The Banner County School District is committed to open, honest, and ongoing communication; we understand that maintaining a two-way conversation with our community, parents, and students is essential for building relationships. These relationships are the foundation for a strong school system.
Two Parent Surveys (2019 and 2021) included questions to gather information and to seek ideas as to how the district could better meet the communications needs of our families. During the summer of 2021, a Communications Survey was provided to families and staff through the JMC Message Center. A brief analysis of the survey data and key results follow:
- There were 6 Respondents (Parent, 2019), 49 Respondents (Parent 2021), and 24 Respondents (Communication 2021). Percentages reported are from the 2021 Parent Survey and the 2021 Communication Survey.
- Email was rated 4 or 5 (on a 5-point scale) for 83% of respondents (both surveys).
- Phone calls were rated 4 or 5 on both surveys as 68% and 92%.
- District newsletter was rated as 4 or 5 for 61% and 48%.
- Ratings of 4 or 5 for the district website (33% and 17%) and social media (45% and 26%) as sources of information were surprisingly low. Mail (45% and 57%) was rated at least equal to or higher than these digital resources.
- 88% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that communication from teachers keep them informed about the knowledge and skills their students are developing.
- The frequency of all communication from the school was rated a satisfaction level of 4 or 5 for 54% and 70% of survey respondents.
- When asked how to make the district’s communications tools more effective, the JMC phone messaging system was noted as an “awesome” tool for communicating information through both phone calls and text messaging.
The Communications Plan is a working document and is intended to do the following:
- Provide a communications program that directly helps the district achieve its strategic goals.
- Foster strong relationships with district stakeholders.
- Provide a focus and direction for messages/methods in support of the district’s goals.
- Enable the district to present itself accurately to audiences.
Desired Behaviors and Attitudes
Through implementation of this plan, the following desired behaviors and attitudes are anticipated:
Faculty, staff, School Board Members, Parents, Students, Volunteers:
- Keep informed on key issues affecting the district and students
- Work as a high-performing organization whose employees respect and value each other as well as customer feedback
- Exhibit district values of caring, integrity, and collaboration
- Exhibit District pride
Banner County Residents, Patrons, County Government, Community Partners:
- Support the Banner County School District
- Exhibit trust in the schools and district
- Feel engaged and involved in their public schools
- Engage in activities to support learning, service, and career opportunities for students
Communication Goals are established by the Board of Education and reviewed annually. They should be recognized as integrated activities for achieving long-term success.
- Develop a communications plan to convey school district information to all stakeholders to reduce the sharing of false information
- Establish a chain of command for parents and staff to foster and improve communications in the district.
- Foster a collaborative environment while providing strong leadership to deliver a final decision in the best interest of the students.
Communication Goal #1
Develop a communications plan to convey school district information to all stakeholders to reduce the sharing of false information.
- Utilize the district newsletter to inform and involve parents and community members in district activities, programs, policy, and financial positions.
- Continue to use the JMC messaging tool for electronic communication to provide information for all stakeholders. Include local government, law enforcement, and emergency responders as appropriate.
- Utilize internal email to communicate day-to-day logistical information to district staff.
- Convene district-wide, committee and building leadership meetings to communicate initiatives, share information, encourage dialogue, and promote collaboration and shared leadership among all staff members.
- Develop and sustain relationships with local emergency management officials through joint participation in Emergency Operations Planning and quarterly Safety, Wellness, and Security meetings.
- Generate news media publicity for unique, innovative, and newsworthy programs and events.
- Provide parental workshops that focus on student needs and education.
Communication Goal #2
Establish a chain of command for parents and staff to foster and improve communications in the district.
- Annually identify the on-site staff members who are responsible for communicating, providing assistance, and making decisions in the event of an emergency, a student disciplinary issue, or other operational need in the school on a day-to-day basis. (Appendix A)
- Parent complaints, concerns, or grievances are resolved at the lowest organizational level (Policy 504.01).
- The Chain of Command (Appendix B) is clarified in Section 5, page 1 of the BCS Student-Parent Handbook, “Complaint Procedures.”
- Schedule a conference with the staff person involved in the complaint.
- Appeal to the Principal if the matter is not resolved at A.
- Appeal to the Superintendent if the matter is still unresolved at B.
- Appeal to the Board of Education if the matter is still unresolved at C.
- Complaints received by members of the Board of Education will be referred to the Superintendent.
- The channels of communication set forth in the Chain of Command (c.) will be followed.
- After all channels have been exhausted, any complainant wishing to appeal to the board shall appeal in writing (Policy 1005.01).
Communication Goal #3
Foster a collaborative environment while providing strong leadership to deliver a final decision in the best interest of the students.
- Share building-level decision-making with School Principal.
- Hold monthly Building Leadership meetings with all district supervisory and front office staff.
- Survey staff for input, feedback, suggestions, and criticism as regards changes to student polices and programming.
- Hold staff meetings monthly to share information, provide training, and foster two-way communication.
- Create and implement annual needs assessments for ongoing professional development.
- Support professional learning for all staff members to increase individual and organizational capacity.
- Invite staff members to participate in standing and ad hoc committees.
- Include staff members on School Improvement Committee and Performance Reviews.
- Recognize staff contributions to positive school culture and climate through recognition breakfasts, holiday dinners, staff annual gifts, Years of Service pin, and retirement gifts.
- Provide the opportunity for staff to meet individually with Superintendent throughout the year. Superintendent maintains “Open-Door Policy.”
- Share relevant educational research articles.
- Work in collaboration with the Principal, the School Secretary, the School Bookkeeper, and the Network and Web-page Administrators to maintain the district’s internet/intranet site and to promote it as the primary source of information for staff members.