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Family Engagement Survey: Supporting Students with IEPs Resource Page

Indicator 8 Family Engagement Survey Data Collection Update

The WI DPI recognizes this is an unprecedented time for students, families, and educators. We understand that contacting parents to complete the Indicator 8 data collection has been difficult for many school districts as a result of school closure due to COVID 19. During this time, DPI is exercising as much flexibility as we can to assist you in this process. As a result, districts are not required to take any further action for the Indicator 8 data collection this year.

DPI will leave the survey window open until June 30 for any LEAs (e.g. school districts) or parents interested in continuing the data collection and completing surveys and DPI will continue to provide technical assistance for any districts wanting to continue with the data collection process.

DPI will not rollover districts that don’t meet 10% survey response requirements to the next year, and DPI will not require all other districts to repeat the process next year.

Indicator 8: Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities. For more detailed information regarding this indicator, please review Indicator #8 of the Annual Performance Report.

Indicator 8 Parent Involvement Survey Timeline


Directions for Data Collection

Your LEA received an e-mail from the Department if you are among the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that are required to conduct the Family Engagement Survey for Indicator 8 this year. The e-mail instructs LEAs to enter the Special Education Portal using the access login ID and password assigned to the director of special education role to access the Indicator 8 Survey Manager application. The Indicator 8 Survey Manager application provides LEAs with the student names and codes that are necessary to complete a mailing to parents of students with IEPs requesting their participation in the survey. If you have questions about the e-mail, the file, or your participation in the process, please see Frequently Asked Questions.

Family Engagement Survey Letters

  • Family Engagement survey form letters provide information to parents about the family engagement survey, how the survey helps the district and Wisconsin schools, and resources to assist parents with completion of the survey

How to Generate a Mailing to Parents

  1. Activate the survey for your parents.
    • Enter the Survey Manager Application through the Special Education Web Portal, and complete the steps below in order.
      • Provide at least one district person’s contact information.  You MUST provide at least one district person’s contact information BEFORE you can activate the survey.
      • Review the student list that DPI uploaded into the survey manager system.  The Indicator 8: Parent Survey manager web application creates two survey codes for each student based on the LEA's (e.g. school district) enrollment from the date that DPI uploads the student list into the Survey Manager System.  This upload typically occurs within a few weeks prior to the survey window opening.  If any students have become eligible for special education or if students with IEPs have transferred into your district since this list was generated, you can add their WISEid (formerly Wisconsin Student Number WSN) to the student list prior to activation.  If any students have left your district since DPI uploaded the student list into the management system, you can delete them prior to activation.
      • (Optional) Enter in any links to surveys your district has written that you would also like your parents to take. The link will display after a parent has submitted the DPI survey.
      • Click the “Activate” button in the Survey Collection Status section of the Survey Manager home page (the button only appears after contact information is entered).  You MUST Activate the Survey before you can download the student list with survey codes for the parent survey.
  2. Download the Student List and Survey Codes Spreadsheet.  
    • In the Survey Manager, navigate to the Student List page (Students menu option). 
    • The Download button will not appear until the survey was activated as per step 1 above.
    • The spreadsheet you download contains some of the data needed to merge with the electronic form letter to parents:
      • List of student names, birth dates and unique Wisconsin Student Numbers (WSN)
      • LEA Name
      • Username for parents to enter on the survey
      • Passwords for parents to enter on the survey
      • WSPEI Parent Coordinator Contact Information
      • Name of director of special education/pupil services
      • Survey Type (S = School Age, P = Preschool)
      • Whether the Username has been used or not yet (All codes will be Unused at the beginning)
  3. Fill In or Merge Spreadsheets to Prepare Letters for Mailing. 
    • Fill in the remainder of the spreadsheet (if you have just a few students) or merge the spreadsheet with an existing LEA spreadsheet (for many students) to include the following:
      • the date of the mailing
      • a parent name and address for each student listed
      • the telephone numbers that you wish to provide parents for assistance (you are not required to use all categories)
      • the title of the person who will sign the letter (you may change the name).
    • Note: DPI has provided this tutorial to expedite merging the Student List spreadsheet DPI provides (which includes survey usernames and passwords) with an existing spreadsheet the LEA maintains containing parent addresses.
    • Student and Parent Excel Match guidance video (Please note that WSN is now WISEid.)

  4. Pull out families who require Spanish / Hmong letters. 
    • If any families of students on the list have a native language other than English, cut and paste those rows into separate Spanish spreadsheets.
    • Other languages must be dealt with individually.
  5. Merge the sample letter with the spreadsheet. 
    • Merge the English form letter with the spreadsheet of English-speaking families.
    • You may choose to customize the sample letter to parents. 
    • For directions on how to mail merge, open the Microsoft Word Help on the main menu bar and type in "mail merge".
    • Edit the recipient list by ensuring that only the rows that contain a student name are checked. Print the letters on your school letterhead. 
    • You may have more than one survey generated for a family if they have more than one child in the student list.
    • Note: Repeat the process for any Spanish or Hmong letters.
  6. Mail the letters to families. 
    • Send the mailing as soon as possible after you have activated the survey.
    • Note: See our FAQ prior to contacting DPI if you have any difficulties with this process or questions about who receives a letter.

How to Send Paper Surveys

  1. If a parent requests a paper survey or the LEA chooses to send paper surveys, enter the Survey Manager application through the Special Education Web Portal and go to the Students menu option or choose the Student List link in the Student List section of the home page.
  2. Any of the survey codes that appear as a hyperlink on the Student List and Survey Codes page can be clicked to generate a paper survey (Code 1 and Code 2 columns). If the survey code is not a hyperlink, it has already been used and a paper survey cannot be generated. If you are looking for a specific student, enter part of the student’s last name or first name and/or the student’s WSN to go straight to that student.
  3. Once you click a link in the Code 1 or Code 2 columns, a page will open that allows you to change the language of the survey if necessary. Click the Generate PDF button to generate the paper survey.
  4. The Username (Survey Code) and Password will be pre-populated into the paper survey PDF at the bottom of every page.
  5. Record that you sent that parent a paper survey. This is an added safeguard against losing data.
  6. Include a return envelope addressed to:

WI Department of Public Instruction - Special Education Team
Parent Survey
PO Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707

Requests for Telephone or In-Person Assistance

Some parents may ask for or find it easier to take the survey if provided assistance with entering the survey responses into the survey system. By request or permission from a parent, WSPEI family engagement coordinators, Wisconsin FACETS staff, or other District Family Engagement Liaisons or Support Staff can assist a parent by reading or explaining survey questions and entering the parent survey into the survey system for the parent. Parents must provide their verbal consent to have another person enter the survey into the system as well as have the consent statement for the survey read to them before answering questions and having them entered into the survey system. The consent statement for the survey appears when the login to the survey is activated and there is a question at the end of the survey asking if someone assisted the parent in taking the survey.

To complete a survey online for a parent, please enter the survey at