By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The statewide deadline has been extended to April 12 for parents and guardians to fill out an online survey on how they feel about their child's school.
An Illinois school district must hear from at least 30 percent of parents or guardians in the district to receive a state report summarizing the parental feedback. The Quincy School District's response rate thus far has been about 14 percent, so parents are being urged to complete the survey.
"It's important for parents and guardians to have their voices and opinions heard," Trish Sullivan-Viniard, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said.
"We're just really encouraging all parents and guardians to please take the survey. It is important for us to know what we're doing well that we should continue doing, what we're doing fairly well that we could improve, and what are those things that we really need to strengthen."
The Illinois 5 Essentials survey is being conducted statewide to assess the instructional climate in about 4,000 schools.
All certified K-12 teachers and all students in grades 6 through 12 in Illinois are being surveyed through an online process at school.
The parent part of the survey is voluntary this year, but Quincy school officials hope parents will take part by filling out the survey from their home computers.
The survey is for any parent with a child in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. All they need to do is go to illinois.5-essentials.org/2012/ and answer the multiple-choice questions developed by the University of Chicago, which was hired to build the survey by the Illinois State Board of Education.
"It's not coming from us," Sullivan-Viniard said, stressing that the district will never see survey responses from any parent, student or teacher.
"It is completely anonymous," she said. "The only thing we will get as a district are the aggregated summaries from each of the three stakeholder groups -- the teacher summary, the student summary and the parent/guardian summary."
But the parent/guardian summary won't be issued unless 30 percent of the district's parents and guardians step up.
Sullivan-Viniard said parents who don't have a home computer can use computers available at the Board of Education office, the Quincy Public Library or any public school.
"The survey is so short and easy to take," she said, recalling how she recently spoke with two people who filled out the survey. "One said it took two minutes, the other said it took three minutes."
Parents of children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade can fill out the Illinois 5 Essentials survey at illinois.5-essentials.org/2012/
Parents also can access the survey by going the Quincy School District's website -- www.qps.org -- and looking for the appropriate link in the "Quick Links" column.