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I'm going to do a survey. When should I do it?

You have a lot of questions for your staff, your students, and their parents. You need to know

where things are going well and what you could improve. And, sometimes, it can be difficult to know when to ask what questions. Fortunately, after years of research, we’ve figured out the best time of the year to ask your school community what you’d like to know.

Students are the lifeblood of a school and can be its most helpful source of input. It’s important to get their thoughts and understand how they are feeling about their teachers, their school, and their academics.

Fall is the time to ask your new high school or middle school students how their transition into a new school is going. Do they feel overwhelmed and need help? Or do they feel comfortable? You can find out using our middle school and high school entrance surveys.

The very beginning of fall is always a tough time for students (we all remember needing to check our schedules every hour to find our classes.) But by about six weeks in, the stress of the new year has slowed down, and students are better able to focus. What is helping your students learn? Is anything in the way of them learning? You can find out using our student life surveys.

Springtime brings flowers and the end of the school year. It’s also time to focus on the students who are graduating. It’s time to ask if your graduating elementary and middle school students are ready for the next step with our elementary and middle school exit surveys. Do your high school seniors feel ready for post-high school life? Have you set them up for success? Use our high school exit survey to find out.

Staff make the school world turn. It’s important to know if they’re feeling happy, healthy, and part of the community. In the fall, new staff feel the same way as new students: they’re probably a little nervous! Find out how they’re feeling with the new employee check-in survey. You can also find out how engaged your veteran staff are feeling with the staff check-in survey.

Lots of planning happens in the winter, and the school board and district leaders head that planning. Is your school board on the same page? How do you they feel? What about your district leaders? Winter is the time to use the Annual Board Development Tool and the School Leadership Planning Tool.

Finally, many staff members also “graduate” at the end of the school year. Be sure to talk to these graduates using the employee exit survey.

Parents guide the lives of your students and can give an objective view of your school and the facilities you offer. Much of the time, your students’ parents will be your biggest supporters! In the fall, parents can give their input on where they think you should use your finite time, money, energy, and resources using the parent planning survey. Then, in the spring, you can use the parent satisfaction survey to see if their needs were met and what else you can improve going forward.

Keeping your school’s community in mind always will help you to understand how your students, staff, and parents are feeling, and how you can improve. Reach out today to get started!


The School Perceptions Blog and Resource Center features the voices of our team members. This post was written by Lindsey Naze, Data Analyst.


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