment and Frequency of Invitation for Input

One interesting trend we noted is related to what we call our partner schools’ “Sentiment” scores. Overall, 78% of the respondents so far this year stated that they were happy with their school the week they took the survey. However, our partners have set up their pulse checks on different cadences: weekly, biweekly, and monthly. From the data we’ve collected so far this year, the schools who ask their stakeholders the most frequently for input and feedback – those who ask on a weekly basis – boast a higher than average sentiment score (85%). 

Chart: Average Sentiment % (Yes, Mostly, No) by Frequency of Pulse Checks (Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly)

Top Ten Feedback Trends

So far, we’ve seen a typical spike in logistical and operational concerns. Questions as families acclimate to the new school year was also popular. Here are the Top Ten Trends so far this year: 

Trend #1: Communication

Top of mind always for families is communication from the school and teachers. This includes concerns over the frequency and responsiveness (usually not enough) of messages from school as well as information about student progress and grades, communication tools used by the school, behavior expectations, and safety issues. 

Generally families want more proactive communication so that they know what to expect so they can best prepare their children. For example, one parent reflected, “I wish there was more feedback from the teachers about kids’ performance in the class and what is expected from them.” Another parent couched their feedback with grace and praise: “Start of school is always hectic – there are some communications that I wish we had (ie – when will Seesaw be updated, what is going on with teacher assignments, etc.) Overall we love [our school]. All of the teachers, including the specialist, have been so great!  Our kids feel at home there and I feel they are learning and doing well.”

Possip Resources to Improve Communication: