Bill Rosenberger – Saving Education in West Virginia

Report
Saving
Education in
West Virginia
A Cultural Shift
June 25 West Virginia School Board Association
Board of Education Orientation
Bill Rosenberger, Owner of WPR Consulting &
Communications Director for Wayne County Schools
What we’re used to seeing…
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT CHANGING THE
CURRICULUM
Improving Communications
Strategies Can Change the
Culture of Education
in West Virginia
BIO
The Herald-Dispatch:
Education Reporter, 2007-2013
Covering K12 and Higher Education: Public and Private
Schools in the Tri-State,
Marshall University, West Virginia Legislature
Current Public Relations and Communications Work Includes:
•
•
•
•
Wayne County Schools
Heritage Farm Museum & Village
West Virginia School Board Association
Sean Hornbuckle, Candidate for the W.Va. House of Delegates
Share a city, but two very different counties
Huntington
Wayne County
Cabell County
Hitting the bottom: 2012 Bond Election
Voters turned down a $33.1 million bond proposal
that would have garnered an additional $20 million
from the WV School Building Authority.
4,218 votes cast against the measure
1,713 votes cast in favor of the bond levy
Jamie Vollmer
•
Your county school boards must start the conversations, keeping in mind that only 25 percent of
West Virginia taxpayers have children in schools.
•
In 1967, 77 percent of jobs did not require a high school diploma. In 2014, that figure is 12 percent
and is expected to decline to 6 percent in the next decade.
•
Today’s school system is not calibrated to the needs of today’s society.
•
Schools in West Virginia are doing better than ever before, but there is a gap between what children
are learning and what they need to know.
•
We need the public now more than ever and must re-engage them.
•
Perception is more important than reality to those outside your school system.
•
Increases in student achievement will decrease crime rates, increase property values, increase the
tax base and decrease teen pregnancy.
•
Understanding leads to trust; trust leads to permission; permission leads to support
•
Keep it simple and reach them where they are.
Dr. James Phares: Boards of Education have the power to raise standards for
superintendents and impact the direction of their counties.
There ARE good stories to tell …
Wayne County Schools
2013-2014 Initiatives
1. Website assessments
1. What do people find when they visit your district and school sites?
2. Is it up to date?
3. Can visitors find the most basic information (address, phone number,
principal’s name and email)?
4. Does the URL even work?
How much does do websites
matter?
National School Public Relation Association
2011 Communications Survey
Survey offered during February to April
2011.
268,917 residents were invited to
participate
43,410 responded
16% response rate
Parent responses were segregated into
elementary or secondary responses.
Participants were asked to respond
concerning communication with their
oldest child in school.
2011 NSPRA Survey, continued
How parents want to communicate with school
Launched
January
2014
2011 NSPRA Survey, continued
Parent Non-Parent
E-mail from the district/school
District/School websites
3.8
3.4
3.3
3.5
3.0
3.4
Online parent portal (Online access to grades,
attendance, assignments, etc.)
3.4
2.7
Telephone messaging system/voice-messaging
system/emergency parent notification system
3.3
2.7
District/School print newsletters/publications
2.7
2.7
Text messages
2.6
2.1
2.2
2.0
2.0
1.9
1.9
1.8
1.7
1.8
1.6
1.3
2.1
2.7
2.1
2.5
2.3
2.6
2.3
2.1
2.2
1.8
2.1
1.6
District/School e-newsletters or news updates via email
Newspaper
PTA/PTO meetings/newsletters
Newspaper websites
Community forums/town halls
Television
Television station websites
Attendance at school board meetings/board minutes
Radio
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.)
District/Education cable TV channel
Other
1
2
Assessing your sites
1.
Ensure the site is active and goes to at least a site
with the basic information.
2.
Decide if your sites needs to be completely redone.
Some counties are currently choosing to do that,
including Cabell County – which debuts July 1. Costly
but gets it all done at one time and training is
included.
3.
Develop an internal plan to update or redesign
websites. Less costly but requires a strategic plan,
development of core teams at each school and
proper training.
Social Media
24 Hours: Unplugged
University of Maryland, 2010
International Center for Media and Public Agenda
“For most of the students reporting in the study,
information of all kinds comes in an
undifferentiated wave to them via social media. If
a bit of information rises to a level of interest, the
student will pursue it – but often by following the
story via ‘unconventional’ outlets, including text
messages, email, Facebook and Twitter.”
Social Media
In Wayne
County,
we chose
to invest
our efforts
with a
Twitter
feed.
District Website:
Becoming Your Own News Agency
It is still important to work with
your local media outlets, but the
most trusted source of news and
information should come from
within.
Utilizing You District Website
Domain: Update to become more
conversational
Wayne County Schools can still be found at
boe.wayn.k12.wv.us, but you can also find
them at wayneschoolswv.org.
It’s a Pivotal Time in Education
Time for Action, right? Yes. But let’s take a different approach.
What do our students have to say?
Our best and brightest, and there are many, may just
hold the key to turning the tide.
Why were they successful and how can we
develop policy that emulates their
experience?
What Can You Do?
You just came off the campaign trail, so this might
THE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME
you ever have to shape your school district’s future.
Action Steps
• Host board meetings at schools
Allows you to meet folks who may never go to the
boardroom.
• Regularly recognize students & staff at board meetings
Reinforces that you take time to celebrate your counties’
successes.
• Launch social media or develop monthly newsletters
There must be a thorough plan on who will take on
those responsibilities if you don’t have or can’t add a
communications person.
• Determine if you need professional assistance
It may be necessary to spend a little money on a
professional from the outside who can provide a holistic
and objective view of your district’s communications.
Final Words …
Be a singles hitter
Trying to hit a home run might work once in a while, but you’ll strike out a lot.
Focus on hitting singles – It builds consistency. And
consistency builds and maintains trust. That’s how you’ll
score runs with in your communities.
Q&A
CONTACT INFO
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 304-908-9097

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