Parent and staff surveys aren't new, but the Arlington school district's latest round of questionnaires is newly comprehensive.
"This is the first time in many years that AISD has done a wide-scale parent satisfaction survey for parents of all our schools," said Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos. "We know that parent engagement is critical for student success."
The purpose of the survey is to get specific feedback from parents on their level of satisfaction with the schools their children attend.
Then, Cavazos said, survey results will be used to craft "some very specific" action plans for each campus.
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"It gives us the parents' school experience and their child's experience," Cavazos said. "We get feedback on learning, safety of the schools, interaction of the school, all important information."
In the past, parent surveys have asked only districtwide questions and questions pertaining exclusively to Title 1 campuses.
The districtwide parent surveys will be repeated annually.
The survey is available online and on paper in English and Spanish; a paper-only copy is available in Vietnamese.
Parents must respond to the survey by April 18.
All district employees are getting the chance to air their opinions as well in an employee engagement survey, Cavazos said.
That survey is due by March 29, and is said to be the first such survey in more than 10 years. Cavazos said the plan is to survey employees twice a year in the future.
"We're asking all employees to give us feedback on our workplace conditions and environment," Cavazos said.
Results of the surveys will supplement an in-depth curriculum audit and facilities assessment.
Sometimes, even outside surveys can make a difference.
In January 2012, a teacher group presented the results of a survey showing two-thirds of the district's 1,400 teachers believed that the district was headed in the wrong direction.
By June, Superintendent Jerry McCullough and the district had parted ways.