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Survey: Most FCPS Parents Think Schools Communicate Well

by Karen Goff — December 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

fcps logoFairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)  biennial Family-School Connections survey shows that 89 percent of parents strongly agree or somewhat agree that their relationships with their children’s schools are consistently positive or stable, the schools system announced Wednesday.

The survey is designed to measure the quality of relationships between families and schools. It was was administered in May to approximately 2,200 randomly selected FCPS families in eight languages.

Key points from the survey include:

The top five item responses were:
  • Of all respondents, 96.6 percent of parents “understand the rules and responsibilities for student dress, language, and behavior outlined in the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook.”
  • Of all respondents, 95 percent say their child’s school “communicates with families in multiple ways,” including newsletters, e-mail, phone, website, personal notes, backpack letters, and conversations.
  • Of all respondents, 95 percent of parents say their child’s school “keeps all families informed about important issues and events.”
  • Of all respondents, 95 percent of parents say their child’s school staff members “respect and value the diversity of families in the community.”
  • Of all respondents, 94.5 percent of parents say they “are familiar with the school’s policies and programs.

Among the lower-rated responses:

  • Of all respondents, 72 percent of parents say “my child’s teachers help me understand how to best work with my child at home to improve his or her academic progress.”
  • Of all respondents, 82 percent of parents say that “if my school can’t help me, it will connect me to someone who can.”
  • Of all respondents, 82 percent of parents say “my child’s teachers communicate with me on a regular basis.”
  • Of all respondents, 82.6 percent of parents say my “school considers parent input before making important decisions.”
  • Of all respondents, 83.5 percent of parents say my “school provides information on other learning opportunities outside the school.”

FCPS says that open-ended responses emphasized positively on the overall quality of their child’s school — including climate, safety, and cleanliness — and less positively on teachers’ understanding of their students’ needs, responsiveness, and willingness to listen.

Satisfaction with schools was similarly positive among all ethnic sub-groups and for all school levels (elementary, middle, and high), as well as for specific program participants, including advanced academic programs, career and technical education, free and reduced meals, English for speakers of other languages, special education, and general education.

Families received either an online survey or paper survey to complete. The overall survey had a 39 percent response rate, 2 percentage points higher than the last survey conducted in 2011.

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