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Notes from PR Communications Strategic Planning Committee – 2/12/14

What Are the District Audiences/What Information Do They Need/Not Currently Receiving/Concerns & Issue On Our Current Communications Process?

Parents/Families

  • Currently receive direct access to grades/attendance info through Parent Portal – positive for parents, however, it is only for middle and high schools. Can we have Parent Portal for K-4?
  • Most teachers in district have website/email – sometimes parents’ emails are filtered by the district & are not received by teachers
  • Parents/families seem to prefer communication through direct email or texts
  • Facebook is a good way to communicate with parents/families/alumni
  • Jamestown High School’s image is a concern for parents/families – how to change this perception?
  • Schools are perceived as not having an “open door policy” –locked doors, parents/families do not feel welcome even though they understand the safety issue
  • Many district documents only in English – difficult for our Spanish speaking population
  • Parents/families need more information about AP/AT/College Level courses earlier in their child’s education to help make decisions –generally more information on the district’s curriculum and how it affects their children
  • PTA needs to be more involved in the communications process
  • Ability to leave suggestions on how to improve and/or good news about the district – partners in spreading good and accurate information about district to community

Employees

  • Employees want communication through email
  • Weekly memo with “insider” information that initially goes to all staff – additional links back to more information on website – eventually broadens to external stakeholders
  • Staff needs more connection as to what is happening in other buildings in the district
  • Staff is looking for a more immediate news feed of what is happening in the district
  • District shared calendars?
  • Employees as ambassadors of information for the district

Society at Large

  • More positive news in the community about the district
  • Concerns about misconceptions about Jamestown High Schools’ negative image in the community
  • Alumni is not being used effectively to help communicate the positive aspects of a JPS education
  • More talk about all programming at JPS, not just athletics or music – academic
  • Better list of programming, benefits of JPS education for realtors, Chamber of Commerce, etc. to market our district to potential families
  • Even though traditional media is still needed to supplement district’s communications plan, society at large wants to hear directly from the district
  • Up-to-date Budget/Finance information
  • Ability to leave comments/suggestions and good news – community partners with district to spread the word
  • Partners in decision-making about district initiatives (budget, curriculum)

Students

  • Last to hear about what is going on in the district
  • Need information through twitter and texting
  • Have teachers (especially homeroom teachers) give out more information about what is going on in the school
  • Need more information about AP/AT track earlier so that students know the options
  • Need to highlight clubs/organizations to students earlier at middle and high school

Some items to look into further:

  • Does our Global Connect system have a texting feature? (Cathy)
  • Best practices of school districts that have successful communications programs. (Cathy & John)
  • Wiki Source/Crowd Source for district communications (Cathy with help of JPS Information Services Department)

Questions to be thinking about for our next meeting?

  • What is the most important district communication information that each of our audiences needs?
  • How should the district communicate with each of our district audiences? (i.e. email, Facebook, Twitter, website etc.)
  • Do we need to conduct surveys of some, or all, of the audiences to get a better understanding of communications modes being used?
  • Do we need to break into smaller groups to discuss strategies and come up with action plans to meet the district’s communications goals?
  • The chairs welcome any committee member’s input on questions we should be addressing at next meeting – plans for going forward