Making the Most of Parent Involvement Data

This toolkit is designed to assist states in their efforts to collect and report high-quality parent involvement data. It is organized into four main sections: Ready, Run, Reflect, and Reach. Each section focuses on two primary questions to guide you through the process of planning, conducting, and learning from your state’s parent involvement data collection and analysis activities. You also will find resources and tools to help you make the most of your state's parent involvement data, and supplementary information, including working with third-party contractors, involving stakeholders, and modifying or creating a new parent involvement survey.

Toolkit Concept Explanations


When building a house, the quality of the final product depends on the soundness of the blueprint. The same is true for gathering data. If you want to have high-quality data about parent involvement in your state, you must put time and effort into planning how to collect those data. In this phase of the process, you’ll spend time thinking about how to make your parent involvement data collection efforts a success. Considering what you want to achieve and the context in which you’re working can help you gain perspective and ensure that the data you acquire will inform improvements and lead to positive outcomes for students with disabilities and their families.


You’ve invested time and resources creating your blueprint, now it’s crucial that you follow the plan to ensure quality results. Since challenges often arise, you must monitor plan implementation and be prepared to address any issues you encounter. In this phase, you’ll learn strategies to carry out your data collection in a way that ensures collection of accurate, unbiased, and useful data. In so doing, you can trust that the data you ultimately collect will help you to discern patterns and point you toward changes that can support progress.


Once you’ve enacted your plan, it’s important to step back and think about what you’ve learned. In this phase, you’ll learn how to carefully analyze your data and gain a better understanding of parent involvement in your state. It’s crucial that you allocate a significant amount of time to consider deeply what your data tell you about successes and opportunities for improvement. Reviewing the data from multiple viewpoints and with various stakeholders will bring it to life and show you ways to put the data to good use.


After you’ve looked at your data and completed your required reporting, it can be tempting to consider the job done, put the data aside, and move on to the next task. Yet, the primary reason to collect data on parent involvement should be to learn from and share the data. In this phase, you’ll consider what you can gain from your efforts and think of ways to allow others to learn from your discoveries. It is through this sharing that the ultimate goal of the process is achieved – improving services and results for students with disabilities and their families.

Section 01 : Introduction

In this section, you will learn why it is important for states to collect and use high-quality parent involvement data to inform their ongoing efforts to improve services and results for children with disabilities and their families.

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Section 02 : Ready: How can my state improve the quality of its parent involvement data?

In the first "main" part of the toolkit, "Ready," you begin by exploring elements of data quality and considering how the choice of data collection methods can affect the quality of your state’s parent involvement data.

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Section 03 : Ready: How can my state ensure that the data we collect are representative?

As you continue to prepare for data collection and analysis, in this section, you will learn about a very important part of data quality—representativeness—and find suggestions for ensuring that the data your state collects are representative.

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Section 04 : Run: How can my state maximize participation in its parent involvement data collection activities?

In the second part of the toolkit, "Run," you will move toward carrying out your data collection plan and learn strategies to help maximize participation in your state’s parent involvement data collection activities, with a particular focus on obtaining good response rates.

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Section 05 : Run: What steps should my state take to improve data quality during data collection?

Continuing the exploration of how to conduct high-quality data collection, in this section, you will find suggestions for ways to improve the quality of the parent involvement data your state collects. You also will learn how you can work to improve response rates and check for representativeness while data collection is on-going.

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Section 06 : Reflect: How can we prepare our data for analysis?

The third part of the toolkit, "Reflect," begins by offering tips and strategies to help you prepare your parent involvement data for analysis, including ways you might address any issues with representativeness after your data collection is complete.

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Section 07 : Reflect: How can we conduct high-quality data analyses?

In this section, you will learn different methods to accurately calculate your state’s Indicator B8 result depending on the type of survey your state uses, and explore other methods you might use to analyze your parent involvement data.

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Section 08 : Reach: How can we make the most of our parent involvement data?

In the final "main" part of the toolkit, "Reach," you will be encouraged to think about how to get more out of your state's parent involvement data, go beyond just reporting on Indicator B8, and use the results to spur improvements and inform action at the state and local levels.

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Section 09 : Reach: What is the best way to communicate findings to key audiences?

This section urges you to think about how you can effectively communicate the results of your state’s parent involvement data collection activities, including developing a communication plan and tailoring your communications to audience needs.

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Next Steps

The toolkit provides two additional sections. Deeper Dive, which provides additional details on three topics that are discussed on throughout the toolkit. A Resources section presents, information designed to supplement what is presented in the toolkit.

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