Safe and secure schools, compassionate and effective teachers and a strong college preparatory program are the top three characteristics that Friendswood ISD parents value most. This was determined recently with a parent survey.
In September of 2014, parents were invited to complete a survey designed to identify the things that are most valuable to them in terms of quality schools and judge their level of satisfaction with FISD schools.
Parents received a letter inviting their participation as well as two follow up emails.
FISD received 2,214 responses (61.2 percent) out of the 3,615 families in FISD. There were some items that were skipped and 137 respondents stopped the survey once reaching the characteristic rating question.
Of the respondents, 41 percent have only one student attending an FISD school, 55 percent have two or three children and 4 percent have four or more children. The grade levels of the respondent’s children were a nice representation of the district.
Parents were asked to respond to a variety of characteristics that a person might use to judge the quality of a school district. For each one, respondents rated whether they though it was very important, somewhat important, somewhat unimportant, or very unimportant in judging the quality of a school district. Parents
were then asked to identify the top 5 characteristics they would use in determining the quality of a school district.
Along with the top three named above, frequent communication with parents, high scores on national tests such as SAT and ACT, and student use of technology rounded out the top six items people felt were very important.
Other questions asked about homework, standards, technology and overall satisfaction. The results of each are displayed below. Overall, parents feel positive about each aspect and 96.5% would recommend FISD to families moving to the area.
The final two questions of the survey were open ended and asked respondents to describe what they considered to be the district’s greatest strength and most critical problem. 1,379 comments were received that identified strengths of the district.
The overarching themes from the responses were that Friendswood ISD has great teachers who care about kids, involved parents with a community that supports the schools and a strong academic focus with high achieving results. Fewer
comments (N=865) were provided that described critical problems facing the district. The themes taken from these comments were recruitment and retention of quality staff, perception of drug and alcohol with secondary students, and consistent communication.
The comments support the top characteristics that were identified: (1) Safe and Secure Schools, (2) Compassionate and Effective Teachers and (3) College Preparatory Program.
“It is important for us to understand our parents’ perceptions in order to be a school of choice. We will use this data to help us develop the District’s Strategic Plan. For instance, performance on the STAAR test did not make the parents’ five most important things. Safe and secure schools and compassionate and effective teachers were the two most important things expressed by parents,” Superintendent Trish Hanks said. “When we develop our end of the school year public report, it will no longer just be the state mandated report which is primarily made up of the state test results and our schools’ and district ratings. We will focus more on things that parents in the community reported as most important to them in a quality school.”
Later this year, FISD will be conducting further surveys of staff members and students.