• School Survey Toolkit:
    Resources to Make Survey Administration a Success

    Results from the annual school survey reveal your school community's perceptions about important aspects of school life, including the learning environment, family engagement, physical environment and safety. But to ensure that we have an accurate picture of what staff, students and parents think, it is important to have a high rate of survey completion for all response groups. With strong response rates, the school survey becomes a valuable tool for the development of school budgets and School Performance Plans, and a reliable source of data for inclusion in the district's annual portfolio review, the renewal process for operator-run schools and other methods by which a school's success is considered.

    More about the school survey

    2016-17 School Survey timeline

    January 9: School survey window opens for staff. Staff will receive a link to complete the School Survey via their City Schools email address. If a staff member accidentally deletes and/or misplaces the survey link, email survey@bcps.k12.md.us to request another.
    January 16: Student and parent surveys (hard copy) arrive in schools
    January 17: School survey window opens for students and parents; online versions of staff and parent surveys available
    January 25 to March 7 (depending on availability of data)School leaders receive regular updates on response rates
    February 24: School survey window closes
    Late May: Results shared with schools 

    Administering the survey

    It is recommended that all students take the survey at their school in a classroom environment. Parents can take the survey on paper or online. Find the URLs for online surveys in the survey materials delivered to schools. And for English learners and their parents, the online survey is available in Spanish, Nepali, French, Arabic and Chinese (simplified).

    As was the case last year, there are target response rates for students, parents and staff at each school. School leaders should also note that, in order to receive your school's survey data once they are compiled, minimum response rates of 30-percent for students and staff, and 10-percent of parents must be obtained. More about the response rate targets can be found in this presentation prepared for survey coordinators. The presentation includes general information about several surveys administered at City Schools, along with specific information about the school survey. This guidance also includes both general survey information and details specific to administering the school survey.

    Tools to maximize parent response

    Please use all available channels to connect with families and encourage parents to complete their survey by February 24. To help with this outreach, district staff have created tools for your use. Please download these materials, and customize them as needed for your school community.

    To encourage parents to complete the survey, the district office is providing the following:

    • Information about the survey included in e-newsletters
    • Flyers delivered to schools by third week of January for backpacking home with students in elementary and elementary/middle schools, and to make available at school events and in high-traffic areas in middle and high schools
    • Posters delivered to schools by third week in January for display in high-traffic areas 
    • District website, Facebook, and Twitter announcements throughout the survey window
    • Parent Link phone calls during the weeks of January 23, February 6, and February 20
    • To increase participation, the online survey for parents is now mobile device-compatible. This gives parents the flexibility of completing the surveys via their smartphone or tablet, not just a PC. There are no additional steps parents have to take to ensure the surveys are mobile device-compatible. The online survey will be formatted according to the type of device that is being used. The online survey will close on February 24.