Ocean Springs School District is Using Feedback to Improve Student and Parent Engagement

High levels of engagement positively impact student achievement. High-performing leaders recognize the value of validating feedback with action. Stakeholder engagement surveys provide support to leaders, helping them use results to focus their team members on goals and drive action steps. At Ocean Springs School District, they’re no stranger to using parent survey feedback to drive action steps for their district.

Annually, OSSD sends out a parent engagement and satisfaction survey. In this survey, parents can express their thoughts and feelings on their child’s school, teachers, and district. Then, OSSD school and district leaders can evaluate and select goals and actions based on survey results.

This year, Ocean Springs is focusing on providing more positive feedback to both parents and students. “Last year, parents who completed our annual parent engagement survey reminded us that they want to receive positive phone calls, emails, or notes about their child from our schools,” said Superintendent Bonita Coleman. “This has become a goal for each of our schools this year and our teachers are using their creativity to be even more intentional with recognizing kindness, positivity, and all characteristics that are becoming a Greyhound!”

From positive notes to special surprises at home, the teachers in Ocean Springs are committing to the district’s goal of sharing positive feedback and celebrating outstanding students.

Chelsea Lennep, a third-grade teacher in Ocean Springs School District, came up with a unique way to reward and recognize her students each week.


“Every week a student who’s been working hard and living up to those Greyhound standards is chosen. I’ll go out and put that sign in their yard at night so the next morning they wake up, and it’s a happy surprise in their yard to recognize them for all of their hard work, and those in their community can see everything that they’re doing and that we’re proud of them,” Lennep said.

“Mrs. Lennep, for some reason, knows my location. So, she came over to my house. She plopped this sign in my yard, and, well, it says ‘Mrs. Lennep is so proud of me’,” said third-grade student Shelby Scara.

Mrs. Lennep’s story made the local news in Ocean Springs. View the news story here >>>

ossd-student-positive-noteParents are ecstatic with the district’s commitment to this goal and utilizing the parent engagement survey to improve. On a recent social media post highlighting the district’s goal with a photo of a student who received a Positive Note Home, one parent commented, “Thank you so much for this goal! I’ve gotten more positive emails from my son’s middle school inclusion teacher than I have in a long time! I appreciate this SO much!! It provides much-needed relief and hope that some parents never feel!!”

The parent of the student in the photo also commented, “Thank you for sending these notes home. They mean more to me than any good grade he’s earned.”

Superintendent Bonita Coleman says that it isn’t just the students and parents who are benefitting from the reward and recognition. “I was recently at a teacher leadership meeting, and teachers said they even feel better when they pen notes home and find ways to put a drop in a child’s bucket.”

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