Your Voice Matters Survey
Parents, Staff, Students:
The Your Voice Matters survey provides insight from Arlington Public Schools (APS) families, students in grades 4-12, staff and teachers.
APS and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) partner on the survey to compile a snapshot of our students, school climate and engagement, and deepen our understanding of children, youth and family well-being in Arlington. The results are used to inform work across both the school division and the County. The data also helps APS measure progress on the 2018-24 Strategic Plan.
2018 Survey Results
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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 Primary Email of the parent or guardian listed first on enrollment documents. 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 guardian listed first. In some cases, different parent/guardians were set as primary for different children. In those cases one parent will receive the survey for one elementary school and the other parent/guardian for one middle school, for example. If there are any questions or clarification needed please email email@example.com. One parent/guardian may also forward the survey link to another, that will not invalidate the link.
FAMILY: How do I access the survey if I don’t have email? Families without an email in ParentVue had a paper copy of the survey mailed to their home address. If you did not receive the link you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. All families can reach the survey at: https://surveys.panoramaed.com/arlingtonva. To log-in you will require an access code. Your family’s access code can be provided to you by contacting Panorama at email@example.com or (617) 356- 8123 Ext. 3.
FAMILY: I have three children all in separate schools, so I took three separate surveys. Why do I have to answer the same household questions? The results are reported out for each school site. Most questions are intended to measure the family experience within each school community. Therefore, the emphasis is less upon the features of each family as individuals, but as members of each unique school community.
How do I submit feedback about the content of the survey? Please email content suggestions or areas of needed clarification to firstname.lastname@example.org. When the 2022 survey is planned, APS will consider all feedback. If a question is confusing or not relevant, you may skip it. Analysis of skipped responses will provide another way to evaluate relevance or clarity of a question.
Is participation voluntary? Yes, participation is voluntary but so important!
Can I skip a question? Yes, you can skip a question. This is the best solution for any question(s) that may not be relevant or that you feel you cannot answer accurately.
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.
What are the participation goals for the 2020 Your Voice Matters survey? For the family survey we hope to have 30% participation. For staff we aim for 75% and for students 90%. Past responses rates and results are summarized in the 2018 Insights Report to give some context for past survey participation rates.
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.
Can Panorama provide data from national surveys to compare with APS? No. Questions asked on the Your Voice Matters survey have been designed to measure local initiatives, programs, and priorities. The survey instrument and questions have been customized to a degree that national comparisons would not be possible.
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.
Can I start the survey, exit, and come back to it later with the responses saved? No, your responses will not be saved until you submit it. You need to complete the survey in one session. For staff and families the survey takes about 15-30 minutes.
If you have additional questions or concerns you can contact Panorama Education at email@example.com or Rebecca Hjelm at firstname.lastname@example.org.