Challenge Success: Parent Survey Results

Challenge Success–Stanford Surveys of School Experiences:
Parent Survey Results, Spring 2019

Executive Summary Report

Survey Background

The Challenge Success – Stanford Surveys of School Experiences are online surveys that ask students and parents to give their perspectives on a variety of areas related to their school lives. These areas include: perspectives on homework, extracurricular activities, free time, sleep, physical health, stress related to school and academics, cheating, academic engagement, teacher support, and parent expectations. The results of these surveys are intended to help your school identify students’ and parents’ perspectives on what the school currently does well, as well as areas for growth. The data and findings can be a useful tool in guiding practice
and policy changes.

Thomas Jefferson High School parents took the parent survey in Spring 2019. The number of parents who completed the survey was approximately 788. Parent responses are confidential; parents were not asked for their names or other identifiable information.

This report summarizes key findings. Please contact Mark Forgash at [email protected] for the full results.

Key Findings

School Support & Engagement

  • “Challenging or Rigorous” used by 53% of parents is the most common category of words parents use to describe Thomas Jefferson High School. “Difficult or Stressful” and “Competitive” are the next most common categories, used by 34% and 19% of parents, respectively.
  • “Difficult or stressful” used by 53% of students in Fall 2018, is the most common category of words students use to describe Thomas Jefferson High School. “Challenging or Rigorous” and “Competitive” are the next most common categories, used by 37% and 21% of students.
  • 56% of parents are aware of school initiatives to improve student well-being. 25% of parents feel “quite” or “very” informed about school initiatives to improve student well-being.

Stress, Health, & Sleep

  • 52% of parents report that their children are “often” or “always” stressed about schoolwork or the academic experience. 77% of Thomas Jefferson High School students report feeling “often” or “always” stressed about schoolwork.
  • Parents report their children getting an average of 6.7 hours of sleep per night. Students report getting an average of 6.5 hours of sleep per night. Adolescent health and sleep experts recommend 9 hours of sleep per night for teenagers.
  • The majority of parents (57%) report that their children keep their phones in their bedrooms at night and 43% of parents report that their children “often” or “always” use their phone as an alarm clock.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means parents think their child is never worried about statements related
    to worry about school, 5 means they think their child is always worried, and 3 is neutral, parents report
    an average of 3.4 on questions about the frequency of their child’s worry about school.

Homework & Extracurriculars

  • Parents report that their children do 3.6 hours of school assigned homework per weeknight, while students report doing 3.4 hours of homework per weeknight. 
  • 66% of parents feel their children have too much homework, while 66% students feel they have too much homework.
  • More than half of parents “always” make sure there is a quiet space for their children to do their homework (57%) and respond to their child’s questions about homework (55%).
  • 25% of parents report that their children received paid tutoring for schoolwork since starting high school and 11% received paid college admissions guidance in the past year.
  • 64% of parents report that the reason their child participates in extracurriculars is to have fun. 47% of students report that the primary reason they participate is to have fun.

Family Time & Activities

  • 69% of families eat a meal together 3 or more times during the week. On the weekend, 52% eat a meal together as a family three or more times.
  • 65% of parents do not allow phones at family dinnertime.

Parent Expectations & Rules/Agreements

  • 85% of parents expect their child will obtain at least a Master’s or Professional degree.
  • 58% of parents “agree” or “strongly agree” that they set very high expectations for their child. 65% of parents “agree” or “strongly agree” that they expect academic excellence from their child. 17% of parents “agree” or “strongly agree” that they have higher expectations for their child’s future than their child does.
  • The most common consistently enforced family rule is “maintaining a high GPA” (25% of parents) followed by “doing household chores” (21% of parents) and “keeping bedroom tidy” (16% of parents).


  • 23% of parents feel “very” or “extremely” knowledgeable about the college process. 44% of parents “often” or “always” discuss plans for university/college with their child.
  • According to parents, the most important attribute of a college/university to their child is a specific academic program, to themselves is a specific academic program, and to their community is school ranking.

Challenge Success Program at TJHSST

Discover how Challenge Success, a Stanford University affiliate, is helping TJHSST enhance student experiences and reduce stress.

Challenge Success: Student Survey Results

This survey measures students’ perspectives on areas including homework, extracurricular activities and free time, sleep, school-related stress, and parents’ expectations.