Enrollment Survey Findings Presented by Siena Class

Siena College Professor Paul Thurston had his undergraduate marketing class survey, interview, and analyze information from several area schools including Parker, to find out what is most important for parents in the enrollment process and what is the school’s value proposition compared to peer schools. The survey results showed that parents are generally very satisfied with the education their children are receiving. Strengths were identified at Parker in the academic program, the cultural values, the faculty, and the community, while there were opportunities identified for growth in both building a stronger community among parents and in transparency and information about financial aid and tuition costs.

The small group of Siena students first visited the school and interviewed administrators, teachers and trustees. They distributed a survey to all the parents of the school. Parker parents had a very good response rate to the survey and took time to be both thoughtful and analytical in their answers.

The study identified that Parker differentiates itself in several categories: applied, 10hands-on learning; individualized learning and flexibility; collaborative learning techniques; and a sense of community.  Here is a link to the Siena students’ Robert C. Parker School Final Report.

Here are just a small few of the comments that parents so generously offered:

Overall we are very happy with Parker! Parker core values and philosophies seem to be internalized by faculty, staff and students and carried throughout, which makes it a supportive place to stretch and take some risks.

My child is very happy…I love the teachers, the children and the parents. I love the art, the frog, the values, that the curriculum crosses classes and themes for the year, multi-age classes, the pairing of older and younger students, the property/woods/nature. I also love the rituals they have. Students grow up seeing the signature activities at each age or those that are annual and can anticipate them. It is lovely.

This school spends tuition money well. Quality education is expensive. We will continue to enroll as long as we can afford it. It would be helpful if there was non-financial needs based tuition assistance.

This school is a hidden gem, and we often wonder if Parker should be promoting itself more; or is it better just the way it is?

The Siena group wrote up their findings and presented an initial report to Head, Meg Taylor and Board President, Christine Cunningham in May. Dr. Thurston presented an abbreviated version of the findings at a program for parents and faculty on June 5, and asked for small groups to take a closer look at each category of information. Thurston has offered to continue the study with the school in the next term, looking for ways to help Parker improve in certain areas.