Having a solid communication plan for your district is (or should be) a key part of your overall strategy. But before enacting it, do you consider others' thoughts and ideas on how to best share your schools' news, or do you just take the wheel and drive? If you are not listening to other voices throughout the district, please make a concerted effort to do so. This means listening to students, staff, classroom teachers, school leaders, board members, parents and community supporters. It's a hefty task to be sure, but it's so important that your communication is diverse, incorporates a wide perspective of voices and that it consistently addresses all areas of your district. For example, consider the following questions:
One easy way to ensure participation from any and all stakeholders is to create an online survey. This would allow them to either identify themselves or remain anonymous and provide praise, critiques, ask questions or provide suggestions or specific ideas to improve any or all aspects of your schools. As an alternative, place a physical suggestion box somewhere easily locatable on your campuses to ensure those who prefer not to submit online also have a voice.
The point here is that you want to make sure you keep everyone informed of the fun AND the important things going on within your district. You want--but you also need--your community (internal with staff and students and external with parents and others) to support your efforts, including potential bond proposals, fund raisers and efforts that require all hands on deck. Those who believe in what you are doing will be your biggest supporters and will use their own platforms to help deliver your message far and wide. Effectively and regularly communicating keeps them energized, engaged and informed, which translates into support--financial and otherwise.
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