What Our Parents Say About Us

Every Fall, we conduct a parent survey as one way to get feedback for what we’re doing right and ways we can improve. Here are some quotes from parents, a sampling of the scores (on a 1 to 7 scale, 7 being best), and what we did this year because of this feedback:

“I know my child is safe and I don’t worry about her during the day. I know she is learning a great deal and I appreciate how open Natanya has been for feedback about what does and does not work.”

“Little Elephant is clearly doing an excellent job in promoting self-sufficiency and socialization as well as “academic” skills. Since I have very little time in the classroom, I relish any and all opportunities to talk with staff about my child, what they’re doing in the classroom, what they could be doing. I appreciate the staff’s efforts to make themselves available through conferences, education night, hanging around to chat. I also think Little Elephant has done a good job of fostering relationships between the families, which I value and enjoy.”

“The teachers are very warm and loving to the children.”

“The parent community enabled by LE is greatly appreciated.”

“It is an outstanding program.”

“It’s the best. Thank, thank you, and thank you!”

Survey Results

Overwhelmingly, parents believe that the children are both safe and happy in the program. We were also very pleased that the next highest scores, all above 6, were for: interaction between staff and children, how the program promotes your child’s learning and development, equipment and materials, environment, nutrition, and hours and location. Although nothing scored below a 5.42 on a scale of 1 to 7, parents did identify several areas that could be improved. Some areas were already on our to-do list, and some were new to us. Here is a quick list of things we have done or are doing to improve our school in ways that parents have requested:

  • You may have noticed Scott has just finished installing new sod and drainage, which will greatly improve the mud situation outside. We have also started a couple of gardening projects with the children.
  • Several parents requested more art, music and cooking projects. This was already in the works, since in summer we focus more on outside time, and the winter and spring offer more inside time. Some recent activities that promoted art, music and cooking include: our harvest festival, Halloween party, and our upcoming Winter musical performance and festival. We have also started cooking bread and other items for snack. A large portion of the garage sale proceeds went to purchase our new Montessori music bells, a fantastic way for children to learn about music.
  • A few parents requested a weekly listing of daily activities. While this is not a practice we are used to in Montessori, we agree it is an important way for us to communicate to parents what their child did that day. Part of the problem is that much of our curriculum is individually based. The child chooses what they would like to work on (or play with, depending on your preference of word choice), and when appropriate, a teacher will provide one-on-one lessons and support the child with that work. However, we do have several group activities that occur throughout the day, including circle time. Therefore, we will be installing a dry erase board above the cubbies. Each day a teacher will write one or two projects or themes that all of the children or a group of children worked on.
  • One parent was wondering where the garage sale and t-shirt money was being spent. Good question! Natanya really enjoyed her prenatal massageā€¦ (just kidding). The parent committee has been very involved in discussing what to do with this money. About half of the proceeds went to purchase the Montessori bells. The rest of the money will go towards having one special event each month. These special events will include a visit from the reptile man, Mad Science and other specialists.
  • Several parents wanted clarification of the role of the Parent Committee and Parent Education Nights. We made some recent adjustments to both and hopefully this will result in greater clarity. The Parent Committee is for all parents who have a child enrolled in Little Elephant. The Executive Committee is for parents who have volunteered to take on a role with the committee (such as committee chair, curriculum chair, facilities chair, etc.) It meets monthly and the agenda is set each month. Parent Education Nights will be held at least once a quarter and will discuss topics of interest such as: Montessori curriculum; discipline techniques; and upcoming events and activities. The Parent Committee agenda does cover issues that are of interest to all parents such as, emergency preparedness, and hiring of new staff, so please be sure to read the minutes and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

These are just a few of the things we are doing to improve our school. Some other areas that we will focus on are: parent/teacher communication, emergency preparedness, and teacher training.