Unhappy families can derail a school’s best laid plans. And after the challenging past few years of pandemic-related disruptions to school routines, some parents and caregivers may be feeling disconnected or dissatisfied with their child’s school. In the September issue of Educational Leadership magazine, Bryan Goodwin and Tonia Gibson from McREL share three priorities schools can focus on to restore parent confidence and satisfaction.
The number one universal priority for families is safe schools, they write. Focusing on consistent use of schoolwide policies for disruptive behavior, bullying, and other safety concerns can help assure parents that their children attend safe schools.
Second to safety, families’ perception of teaching quality drives how they rate their schools. Focusing on use of good instructional practices by every teacher, in every classroom, every day takes time and effort but is worth the investment, Bryan and Tonia write.
The third driver of school satisfaction is providing students with meaningful educational choices that promote student engagement and success. Giving students options for extracurricular activities and opportunities to pursue individual learning interests can help, they write.
Bryan and Tonia suggest you think of these drivers of satisfaction as a form of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Safety first, followed by teachers who create a sense of belonging for students and families, followed by opportunities to achieve one’s full potential.
Read their full Research Matters column in Educational Leadership for more tips and insights.