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08/21/2009

GreatSchools Member Survey Shows Parents Are Preparing Academically, Logistically and Emotionally for Back to School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GreatSchools Member Survey Shows Parents Are Preparing
Academically, Logistically and Emotionally for Back to School

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — August 21, 2009A new survey finds that GreatSchools members are taking steps to ensure their children start the school year right by preparing them academically, reducing distractions and calming their first day of school jitters.

Each year, GreatSchools conducts an online survey of its members to understand how they are preparing themselves and their families for the start of the school year. Sponsored by Hallmark, this year’s survey finds that parents are planning to step up their involvement with the logistical, academic and emotional support their kids need. According to the survey:

  • Preparing academically — More than seven in ten (71%) GreatSchools members already know what their child will be learning in the coming school year and a full 76% of respondents have researched the academic performance of the school their child is attending.
  • Preparing logistically — Nearly nine in ten (88%) know the day school starts, 58% are planning to meet the teacher in person before the first day of school, and 53% are practicing routines before school starts.
  • Preparing emotionally — While parents believe their kids are confident about going back to school, many members identify with top reasons their child might feel anxious, including new teachers (52%), an unfamiliar environment (37%), and making friends (33%). In order to ease their back-to-school butterflies, more than one in three (34%) GreatSchools members will encourage their child with a card of support packed, for example, in their lunch box for the first day of school.

“As parents transition from summer time to school time, we’re thrilled to see that GreatSchools members are stepping up with the academic, logistic and emotional support needed to be effective champions of their kids’ education,” said Bill Jackson, founder and president of GreatSchools.

“Parents tell us they are looking for new ways to boost their child’s confidence during the back-to-school time period when children are encountering a number of ‘firsts,’” notes Hallmark spokesperson Sarah Kolell. “To address their need, Hallmark has introduced new cards just for kids, which use humor, sound, and heartfelt messages to help adults “breakthrough” in a genuine, authentic way, packing a confidence boost.”

The back-to-school GreatSchools member survey was conducted July 20, 2009 to August 3, 2009, with online surveys of 1,096 GreatSchools members who are parents of children attending public or private school. Respondents were selected randomly from the GreatSchools member base. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence interval.

About GreatSchools

GreatSchools is an independent nonprofit organization that improves education by inspiring parents to be involved.

Parents choose GreatSchools to connect with each other — to find the right schools, share stories and advice, and get their parenting questions answered. Over the past 10 years, GreatSchools has empowered and inspired millions of parents to support their children’s education. In the past year alone, more than 35 million people — approximately one in three K-12 households in the U.S. — visited GreatSchools (www.greatschools.org). With hundreds of thousands of ratings and parent reviews of schools nationwide, GreatSchools is the paramount parent-to-parent education community.

A Webby Award-winning site, GreatSchools is now expanding its reach and impact with its College Bound initiative, a new program that will provide structured online and offline training, mentoring and community resources to unlock the power of parents in guiding their children’s success in school and beyond. GreatSchools is supported by numerous foundations and corporations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robertson Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. For more information, please visit http://www.greatschools.org.

CONTACT

Karissa Sparks
GreatSchools
415-983-3806

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