Social Media with Your Community

I’m interested in how other boards might be utilizing or encouraging the use of technology and social media to disseminate information and solicit feedback from their communities. I believe a significant segment of owners and beneficiaries in my district would subscribe to more diverse communication channels such as: expanded email distribution, online polls and surveys, Facebook pages, and possibly even the streaming and archived webcasts of meetings.

  1. We routinely post material of community interest to our district’s web page, including bus schedules, lunch menus, strategic plans, budget information, estimated tax grids, board policies/procedures, forms to make facility use requests, etc. We’ve also implemented means for parents to view their children’s grades and make pre-payments on lunch cards. Social media is a useful extension to all this, but one we are only beginning to leverage. To date, we’ve implemented Facebook pages to allow interested community members to follow the progress of voter-approved renovation work, and to interact with a committee investigating the reconfiguration of elementary and middle school grades between our buildings. We have also made periodic use of surveymonkey to solicit community feedback on specific questions. I think there is a lot more that could be done with this sort of technology.

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  2. We have hired a Tech Integration Specialist and have made a significant financial commitment to introducing technology into the classroom. We are also transforming our library into a library learning commons with more focus on tech to access content and promote collaborative student learning.

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  3. We have found Front Porch Forum (http://frontporchforum.com/) to be a useful vehicle for on-line communication and discussion of school matters within our town. We haven’t used VPR’s Public Post page (http://www.vpr.net/public-post/), but this would appear to serve a similar purpose.

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  4. Our High School employs a media person also I put live drops from the Public Service Station in all our schools .

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  5. Schools are not taking advantage of the technology. Social media can be very helpful in creating an atmosphere of inclusion.

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  6. We are already moving in that direction. Their both great ideas and we as boards need to start moving in that direction. This is only helping our children better their education.

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  7. We have not looked at different social media avenues, but those are good ideas. We have a local channel so meetings are played and archived.

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  8. Anything that would encourage parental participation is encouraged. We utilize a number of different methods to disseminate information—websites, emails, “…give this to your parents…” paperwork and newsletters. Alas, constructive feedback is a little on the light side.

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  9. Agree totally. It means a whole new set of how we handle boundaries between teachers and students, however it is the future. Already our Elem. teachers have web pages individual to their class, the Elem. school has a facebook page that shares their events they also send out an email newsletter. Power school allows for parental check-in re: grades and can also receive school updates. We also utilize the all district (or it can be broke down to individual schools and grade levels) auto phone call to remind parents of budget meetings, concerts, etc.

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  10. Our school is at a high tech level, but its unfortunate that the rest of the area is not mostly due to the poor high speed internet and cell phone coverage.

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  11. We reach out to the community through our PTA’s facebook page. Otherwise we continue to utilize snail mail.

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  12. That is a great idea. I know that some administration don’t want to make such things so accessible because of the amount of feedback they may get in, but it does force the schools to be more transparent and aware of what their own community wants.

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  13. In our district, we each have a lap top issued by the district and ALL paper has been eliminated and all packets are now electronic. Great idea and it works fine.

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  14. We use survey monkey to solicit input on issues such as end of season coach evaluations and suggestions when we have principal vacancies. Coaches frequently create websites/blogs to keep athletes up to date about practice and game schedules but otherwise I have not seen social media used in our district. Our high school has a facebook “fan” page but it is unofficial and I am actually not sure who “owns” the page.

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