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Surveys Gather Input AND They Send a Message!

Surveys as defined by Webster’s Dictionary are an action that:

1. examines as to the condition, situation, or value: appraise

2. queries (someone) in order to collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group or area

As educational leaders, you all know the role and purpose of surveys. However, one area that gets overlooked is the secondary result and/or benefit of conducting a survey. By surveying you are also sending a powerful message to the people receiving the survey about your priorities and the value of their input. Our staff, student, and parents surveys provide a means to connect with the people most directly impacted by your daily efforts, get feedback from them, and make future decisions on their behalf. Our community surveys provide an opportunity to educate your community about the current state of the district and gather feedback from them for future planning and decision making.

Staff, Student, and Parent Surveys and the Message they Send

They show you care.

Simply by sending out a survey you are sending a message to the recipients that you care about them and their opinion matters, particularly when you follow up and share your findings.

They show you want to get better.

Surveying takes courage, because you do not know what feedback you are going to receive, but they show you are committed to getting better.

They convey that their opinion matters.

Every person who receives a survey from you is being sent a message that their opinion matters, again, particularly when you follow up and share your findings and the accompanying action plan.

They help you plan for the future.

Once your results have been gathered and findings summarized, the input provided through your survey process will help you make decisions on behalf of each group in the future.

They help you establish priorities.

Within the steps of future planning, the results gathered will also help you establish priorities and decide what to do first. In doing so, you will be able to communicate those steps and priorities back to the people who took the surveys.

They create awareness of other’s are feeling.

Staff, parents, and students have their own feelings, and the survey process empowers district leaders to communicate back to these groups how their feelings compare to those of others. Does “everybody” feel that way?

They empower you to celebrate and maintain your strengths.

Surveying is not exclusively about looking for areas of improvement, it also helps you identify, celebrate, and protect your strengths.

They help you identify and address areas for improvement.

When areas of improvement are identified, addressing them is not a solo act. The survey process and sharing of results provides you an opportunity to identify solutions with the people you gather input from and work on addressing them together.

Community Surveys and the Message they Send

They show you value community input.

75% of every community is composed of residents who are not current parents or school employees. Our community surveys provide you with a means to reach those people and show them you value their input.

They show you want to serve the community and the school.

Schools leaders need to make great decisions for the school, but schools are the heart of every community and their decisions impact the community as well. Seeking community input can bring the school and community together.

They empower you to educate your community.

With 3 out of 4 residents not being in the schools on a regular basis, the majority of community members may not be intimately aware of the current state of programs and facilities at the school. A survey allows districts to educate the community on the current school conditions and circumstances.

They empower the community to give the school district feedback.

Given the lack of regular contact with the majority of your community outlined above, it is hard for school leaders to know how they are seen and how their efforts are perceived. A community survey provides that opportunity as well.

They provide an opportunity to work together.

When areas of improvement are identified and plans are made, addressing them is not a solo act. The survey process and sharing of results provides the school and community the opportunity to work together for the benefit of the school and the community.

At School Perceptions, we would be thrilled to empower you to “examine your conditions and situation” and “query in order to collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group”. But, just as importantly, we are here to help you “measure what matters” so you can


The School Perceptions Blog and Resource Center features the voices of our team members. This post was written by Daren Sievers, Project Manager.


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