Chapter 5

Parent engagement is measurable and should be a driver in your school-communication goals. Parent engagement strategies that take advantage of advancing school-home communication technologies are on the right track to optimizing engagement.


Evaluation is the ongoing part of your communications planning that enables you to keep your planning and execution responsive and agile. Fortunately, many of today’s modern channels allow you to learn in pretty short order what’s working, and what’s not


In this chapter, you'll learn about some of the popular measurement tools you can use to gauge just how effective your communications are. 

5 ways to measure your school communications


Just like the truck signs that ask, “How Am I Driving?” surveys are a wealth of performance data you can use to measure your communications. Parent and staff surveys especially are great ways to start and maintain dialogue on any number of communications issues. Your website and social media channels provide built-in opportunities to survey any and all of your audiences. Many CMS providers make it easy to create a form or survey that can help spark or confirm communications initiatives. Here are some good tips to follow for building an effective parent survey.

Google Analytics

Because your district and school websites are the hub of information for your school community, knowing how people use them helps you plan, design and build successful websites. One of the best ways to get good data on how people are accessing your website is to use Google Analytics. It’s free to schools and is relatively easy to set up on your website. If you’re not already using it, put it in gear and start collecting valuable data, like:

  • What are your popular pages?
  • What are visitors searching for when they come to your site?
  • How users really interact with your pages.

To make analysis easier, Google Analytics includes a variety of charts to display information just as you want to see it. Google analytics is the best way to assess your website.

Email tracking

Still among the most popular and effective ways schools reach parents and other key stakeholders, email is a flexible channel where one-to-one personalization and details can be readily exchanged.  While you have a built-in, captive audience with your school community (unlike some email ‘marketers’), measuring your email activity can improve your effectiveness:

  • Track how many people open your emails.
  • Monitor bounce trends.
  • See what they clicked, and help you increase engagement.


Metrics included with many third-party email services like Google Workspace for Education and ConstantContact or make it easy to manage any email campaign your school conducts.

Text/voice metrics

Notifications are necessarily time-sensitive and often critical, so when you huge volumes of messages through voice and text channels, you need assurances that they’re getting through. Most school notification systems provide real-time reporting from a dashboard that enables you set up reports by broadcast types.



Parent communication preferences are always shifting, but there has been a trend in recent years away from voice messages. While still an important channel to continue to feed, voice has been surpassed by text notifications as the preferred method for receiving urgent alerts and updates.


Social media metrics

Part of the beauty of popular social media channels is the ability to almost immediately measure interaction and sharing. Facebook and Instagram are still hauling the weight when it comes to engaging school communities via social media, which is why school social media expert Andrea Gribble recommends you focus on these social networks.

Besides building your following, there are other key metrics–impressions and number of shares, for example–that you should be tracking. The popular networks come with basic analytics that measure more categories than any school communicator could use. There are also several third-party tools such as Hootsuite and SproutSocial that help you both analyze and manage your social media content.

Pro tip: Measure. Adjust. Measure...

Measuring how effective your school communications are is not a one-time proposition. It's a process–lather, rinse, repeat thing. Remember, parent engagement is the end game, but it can also be fleeting, so monitoring your digital communications efforts should be ongoing. If you're just beginning this journey, start with some benchmarking so you know where you stand and where you're heading. With minimal time and resources invested, you'll find that consistent measurement and evaluation allow for flexibility in everything from methods to messaging.