November 22, 2013
Charlottetown —– The Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation released highlights of its 2013 parent engagement survey. This survey of parents having 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. From January to March 2013, the Federation undertook the “Parents as Partners in Education Survey”. The survey identified needs, views, and perceptions of the parents and guardians of children attending public school system on PEI. A total of 692 respondents are included in the analysis, representing parents of 1,133 children in Kindergarten to grade 12.
Parent’s engagement with the school revealed that ninety percent (90%) of parents or guardians attended parent-teacher interviews all or almost all of the time. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of parents and guardians participated in their local Home and School Association or Parent Council. As well, ninety percent (90%) of parents attended events and activities at the school with almost half of parents attending events or activities all or almost all of the time. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of parents have volunteered with fundraising activities for the school while 65% have volunteered to help with school events and activities. Only one-fifth of parents volunteer in the classroom.
Busy schedules are large barriers (68%) to parents being involved in their child’s school. Other barriers to involvement are childcare needs (15%) and having little information about involvement opportunities (12%). Transportation challenges, influence from child not wanting parents to contact schools and worry that their child will be treated differently by school employees are least significant barriers to becoming involved in the school.
Up to thirty-eight (38%) of children have been bullied or harassed at least once or twice in the school year while up to 13% of children are bullied or harassed at least once a month. The most common forms of bullying or harassment are verbal and social. Parents report that their child has not bullied or harassed others (68%).
School board representation was addressed in the survey and out of 84% of parents and guardians who responded 52% indicated that trustees should be elected, 5% indicated that trustees should be appointed and 26% indicated that a combination of appointed and elected would be fine.
Parents reported that the P.E.I. Home and School Federation should be influencing or raising the profile of bullying in schools (90%). Teacher and principal performance assessment (71%), structure of the school year calendar (68%), rezoning schools (67%), time available for eating school lunch (65%), and the Students Achieve system (61%) are issues in which parents believe the Federation should be influencing. About half of the parents think that the structure of the school day and report cards are issues where the Federation should influence.
Over three-fifths of children have teaching styles that match their learning style quite well or extremely well. For 3% of children, the teaching style did not match their learning style at all.
Parents reported that for 56% of the children, the child was being quite well or extremely well prepared for continuing into their following year. Only 4% of children are reported to have not been prepared for the following year.
Of the 87% of parents who responded almost three-quarters would not leave P.E.I. to find better education for their children. Fourteen percent (14%) would consider leaving to seek better education.
"Parents have a major role to play in the education system. This survey tells us parents are involved in the school community and support their children's education in a variety of meaningful ways.” says Pam Montgomery, President Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation.
The report provides valuable information and input from parents on our education system," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Alan McIsaac. "We appreciate their feedback and with the survey results, we can monitor our progress which help inform policy direction. We are committed to working with the PEI Home and School Federation to improve parent engagement and student achievement."
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 at www.peihsf.ca
For more information, contact:
Pam Montgomery, President
P.E.I. Home and School Federation
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