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SCS seeks to improve communication with parents through survey

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- As Shelby County Schools prepares to close out this school year, it is asking parents to share feedback on how the district can communicate better.

It launched its 2016 SCS Communication Survey online.

When the district needs to let parents know about an incident at a school, contact parents about important information, or share good news, it reaches out in different ways.

The district utilizes tools like school messenger calls, texts, emails, its website, and social media.

"I think they do pretty good. I mean they still have a lot of critiquing to do," said parent Brittany Hill.

"I think they should communicate it better, because you know, most parents change their phone numbers a lot," said recent Raleigh-Egypt High School graduate Raven Roby.

"Of course, at the end of the year, it's a great time for us to get feedback from our parents. Are we sending them the info they want to hear from us? Are we putting it in a way that's easy for them to understand?" said SCS Spokesperson Kristin Tallent.

The survey asks questions about parents' perceptions of leaders, like the superintendent, or if they have suggestions of better ways to communicate.

Several community members tell WREG they often hear about incidents at schools from local media, which is a point the survey asks about, as well.

"When I tell my sister who actually goes, that's her little girl and her boys, sometimes I'm putting her up on news that I hear on the news," said Shawn Springfield. He said he sometimes hears news about his family members' school before his sister does.

The district said that while reporters can get information from investigators, the district has a longer process to work through.

"We want to make sure we have all of the facts before we give that information to our parents, because many times a situation may not be as alarming as it might seem at first," Tallent said.

SCS believes the survey will give a clearer picture of what parents want. It plans to review the survey results over the summer.

While surveying parents is not a new effort, the district said it is always seeking to improve.

SCS does not yet have an estimate for WREG about how many people have taken the survey so far.

You may access the survey here.

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