- What is the Your Voice Matters Survey?
- Why do we conduct the Your Voice Matters Survey?
- Are the results confidential?
- If my response can’t be identified, how can you send me an email that says I haven’t responded yet?
- I am part of a small demographic group at my school, will anyone be able to identify my responses?
- Given these protections, will my voice still be heard?
- Is participation voluntary?
- Will the survey be administered in a language other than English?
- How is the survey administered?
- Why don’t you just use an open link for easier access to the survey?
- How will results be used?
- Where can I find trend results?
- Why are there no open-ended questions?
- Why do you ask me demographic questions?
- FAMILY: Why did the email invitation go to my child’s other parent and not me?
What is the Your Voice Matters Survey? This student, family, and staff survey is a collaboration between Arlington Public Schools (APS) and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families (APCYF) to provide the Arlington community with a snapshot of school climate, staff engagement, and student and family well-being. This feedback is vital in helping Arlington strengthen programs for students and families. The survey focus areas include:
- health and well-being
Why do we conduct the Your Voice Matters Survey? This collaborative effort has been undertaken to streamline previous survey efforts: the site-based survey, community satisfaction survey and Developmental Assets survey. APS and APCYF found that there were many thematic overlaps between the previous surveys and decided to develop a new survey that will reduce the burden on survey takers, maximize the impact of results, and keep on top of issues that matter to the Arlington community in a more timely manner.
If my response can’t be identified, how can you send me an email that says I haven’t responded yet? Panorama’s platform is able to know if you have an outstanding survey (so that we can send you a reminder message about the survey), no one at your school or district will be able to know whether you have or have not completed the survey or trace your responses back to you. In other words, their platform can automatically relay information about response rates without disclosing any information about the responses themselves. To further protect confidentiality, APS does not receive a list of those who have not yet taken the survey.
I am part of a small demographic group at my school, will anyone be able to identify my responses? All stakeholder voices are important to APS, and Panorama works to ensure all staff can participate in the survey with confidence that their voices are heard and their confidentiality is maintained. In order to protect confidentiality, the results in the Panorama platform will not be broken down by demographic groups that contain fewer than 10 respondents. For example, a school that has fewer than 10 male respondents will not show a score specifically for male respondents.
Given these protections, will my voice still be heard? All responses are captured in the overall results, even if they are not captured in broken down demographic scores. If your results are part of a demographic group with fewer than 10 responses, your results will still be included in any summary school or office’s overall scores and the district’s scores. Additionally, if your school has fewer than 10 respondents in a particular demographic group, your responses will still count toward the overall district’s breakdown of that demographic group, as long as there were at least 10 respondents across the district.
Will the survey be administered in a language other than English? Yes. In 2020 the student and staff survey will be available in English and Spanish. The family survey will be available in English, Spanish, Amharic, Arabic, and Mongolian.
How is the survey administered? The student survey is administered in a classroom setting and completed online. Parents either receive an email invitation or if an email was not on file, they receive a paper copy through the mail. APS staff receive an email to complete the survey online and some staff, without ready access to a computer as part of their job, are given a paper survey.
Why don’t you just use an open link for easier access to the survey? All stakeholders must have the opportunity to provide feedback. Experience has demonstrated that an open link allows some groups to be over-represented in results. If there is no way to limit responses to just once per stakeholder results can be skewed. By having a link that is limited to one response for stakeholder we can ensure that all groups can be heard. In addition, APS will be undertaking initiatives to allow groups who are often underrepresented in surveys to have access to technology and time so that their voices can be heard as well.
How will results be used? APS will review a summary of each school’s results with the principal at the end of the school year to inform planning for next year. APS and APCYF will work together with additional stakeholders to identify trends and areas for further action. In order to promote greater transparency results are available on a public dashboard. Also, this link can found on the APS and APCYF websites.
Where can I find trend results? The spring 2018 survey was the first administration of the new survey instruments. Between spring and fall 2019, efforts were undertaken to refine the survey instruments. Given how many edits were made to questions, trends are not yet available. It is hoped that the work undertaken to refine the 2020 survey will allow for consistency moving forward and trends will be available after the 2022 administration.
Why are there no open-ended questions? This survey intends to measure overall levels of safety, well-being, engagement, and voice. While we understand many would like to have an anonymous manner to voice concerns specific to their situation, this survey would not be the appropriate means to do so. In 2018, information was received from more than 12,000 respondents and we anticipate that number to grow in 2020. Therefore, it would not be responsible to give the impression that appropriate follow-up could occur. If an urgent matter is disclosed through a survey we would not want to give the impression that other channels of reporting or communicating should then not be pursued. The hope is to identify in aggregate areas that need attention. The Engage with APS page or communication directly with APS leadership would be a better way to discuss a personal situation.
Why do you ask me demographic questions? We want every respondent to feel comfortable taking the survey and realize that disclosing your demographic information can be uncomfortable. However, by doing so, we can ensure that any real or perceived differences experienced by race or other factors can be identified in aggregate. Panorama works to ensure everyone can participate in the survey with confidence that their voices are heard and their confidentiality is maintained. In order to protect confidentiality, the results in the Panorama platform will not be broken down by demographic groups that contain fewer than 10 respondents. For example, a school that has fewer than 10 Asian respondents will not show a score specifically for Asian respondents. However, by disclosing this information, trends or patterns in aggregate can still be identified when looking at the overall district results. No manager, principal, superintendent, or other leadership will see responses by demographic group with fewer than 10 respondents. They have access to the same dashboard that you see and will not see any individual responses by demographic detail.
FAMILY: Why did the email invitation go to my child’s other parent and not me? The survey link for the family survey will be emailed to the guardian listed as Primary Email/Primary Guardian in the ParentVue system. Instructions will inform the family member to complete one survey per school, with the oldest child in mind. Therefore, each family receives one survey per each school a child is enrolled sent only to Primary Guardian.