Parent Survey

Watch a recent parent request to the District Accountability Committee (DAC) on February 12, 2013 asking for a parent survey to be conducted and the DAC discussion that follows:

DAC February 2013 from Strong Schools Coalition on Vimeo.


2012 Parent and Employee Survey Data icon_video_70

According to survey respondents, the majority of DCSD parents and employees (those closest to the schools) do not believe the District is headed in a positive direction. In fact, the positive perception of the Douglas County School District is falling at an alarming rate.

Parent and Employee Survey Results

The surveys provide valuable data which can help inform the District and Board of Education.  Since 2009, parent and employee surveys have indicated a very troubling decline (see graph, right)

In 2012, a parent and an employee survey were conducted by independent, professional organizations with expertise in conducting surveys.

  • The Parent Survey was initiated by the District when it hired the National Center for School Leadership (NCSL) to conduct the survey.
  • The Employee Survey was initiated by the Douglas County Federation when it hired Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates (APA) to conduct an independent analysis of the climate of employees in DCSD.
  • Historical parent and employee survey data is available under the July 15, 2010 Board agenda item #5. Since the last surveys conducted in 2010, the parent perception that the District is headed in a positive direction has dropped 26 points while employee perception has dropped 24 points.

Despite being deemed “inconclusive” by the District for having a low response rate, the Parent Survey provides valuable data that should be recognized for the following reasons:

Parent Survey Respondents

  • The response rate exceeded the stated goal of the National Center for School Leadership for number of responses:

    "Our goal is to get a minimum of 30 respondents per location+ for staff surveys, 50+ for parent surveys and a minimum of 25% of students for student surveys."
      (Quote from NCSL in an email dated 4/19/2012 addressed to DCSD)
    • Based on the stated goal of NCSL, DCSD would need 4,000 responses (50 parent surveys x 80 schools = 4,000 responses) to meet their goal
    • DCSD received 5,300 responses -- exceeding the stated NCSL goal
  • NCSL considers the data valid and has incorporated the results into their national benchmark data.
  • The response rate was in line with previous DCSD Parent Surveys that were considered valid and accepted by the Board of Education
  • If the District had intended on requiring a response rate of 30%  -- more than triple what it had received in past years -- why weren’t actions taken to promote the survey beyond what it had done in past years?

The Strong Schools Coalition encourages the District to take action to better understand the reasons behind the precipitous decline in parents' approval and employee morale. Failure to do so will cause a greater divide within the community and will be detrimental to the success of Douglas County students.

READ: Strong School Coalition's Public Comment July 17, 2012 regarding the survey
READ: Email sent to parents regarding the Parent Survey in April 2012

WATCH: Part 1 - Video of July 17th Board Meeting (Speakers Brian White, Trisha McCombs, Lillian Armijo and Beth Kerr. Duration: 8:13)
WATCH: Part 2 - Video of July 17th Board Meeting (Speakers Laura Mutton, Deborah St. Martin and Katherine Vitale. Duration: 9:19)
WATCH: Part 3 - Video of July 17th Board Meeting (Speakers Cindy Barnard and Gary Colley Duration: 8:44)
WATCH: Part 4 - Video of July 17th Board Meeting Speakers Pam Mazanec, student named David Duration: 4:51)

Action Items -- What YOU can do:

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate...Share this information with at least 5 of your neighbors and friends. Encourage them to sign up for updates to stay informed. Send parents and community members to the Strong Schools Coalition website to sign up.
    Remember: Membership information is held confidential and won’t be released.
  • Our next communication will focus on actions that can be taken to help address what we can do to positively impact our public schools in Douglas County.
    We welcome your ideas for additional actions to take. Please address your ideas to us here. Thank you for getting involved!

Download: Talking Points Sheet (Google Docs)