2013 Parent Survey

The PAC fielded this study from January 9-22, 2013. In total, there were 83 respondents. 49% have children in grades K-3 (Primary), 30% have children in grades 4-7 (Intermediate), and 21% have children in both groups.

Many questions and comments were raised and the PAC Executive sent out a Newsletter Supplement which explained the PAC’s reasoning behind many of the issues.

We have taken the comments from this survey very seriously. It has helped us shape our priorities and it will influence how we spend our money. Indeed, one of the issues that was very clear was the need for a PAC website.  And voila…!

Analysis of PAC Survey 

View the PDF
Prepared by: Emily Walmsley de Gonzalez
Date: January 25, 2013

Survey Analysis and Key Insights

Cautionary note: the base size of the survey is insufficient to analyze with any level of statistical significance. However, information obtained may be used for directional purposes only.

In the analysis of question 2, Top 3 Box scores and Bottom 3 Box scores will be analyzed. The question asks, ‘What do you feel our top priorities should be?’ This will in turn determine how we allocate our funds.

Please rank the following [1st = most important / 10th = least important] Note: items are listed at random.

Results are as follows:


#1 Physical education programs
#2 Technology
#3 Field trips
#4 Music & drama
#5 Library books
#6 Cultural experiences
#7 Playground
#8 Events to foster the school community
#9 Parent education
#10 Walking school bus

By taking the top 3 and bottom 3 box scores, those scores that are ‘neutral’ for each category are not represented. This allows us to view the highest and lowest ratings for each listed priority item, on the basis of what percentage of respondents rated each item as either a 1, 2 or 3 (top 3 box) or an 8, 9 or 10 (bottom 3 box) on the ranking of importance. However, there is a rating average for each of these on the 10-point scale, for comparison purposes.

It is interesting to note that by far, Physical Education is a priority at 60.3%, followed by Technology
(49.5%), Field trips (44.6%), and Music & drama (39.8%). These would be the major areas of focus that
parents in which parents would like to see improvement.

On the low end of the rankings, the Walking school bus received the highest response for low importance, followed by Parent education (66.3%) and Playground (34.9%). These three items are lowest on the list of priorities.

When asked how they received information from the PAC, parents answered this ‘select all that apply’ question, as follows:

Type of Communication

1. PAC newsletter
2. Posters at school
3. Class representative reminder emails
4. Word of mouth
5. Other … ‘Other’ responses centred on attendance at PAC meetings.

Open-End Section and Verbatim Responses:

When asked whether they wanted to provide any additional priorities to add to the list, these are the
verbatim responses that were captured:

  • Introduce various clubs to broaden children’s interests (lunchtime Lego club, chess, book, knitting, beading, etc) with Grade 7 students running to build leadership and organization skills.
  • Project work with iPads, such as a movie club (children write own script, story board, use iPads for stop motion video, etc).
  • Exploring the idea of an earlier opening time (eg. 8:30 am) – caters to working parents.
  • Social media awareness, understanding media and advertising.
  • Add a mural on the south wall to showcase local talent.
  • Participate in the streamkeepers salmon painting program and attach to unsightly chain link fencing.
  • Provide school bus for field trips and school events instead of parents drivers.
  • Look into upgrading the hot lunch program with alternatives.
  • Communication should be a top priority.
  • Bring the school together with parent socials and/or parent student events.
  • Perhaps some events could be planned for Pro D Days. For example, some social events that focus around the children such as all getting together for Skating Day, Swimming Day, or perhaps just a good hike in the woods for Scavenger Hunt Day.
  • Introduce a musical or talent show every year or every second year; fund a drama program.
  • Bring Saleema Noon in to speak with the children; parents could help to cover costs.
  • The addition of science and/or art rooms.
  • Enlarge the swing area, lower the swings, and expand the playground; install hockey nets in the flat area behind the school gym; implement an area for scooters; install adult fitness equipment on the playground (stepping machine, rowing machine).
  • Install an abstract art sculpture that the children can paint over with water-based paints.
  • More 4-Square areas painted and having a separate area for this for primary and intermediate.
  • Install ‘urban garden beds’ below the east side of the school by the entrance; put in some raised garden beds .
  • Supporting staff purchases of classroom supplies and enhancement materials, ie. Teachers make out of pocket purchases to support learning. Extremely important … but need to be careful the PAC does not trigger tax consequences for the teacher.

A question on “What would it take to get you involved in the PAC?” was asked. Here is a list of the main themes:

  • Babysitting option is helpful.
  • Hold the meetings earlier in the evening; shorter meetings would be an incentive.
  • Changing the day of PAC meetings (children’s out-of-school activities impact).
  • Having time freed up from other volunteering and/or responsibilities.
  • Having the PAC be “More open, less cliquey”.
  • Encourage, especially new parents, to get involved using baby steps. This can be effective with parents who are looking to move on too.
  • More opportunities to sign-up for one off tasks (working parents) with follow-up.
  • Ability to contribute from home (eg. over the internet – Skype could be an option).
  • Knowing about an event far in advance to allow people to change schedules to volunteer.
  • If there are specific job duties that need action to be taken, it would be helpful to send an ‘all-parent’ email asking for volunteers. People who are specialists in their field but may not have time during the day could help out in the evenings or on weekends.
  • Pair up new PAC members with one of the intermediate PAC members to get more primary parents involved.
  • More information on what the expectations on being involved on the PAC entail.
  • More effective outreach/communication from the PAC.
  • A PAC website would be great, with updates, minutes or podcasts of meetings.
  • Raise awareness of what the PAC does and how often they need new people to join, what the volunteer roles are, etc. Hold an information session on the PAC and what it’s all about.
  • Make it more visible when the PAC pays for something. A section in the newsletter: “What has the PAC sponsored this month?” Get info for this by asking teachers to provide a short 2 line email of what they have done with their class dollars.
  • PAC must graciously recognize, accept and appreciate every contribution of time, energy, resources made, no matter how small and trivial.

For the question, “Do you have any other comments/feedback for the PAC?”, verbatim responses were focused on thanking the PAC for their contributions!

Other items are listed as follows:

  • PAC needs a marketing campaign to garner interest, support and heighten its profile. People know there is a PAC, but don’t really see how their lack of involvement is handicapping the PAC and therefore, their children.
  • You Mum’s do a brilliant job. Maybe there’s a way to create enthusiasm for some Fathers to get involved.
  • We need better communications and access to parents. The attachment emails that have to go out through the school notification system are NOT working.
  • I see us raise money and not spending it. More money needs to be spent yearly, not left in the bank account.
  • PAC should always be loyal first to its name ‘advisory council’; offering advice to the school. Notice that fundraising is not in this title. It is concerning when fundraising for school resources is carried out by the PAC when previously provided by the District (gymnastics, technology). By using outside funds to prop up our school, are we creating an addiction cycle? ie. can it ever not be there without great pain and suffering (or inequality)?
  • A PAC website that can be used to easily access information would be very helpful.
  • Tap into the strengths of each and every individual and make people feel like they are contributing to the community, no matter how small their contributions appear to be.
  • Too many requests for money at once. Pre-Christmas seemed to be every day, which is difficult with Christmas expenses. Generally, too many Scholastic book requests!
  • PAC needs to have better self-promotion of what they are doing, how monies are being used, where PAC fundraising is with target fundraising, and how our PAC compares to that at other schools (some friendly competition).

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