How to use parent surveys to build connections with families

I have used 4 different types of parent surveys for many years in my classroom to help open the line of communication with my students’ parents. They have been really instrumental in helping me get feedback and make sure I’m meeting kids’ needs, and they’ve been an invaluable way to document my attempts at outreach.

I’ve finally gotten around to compiling and formatting them for my TeachersPayTeachers store. I also decided to have the parent surveys translated into Spanish so that teachers can get input from from their Spanish-speaking families, too. The surveys were translated by two fully bilingual educators with over 25 years of classroom teaching experience between them. One is a native English speaker, and the other is a native Spanish speaker from Argentina. Both have exceptional grammar and writing skills, so you can trust that the surveys are translated correctly and are error-free. 

I’ve created the surveys in a ready-to-print PDF as well as a fully editable PowerPoint file so you can alter the parent survey wording and print your own customized version.

How to use parent surveys How to use parent surveys to build relationships & reflect on your practice

There are 4 surveys which total 10 pages, and each one has a unique approach to helping you establish strong communication with parents:

1) Parent Volunteer Survey

WHEN: Send the parent volunteer survey home during the first week of school, whenever a new student transfers into your class, and anytime a parent asks how they can be involved in their child’s schooling. You might also send the form home at the start of the second semester to remind parents of various opportunities and accommodate their changing schedules.

WHY: Often when parents say, “Just let me know if you need anything—I’d love to help,” we don’t have a ready response for them. With this survey, you can reply, “Great—just fill out this quick survey and I’ll get back to you right away!” This survey will help you explain alternative ways busy parents can offer their time and resources, tap into parent resources you might not have known about, and communicate to parents that they are your partners and allies.

2) Post-Interim Report or Progress Report Parent Survey

WHEN: Send this home after the first progress or interim report of the school year and again mid-year.

WHY: Sometimes there is a disconnect between how a parent thinks the child is doing (or what previous teachers said about the child’s performance) and what’s actually happening in your classroom. This survey will help you: prevent conflicts and confusion at report card time, allow parents to express concerns prior to conferences so you’re prepared, get feedback on how homework is going and provide accommodations, and gain insight as to what parents think the root cause of any problems are.

editable parent surveys for the entire school year

3) Post-Report Card Parent Survey

WHEN: Send this home quarterly with your report cards and have parents sign and return all the paperwork together. 

WHY: Seeing their child’s grades on a report card can be an eye-opening experience for some parents, especially when it’s the first report card in a new grade level. This survey will help you: document that you sent progress reports with low grade notifications in advance, determine whether parents are satisfied with students’ grades, allow parents to express concerns prior to conferences so you’re prepared, learn more about the kids’ and parents’ attitudes toward you and school, confirm parent-teacher conference times if needed, and more.

4) End-of-Year Parent Survey

WHEN: Send this home 1-2 weeks before the school year ends.

WHY: This survey will help you: learn more about how your teaching style was received by students and families, analyze your strengths and weaknesses as an educator, and plan for improvement in future school years.

end of year parent surveys

The end of year parent survey has been the most valuable to me as a reflection tool, and I really encourage you to try using it this year. The other surveys are focused more on kids’ progress and needs, but this one is designed solely to help me as the teacher reflect on my own practice.

The feedback I’ve gotten from this survey as been invaluable–there are always some parents who just mark everything with a perfect score, and a few that I know I just can’t please, but from the rest, I can generally see patterns in the responses. I try to figure out which areas most parents gave me a high score on, and consider them my strengths. If there are areas in which multiple parents gave me a B or below, I make it a goal to work on that area the following year.

Editable parent surveys for documenting communication with parents--includes an end of year parent survey and more.

Download the 6 page preview to learn more & see sample pages

Download the 7 page preview to learn more and see sample pages.

Have you used parent surveys to get feedback from parents or to learn about their perspective on student progress? Please share your experiences in the comments!

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Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience and 7 years experience as an instructional coach. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has created printable curriculum resources, 4 books, 3 online courses, the Truth for Teachers podcast, and The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Subscribe via email to get her best content sent to your inbox!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tiffany Jemel Spurlock September 30, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Please send information regaring this. Is this in your 40 week teacher kit?

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2 Angela Watson October 1, 2016 at 8:05 am

It is included with club membership, yes, but you can purchase the surveys separately through the link included in the blog post.

Reply

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