Parent Engagement Survey Results

Home and School Federation launches survey results —– The PEI Home and School Federation released highlights of its PARENT  ENGAGEMENT  SURVEY at their Annual Meeting/Convention held on Saturday, April 18 at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel.

This survey of parents of school-aged children in PEI, carried out by consultant Vicki Bryanton and funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Education, explored issues related to parent engagement in their children’s education. A total of 704 surveys were submitted from October to December 2008, representing parents of 1,234 school-aged children. The survey asked questions about communications, parent-teacher interviews, volunteering, special needs, instructional time and homework.

Almost two-thirds of parents indicated that they felt supported a great deal by their school as a partner in their child’s education, and a further 30% felt somewhat supported. Comments indicated that communication between parents and teachers, or parents and administrators, played a large role in whether or not parents felt supported.

Ninety-nine percent of parents reported that they had attended parent-teachers interviews and over 90% reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the meetings. Eighty-nine percent of parents attended events or activities at the school. Sixty percent had been involved in fund raising and 53% had volunteered for some event or activity for the school. Only 31% reported having been involved in their Home and School or School Council.

One-fifth of parents indicated that they had a child with special needs. Of those parents, 25% were very satisfied with the school’s response to their child’s special needs and a further 34% were satisfied. Twenty-three percent were somewhat dissatisfied and 19% were very dissatisfied.

Among parents of elementary students, 44% were very comfortable helping their child with homework and a further 40% were mostly comfortable. Among parents of intermediate and high school students, a smaller share, 30%, were very comfortable, but 50% reported feeling mostly comfortable.

Almost three-quarters of parents felt that their child was receiving enough instructional time at school, and a similar number felt their child was challenged enough. However a significant minority, almost one-fifth of parents, felt that their children were not receiving enough instructional time and 22% felt their children were not challenged enough.

Among parents with preschoolers, 53%, were in favor of full-day kindergarten, while 40% preferred half-day and 7% were unsure.

"As parents, we want our children to receive the best possible education. This survey tells us more about how parents are involved in the school community and how they support their children's education in meaningful ways," says Bill Whelan, President Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Gerard Greenan commends the Home and School Federation for gathering parent input to inform their work. "Parents have a major role to play in our education system. The comprehensive input they provided through the survey will be helpful to all of us as we work together to help students succeed," he said.

The results will be used by the federation to develop new initiatives in support of improved parent involvement in education. The compete survey results can be found on the federation’s website.