Schools — Online survey measuring parent engagement and satisfaction is open through April 15

In an effort to assess itself and improve, the Newberg School District is asking parents to participate in a nationwide online survey that measures parent engagement and satisfaction.

The Na­tional Center for School Leadership conducts the survey every year to gauge how parents feel about academics, communication, school climate, outreach and homework at their children’s schools.

Questions usually center around things like how welcome parents feel at school, whether they have access to the information they need, how the school performs in certain areas, how actively they participate and their experience with bullying.

Superintendent Kym LeBlanc-Esparza said the survey is an important gauge for whether the district and individual schools have a good sense for what families believe about schools.

“Are there ways we can be communicating or providing service to the community different than we are? We need to ask the question. We need to know if they’re finding the information we’re sharing helpful,” she said. “If they are, great, and we need to keep doing it. If not, we need to ask ourselves how differently should we be doing it.”

LeBlanc-Esparza said that all the efforts the district has made since she was hired a little more than 18 months ago, including various forums and community engagements, helped the district craft its strategic plan. Specifically, five priorities were identified and one was building successful relationships with families, students and the community.

“In order to do that, you need to know what do families and community believe we’re doing well, how do they think we’re doing communication and is there something that they need from us that we’re not providing?” LeBlanc-Esparza said. “For me, part of building a plan to strengthen and maintain a healthy relationship with our communities, students and families, we have to keep asking these questions.”

The district will receive data about the district as a whole and each school individually, as well as national data and trends to which Newberg can be compared. That can be especially useful when the district implements steps to improve from year to year.

“Schools can tell if they’ve got trending things going on,” she said. “If we’ve got a school that’s doing a phenomenal job connecting with parents in a creative way, it gives us an opportunity to replicate that in other schools.”

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