Picture this: Your district has just gathered feedback from students, families, and staff about critical topics including school climate, school safety, and classroom instruction. The results are in, and they point to several strengths and areas for improvement.
What comes next?
In our work with hundreds of districts, we've seen that one of the most important parts of a stakeholder feedback program is engaging the school community in the data. Survey feedback is only as valuable as it is actionable—the magic happens when principals, staff, students, and families come together to review the data and plan next steps.
In this episode of Panorama Q&A, I cover how to release survey results to stakeholders, start conversations around the data, and inspire the community to take action.
Watch the video here or on YouTube, and access a full transcript of the video below.
Missed our Q&A episode on the top five ways to raise survey response rates? Watch it here.
Q: How should we prepare principals and staff to use survey results?
For this question, we recommend taking a step-by-step approach. Principals are going to play an important role in making sure that staff take action on the survey data, so you’ll want to have a specific plan for engaging principals.
The first touchpoint should happen a week before your district plans on releasing the survey reports to school sites. This is when you’ll set expectations around how principals are going to use the data at their schools. Investing principals in this process is going to be critical for ensuring that these data come to life.
The next step happens on the day of the reports release. You’ll want to deliver the news that reports are now live! We recommend emailing principals with instructions on how to access their own school’s results. It’s also important to ensure that principals have a clear plan and understanding for how the results will be used. In the reports launch announcement, you might want to refer back to the framing you did the week before and remind your schools of the district’s vision for this work.
After principals have the data, the next step is engaging school-level staff in the results. Principals and staff should work together to figure out how to make use of this information—since change happens when school teams identify areas of strength and areas of growth based on their results.
Watch this video to learn how to prioritize a focus area for your school based on survey results.
We recognize that educators are busy, so we recommend using existing meeting time, like a staff professional development day or school improvement planning meeting, to come together around the data. This initial meeting is a great jumping off point for further action planning.
Q: What are strategies for engaging families and students in our survey results?
After staff members have had a chance to review their school’s data, you might also be thinking about sharing the results more broadly. Since families and students took the time to offer meaningful feedback, many of our partners have found it impactful to share out the results and next steps they’re planning on taking to show that their community’s voices are being heard.
Sharing results directly with students can empower them to take ownership over the data. One thing we’ve seen schools do is share results with their Student Council and then ask that group to build an initiative or a working group.
For example, if one of the biggest takeaways from the survey was that students don’t feel like they belong, the Student Council could create a plan around increasing the sense of community on campus, and engage other students in coming up with ideas for how to do so.
Parents also play a big role in the ecosystem of schools and are well positioned to help schools improve. We recommend that you invite parents to join this important conversation. Like educators, parents have busy schedules, so it’s important to identify times that are convenient for them to engage. This could mean hosting a roundtable with the parent association or holding workshops during an open house night.
Thinking about running a stakeholder feedback program? Schedule a demo to learn about the Panorama survey platform and our professional services.