Spring is just around the corner: a time when many people hold their annual household's deep cleaning to rid themselves of unwanted clutter. What a perfect time as an administrator to review and update all of your district's communication policies! It's also the time to ask yourself if you don't have certain policies in place, why? Information is readily available online, and your stakeholders expect to be updated on school news in a timely and efficient manner. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you ensure your district is using the most effective communication outlets to convey information. But before you can begin to share information, you need to have plans in place that set forth guidelines.
Let's review some communication plans that school districts commonly use:
- Strategic communications plan: This document contains information on your overall district communication strategies. It details which staff members serve as spokespeople, what communication channels your district will use, who has access to those channels, what kind of content you will share and how often, any communication goals you create for your district and how you will track their success and any other strategies you will use to communicate with your stakeholders.
- Crisis communications plan: This document details how you will communicate with district stakeholders and the public during an emergency. It includes a list of those staff members who will be a part of the communications team, what processes your staff will follow to ensure their and students’ safety and how you will provide information to parents/guardians throughout the event. Additionally, this document will contain details on how you will organize and communicate with on-site media reporters.
- Social media policy: This increasingly important document contains guidelines for staff members on how to use social media appropriately within the context of being an educator and the additional public responsibility that entails. It also includes guidelines for staff members on communicating with current students on social media outlets, and it can also contain guidelines on students using social media during school hours.
Please seriously consider reviewing your existing communication documents or creating any that you don't have for your district. If you need any assistance, we can review or help you create any of the ones detailed above. Please email me to discuss.