Classroom Insights / Dec 08, 2020

State of Parent-Teacher Engagement 2020-2021

State Of Parent Engagement Blog Promo And Cover

As the pandemic forced schools across the country to shift to remote and hybrid learning, parents were left to take on a greater role in their children’s academic lives. At ClassTag, we have been consistently surveying parents since the beginning of the COVID crisis to get a pulse on how they are fairing with their newfound and increased responsibilities, especially related to parent-teacher engagement. 

Our latest survey of over 1,000 parents of children in grades K-12 revealed some shockingly positive effects resulting from the switch to remote/hybrid learning. In fact, this survey has overwhelmingly highlighted how effective communication can actually translate into tangible benefits for parents.

Communication vs. Parent Engagement

Traditionally, schools have relied on very static, one-way communication using the school’s website, emergency notifications, or even social media to relay parents’ important messages. What has been missing is a unified community engagement strategy that allows parents to communicate back-and-forth with teachers and administrators—this more meaningful way of interacting results in stronger relationships and more cohesive community building at all levels. Moreover, our survey found that the number one problem with school/parent communication reported by parents is that there are too many channels to keep up with, including email, phone calls, text messages, and school websites. 

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This barrage of information can often result in parents feeling overwhelmed and unable to tackle all the information shared with them. As a result, they find it difficult to be involved in their children’s schooling. Therefore, making the switch from simply communicating with parents to actually engaging with them is of the utmost importance. 

Our survey confirms this point, as almost 60% of parents said that they see parent-teacher engagement as absolutely crucial and that they would even consider changing their child’s school enrollment, either to another school or homeschooling, if communications did not improve. 

Regular engagement, we found, means daily communication (41%) between parents and teachers, with 46% of parents expecting teachers and school staff to respond to questions within 24 hours. Surprisingly, another 46% of parents said that teachers and school staff should respond to questions within a few hours, underscoring how important it is to have timely, reciprocal communication v.s. being sent information. 

Positive Effects of the Pandemic on Parent-Teacher Engagement

Remarkably, our survey also found that 75% of families are more engaged with their child’s learning now than they were before COVID-19. From a student success perspective, this is wonderful news. Numerous studies have shown that the more engaged parents are in their children’s academic environment, the more likely students are to excel. 

Parent Survey #1 01 (1)

Children with engaged parents are more likely to:

  • Earn higher grades or test scores
  • Graduate from high school and attend post-secondary education
  • Develop self-confidence and motivation in the classroom 
  • Have better social skills and classroom behavior

They are also less likely to:


Additionally, we found that 58% of parents feel more connected to their children now vs. pre-COVID. Just think about that for a second; the pandemic has caused families to feel more connected and engaged with their children than they ever have before, all because they are taking a more active role in their academics through consistent, meaningful interactions with their children’s teachers and schools. 

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In fact, 56% of parents believe parent/school communication is better now than pre-COVID, mainly because the shift to remote and hybrid learning called for an increased need to coordinate and communicate with parents properly. 

The ClassTag Effect on Parent-teacher Engagement

As we surveyed parents, we wanted to understand how communication has changed overall between them and their children’s teachers. Our survey also took a deeper look at how the use of ClassTag in parents’ communication tool kits has made a significant difference in their engagement with teachers and school leaders. 

The results were astonishingly positive: 

  • 65% of parents responded that their quality of communication improved once their school/teachers used ClassTag as the primary means of communication.
  • 61% of parents responded that they have more personal relationships with their children’s teachers using ClassTag

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Because ClassTag serves as the central hub for all district, school, and teacher communications, communication quality is drastically improved as parents no longer need to hunt for individual conversations across different channels. Providing one platform that supports everyday communication needs between parents and teachers increases the level of engagement. 

The Opportunity Moving Forward

Now that parents have experienced the positive impact of effective and meaningful communications, it is clear that they are going to require it moving forward. Schools and districts should take the lead to implement cohesive parent engagement strategies that serve to strengthen these interactions now and after the pandemic ends.

Our greatest hope is that these challenging times will ultimately act as a positive catalyst for enacting lasting change in the way leaders in education support and expand parent engagement. 

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