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Popular School Climate Featured Family Engagement

53 Questions to Ask Students, Families, and Staff Once the 2020-21 School Year Is Underway

 Written by Danielle Boucher, Jenna Buckle, Keridan Doyle, Leah Ewall-Wice, and Connie Jangro. 


Back to school for 2020-2021 will bring new opportunities and challenges for schools and districts.

Not only will students, families, and staff be returning to a new learning environment, but they will also be coping with heightened stress and trauma due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent events of racial injustice.

It will be critical to understand student, family, and staff member experiences once school is underway—particularly during the first few weeks of the academic year. How is your school community functioning in today's unique school context? What does your school community need academically, socially, and emotionally?

Consider running a back-to-school survey during the first few weeks of the 2020-21 school year. The survey can help your district gather student, family, and staff feedback on the learning environment (whether online learning, in-person learning, or hybrid learning); COVID-related health and safety procedures; social support systems; student academic needs; school cultural responsiveness; and school leadership and communication. With the data, you can identify how to better serve your students, families, and staff to make for a successful school year.

Below are 53 questions to ask students, families, teachers, and staff during the first few weeks of the 2020-21 school year. Please note that this is an excerpt of our full back-to-school survey instrument, You can download the complete instrument as a PDF to access all of the topics, questions, and response anchors.

Download Panorama's open-source 2020-2021 Back-to-School Surveys.

 

53 Questions for the Start of the 2020-21 School Year

For Students (Grades 3-5 and 6-12):

1. How would you like to be learning right now (more time at home, more time at school, etc.)?

2. How difficult or easy is it to use the distance learning technology (computer, tablet, video calls, learning applications, etc.)?

3. How satisfied are you with the amount of time you spend speaking with your teachers?

4. What do you like/not like about school right now? 

5. How difficult or easy has it been for you to follow the COVID-related safety measures and protocols at your school? (Grades 6-12 only)

6. How sure are you that you can do well in school right now?

7.  Are you getting all the help you need with your schoolwork right now?

8.  When you have online schoolwork, how often do you have the technology (laptop, tablet, computer, etc.) you need?

9. How much effort are you putting into your classes right now?

10. How difficult or easy is it to stay focused on your schoolwork right now?

11. How connected do you feel to the adults at your school right now? What about other students?

12. If you are participating in distance learning, how often do you hear from your teachers individually?

13. If you are participating in distance learning, how often are you talking with your friends from school?

14. How often do teachers encourage you to learn about people from different races, ethnicities, or cultures? (Grades 6-12 only)

15. At your school, how often are you encouraged to think more deeply about race-related topics? (Grades 6-12 only)

16. How well does your school help students speak out against racism? (Grades 6-12 only)

17. When there are major news events related to race, how often do adults at your school talk about them with students? (Grades 6-12 only)

 

For Families, Parents, and Caregivers:

18. How satisfied are you with the way learning is structured at your child’s school right now?

19. How confident are you in your ability to support your child's education during distance learning?

20. Do you think your child should spend less or more time learning in person at school right now?

21. What is working well with your child’s education that you would like to see continued?

22. What is challenging with your child’s education that you would like to see improved?

23. How would you describe the level of COVID-related safety measures and protocols in your child’s school to keep students healthy?

24. How concerned are you about your child’s academic growth right now?

25. How concerned are you about your child’s social-emotional well-being right now?

26. How concerned are you about your child’s peer relationships right now?

27. How helpful has the communication from your child’s school been this school year?

28. How clear has communication from the school been about COVID-related safety measures and protocols?

27. How concerned are you about managing your daily schedule with your child’s current school schedule?

28. How concerned are you about child care?

29. When you need to, how difficult or easy is it to get in contact with your child’s teacher(s)?

30. How comfortable do you feel communicating with your child’s school?

31. How much do you feel the school values your opinions?

32. To the best of your knowledge, how often is your child given opportunities to learn about people from different races, ethnicities, or cultures?

33. How confident are you that adults at your child’s school can have honest conversations with students about race?

34. When there are major news events related to race, how important do you think it is for adults at your child's school to talk about them with students? 


For Teachers and Staff:

35. How satisfied are you with the current learning model at your school?

36. What kind of effect is the current learning model having on your social-emotional well-being?

37. How difficult or easy is it to support other people in your life (family, friends, loved ones, etc.) with the current learning model?

38. How confident are you that you can provide effective instruction in the current learning model? (Instructional staff only)

39. How difficult or easy has it been for you to implement the COVID-related safety measures and protocols in your building?

40. How concerned are you about students’ academic growth right now?

41. How concerned are you about students’ social-emotional well-being right now?

42. In the past week, how many of your students regularly participated in your virtual classes? (Instructional staff only)

43. In the past week, how engaged have students been in your virtual classes? What about your in-person classes? (Instructional staff only)

44. Compared to past years, how much harder or easier is it to form relationships with your students right now?

45. How valuable has professional development been so far this year?

46. How helpful has leadership at your school been in resolving challenges so far this year?

47. How satisfied are you with the frequency of communication from school leadership? What about from district leadership?

48. How clear has communication from school leadership been on COVID-related safety measures and protocols?

49. How clear has communication from school leadership been about the school’s learning model?

50. How comfortable are you discussing race-related topics with students?

51. How well does your school help staff speak out against racism?

52. How often do professional development opportunities help you explore new ideas about how to promote equity in your practice?

53. What is the most important thing your school can keep doing to support students of different races, ethnicities, and cultures?

 

Elevate Student, Family, and Staff Voices This Year With Panorama

Schools and districts can use Panorama’s leading survey administration and analytics platform to quickly gather and take action on information from students, families, teachers, and staff. The questions are applicable to all types of K-12 school settings and grade levels, as well as to communities serving students from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

back-to-school-students

In the Panorama platform, educators can view and disaggregate results by topic, question, demographic group, grade level, school, and more to inform priority areas and action plans. Districts using the Back-to-School Surveys may use the data to improve teaching and learning models, build stronger academic and social-emotional support systems, improve stakeholder communication, and inform staff professional development.

Get in touch with our team here.

Topic(s): Popular , School Climate , Featured , Family Engagement

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