March 2014 Meeting Notes

March 2014 Meeting in Bellevue

‘Remark’ of the day – “Does the little old lady have Twitter?” “No, but she might have a bird in the tree in the front yard.”

Introduction and one story about communications

Jill Davis, Fairbury: New ‘dashboard’ will allow teachers to better track student progress through reports involving test scores, attendance and more

Betty Van Deventer, Nebraska Department of Education: Working to better understand the ramications of testing problems via the vendor

Rebecca Kleeman, Millard: Expanding use of texting for communications; PLV advised via text for parents to check email for more information

Amanda Oliver, Bellevue: Student displaying violence, resource office calls for back-up, eight police cars show up, a different student tweets a pic of all the police cars to the media, word spread and it became a big news story

Kala Morrissey, Papillin-La Vista: Best of the Best videos featuring superintendent in the classroom, great response from the community

Janna Anderson, Elkhorn: Trying to better get a better control of texting in the classrooms; preparing for a potential bond issue

Diane Ostrowski, Council Bluffs: Hired marketing firm to study district’s image (why are students leaving CB schools?), includes focus groups and surveys, will lead to new messaging

Katy Core, Ralston: Morphing into a new communications position, which means some district-wide look on communications policy; district received accredidation, which hopefully leads to some more positive attention

Zachary Baehr, Lincoln: Had a student ‘takeover’ the district’s Twitter account for a day, tweeting about the highlights of his day; great response from Twitter community

For the main talking point, the group watched a video – Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

Group remarks on ‘risks’ we can take to improve our school communications:

Traditional communciation pieces that we think are dying a little that we would like to retire, but there are other people (non-communications people) who hold those near and dear to their hearts, so we haven’t yet. That’s a risk.

Having a student tweet for the district / school account

Eliminating community-wide reports that are costly and perhaps not effective anymore

Spending some time thinking about ‘remarkable’ = something that makes people ‘remark’ to something else

Take the time with the local media just to talk about news, perception, importance, etc.

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Zachary Baehr is a Communications Technician for Lincoln Public Schools. Find him on Twitter at @zacharybaehr.

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