Parent Survey FAQ

About the Survey
What does the Challenge Success Parent Survey measure?
How was the Parent Survey developed?
Why should our school administer the Parent Survey?

Administering the Survey
How do we administer the Parent Survey?
When is the best time of year to administer the survey?
How long should we keep the survey open?
What is a good participation rate for the survey?
How long is the survey?
Do parents have to complete the survey in one sitting?
Can parents complete the survey for multiple children?
Can parents of both middle and high school students take the survey?

Survey Results
Are survey results confidential?
When and how will we receive our survey results?


What does the Challenge Success Parent Survey measure?
The survey measures parents’ perceptions of their children’s experiences in areas such as academic stress, homework, sleep, technology use, and family rules and norms. See sample questions in these categories here.

How was the Parent Survey developed?
The Challenge Success Parent Survey was developed in 2018 by Stanford researchers. It was carefully designed to align with the Challenge Success Student Survey that has been used by schools since 2007. Questions for parents primarily focus on issues about which they can be reliable observers and over which they have the control to change.

Why should our school administer the Parent Survey?
Survey findings can help schools make data-driven policy and practice decisions that improve student well-being and engagement with learning.  For instance, some schools have used survey results to revise homework policies, change bell schedules, provide student and parent workshops on sleep and physical health, and revise their honor codes. Schools know that parents have concerns, need their voices heard, and want to be a part of the solution for their students. Parent Survey results can be especially powerful when combined with data collected from the Student Survey and can help drive parent education and outreach efforts.  

How do we administer the Parent Survey?
Challenge Success will provide you with an online survey link that you can send to parents.  We recommend pushing the link out to your parent community in multiple ways for the greatest response rate, including in a stand-alone email, your school newsletter, and posting it on your website. Parents can take the survey on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

When is the best time of year to administer the survey?
We recommend administering the survey during a time that is typical for students and families at your school. Parents should not be asked to take the survey right before or after student exams, breaks, summer vacation, or during the first or last few weeks of school.  For schools joining our School Program in the fall, we recommend administering the survey during the prior winter or spring. If you are also administering the Challenge Success Student Survey, we recommend doing both surveys at a similar time in the school year.

How long should we keep the survey open?
We recommend that schools keep the survey open for a 1-3 week time period.  The Challenge Success research team can tell you how many parents have taken the survey at any given point and work with you to decide how long to keep the survey open.

What is a good participation rate for the survey?
We aim for a response rate of at least 50% and, ideally, a 70% or higher response rate so that the results adequately represent your parent community.

How long is the survey?
The Parent Survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and has about 65 questions.

Do parents have to complete the survey in one sitting?
Yes, just as with the Challenge Success Student Survey, parents have to take the survey in one sitting.  The survey will not allow participants to resume where they left off at a later date.  

Can parents complete the survey for multiple children?
We ask parents to focus on one child when they take the survey.  If they wish, however, parents are encouraged to take the survey multiple times for each child they have enrolled at your school.  

Can parents of both middle and high school students take the survey?
Yes, the survey is available in both a middle school and high school version.  Some of the questions in each survey are different. For example, the middle school version does not have as many questions about the college process. They are priced as separate surveys.

Are survey results confidential?
Survey results are kept strictly confidential. Participants are not asked to provide any identifying information other than their children’s grade level and age, and can opt out of answering any questions.

When and how will we receive our survey results?  
It takes the our research team approximately 4-6 weeks to process your survey data and prepare an online dashboard of the results. Explore this example of the dashboard. Once complete, we will set up an hour-long video call with representatives from your school to debrief the results. During this call, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions about the data, consider ways to build upon your school’s strengths, and discuss areas of need or concern.