The Easiest Way to Collect Back to School Information from Parents and Students
I'll never go back to paper forms.
Going digital with back to school forms for parents (and students) has been one of the best changes I’ve made at the beginning of the year. It’s incredibly efficient as not only is all the data organized for me as it comes in, but it also eliminates having the papers go home with students in hopes they return completed.
My 6 Go-To Forms for Back to School:
1. Parent/Guardian Contact Information
This is the first form I started with going digital and one of the best. While parents are waiting for Back to School Night to start, I give them the link to this Google Form (Google accounts are NOT required) and have them fill out with their contact information. I gather their names, emails, and phone numbers. I also have them tell me how their child gets home and if there’s another adult’s contact they want me to have. The forms are all 100% editable, so you can change them to ask specific questions to your families and you can change the form from year to year.
After parents submit the form, the date is automatically put into a spreadsheet for me. All I have to do is open the spreadsheet from school or from home to get the contact information I need.
2. Parent/Guardian Questionnaire
This form differs from the parent contact information form as it goes a little deeper to gain more understanding about family dynamics and the students in your class.
I like to ask parents how their child feels about school, their child’s strengths, what they’re interested in, what languages are spoken at home, and if there are any family dynamics I should know about.
3. Volunteer Questionnaire
I like sending this form via email instead of having parents sign up on the spot in the classroom. There are a few reasons for this:
- If a parent isn’t able to attend Back to School Night, I don’t think it’s fair that they miss out on volunteer opportunities, especially if their schedule is limited.
- I like to get to know the parents a bit before committing them to a particular slot for the entire.
- Before you create your volunteering schedule, it’s helpful to see what kind of availability your parents have. That way you can make any adjustments to your schedule instead of having to go back and tell parents you need to change their volunteer time.
4. Home Technology Survey
This form allows you to know what kinds of technology your students have at home. It’s helpful to know if you’re able to send digital homework throughout the year or if students are able to finish up in-class digital assignments at their houses.
You can use this information to modify assignments or to round up a laptop from your school district that students can keep at home. (This is likely even easier to do now since students were at-home learning during Covid.)
5. Reading Interest Survey for Students
Sending students a quick link to a Google Form is also quicker than going to make copies of it and then checking in each from after they’ve been completed.
This survey helps me learn if my students enjoy reading already, what kinds of books I want to make sure to have in the classroom, and which students need extra care to help them find books that they enjoy.
The results I collect from this also help me plan units during the year based on what genres they really enjoy or maybe ones they don’t know about yet.
6. All About Me Survey for Students
This All About Me Survey differs from All About Me activities, because it helps me to get to know my students better and learn things that they might not want to share with the entire class.
I like including questions about how they feel about school, if they have any friends in the class already, what their least favorite part and favorite parts of the day are, what’s easy and challenging for them, etc.
This helps me to know how to motivate them and how to build their confidence.
You can change any of the questions on these forms to fit your classroom needs. You might use certain questions this year and different ones next year. 100% editable and 100% digital makes all of these forms really easy to customize!