Is it Back-to-School Night already?

Well, no, it’s not time for that just yet.

However, there is no better time during the school year then Back-to-School Night to engage with your parents and maximize the opportunity to build strong relationships. And it’s an absolutely ideal time to mine some great data from this key audience.

You don’t need to do anything elaborate. Just simply ask your parents to take one minute to answer three questions on a survey that can be handed out to every person that night.

Question one: What would you like to know more about from your school and the school district this year?

This is a great way to find out whether the topics you deem to be the most important to communicate align with what your parents want to know most about.

Question two: What’s the best way to get that information to you?

The answers you receive, such as email, text, newsletter, etc., probably won’t add much to how you are already communicating with your parents. But they should help you determine the frequency of each communication method and which ones are most popular with your audience.

Question three: What’s the one topic you really would like us to not talk about so much (because you’re not all that interested)?

You probably will receive a lot of “I don’t know” responses. However, you might be pleasantly surprised by the candor of the people who are tired of hearing about the same topics – those only the district finds exciting.

At the bottom of the survey, promise you will get a summary of the findings back to all parents. And make it clear to your building folks to tell parents that “If you’ve already filled this out in one school, there’s no need to fill out a second one.”

Then, create a simple process where you can tally key words from the surveys, like “test scores,” “finances” and “School Board decisions.” Don’t sort through the long-winded ones; just look for key words.

If you make it a practice to do this every year at Back-to-School Night, you will be able to stay current with parent interests and transmittal preferences.