While almost all educators feel support of parents with children younger than school age is important, only 23 percent of educators have sufficient tools to do so, according to a survey from Office Depot.

The nonprofit Center for College & Career Readiness and Office Depot’s “Committed to Learning” initiative surveyed thousands of teachers to understand their perceptions of early education preparation.

“The survey findings show the increased demand for learning initiatives that equip educators with tools to more effectively work with families,” said Becki Schwietz, senior director of K-12 initiatives for Office Depot, Inc. “We are proud to partner with school districts around the country to address the critical unmet needs of students and affect positive change at home and in the classroom.”

Ninety-seven percent of surveyed educators said they felt that communication between districts and parents before students were school aged was important or very important as part of school readiness preparation.

Next page: Do educators need help using parent communication tools?

Seventy-seven percent of surveyed educators felt that parents had some of the tools they needed to prepare their children for school yet needed help from educators in those critical years before kindergarten, while 23 percent of educators felt that parents did not know how to prepare their children for kindergarten.

Twenty-three percent of educators reported having sufficient tools to effectively reach out to parents, while 9 percent of educators reported having nearly no tools to support their work in parent communication.

For those educators who have some support in communicating with parents, 69 percent indicated the need for help in using those tools to be effective in their work.

As part of its “Committed to Learning” initiative, Office Depot works with school districts to solve the challenge of reaching parents of children who aren’t yet registered for school. The company conducts research and provides targeted mailing lists, and facilitates the creation and mailing of educational information, including tips, encouragement and other materials, to help education begin at home.

“Committed to Learning” has led the company to convene a national team of education experts and partners across disciplines. Having worked with thousands of school districts for more than two decades, Office Depot, Inc. has solidified a belief in the principles of equity, mastery and collaboration for successful student outcomes, and adopted a student-centric approach that maximizes district budgets while delivering solutions and expertise to meet the changing needs of students today.

In April 2016 the Center for College & Career Readiness conducted a survey of educators on behalf of Office Depot Inc.’s “Committed to Learning” initiative. A total of 5,208 educators (including Principals, Assistant Principals, Department Chairs, Teachers and more) participated in the survey.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione
About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura