Allerton Hill Blog

for industry news, case studies, new media & communications strategies

Category: Education

From the Podcast: The kindergarten parent’s experience & what it means

Children in a kindergarten class talking to a teacher

September 4, 2017

This week, hosts Joel Gagne and Carole Dorn-Bell discuss the importance of putting your best foot forward with kindergarten parents as it’s often their first experience with the school district.

Gagne and Dorn-Bell share stories from their own experiences to help schools make informed decisions about communicating with new families.

With his daughter heading into kindergarten in Washington, D.C., Gagne says the importance of a strong first impression was not lost on him.

“One meeting with the principal convinced us to buy a house,” he says. “We knew right away that she was the right fit for us.”

Education leadership should always be an emphasis. Parents will want to know that strong leaders are in place and will remain there, and that the tone set at the top will trickle down to teachers.

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From the Podcast: Financial Communication Plans and listening to your community

A group of parents and teachers discussing a school's financial communications plan

August 28, 2017

In this episode, host Carole Dorn-Bell speaks with Jenni Logan, named the 2016 Outstanding Treasurer/CFO of the Year by the Ohio Association of School Business Officials’ Foundation for School Business Management. Logan, who is treasurer of Lakota Local Schools near Cincinnati, talks about a Financial Communication Plan, lessons learned from losing ballot initiatives and the value of a listening tour.

Dorn-Bell and Logan first discuss the benefits of having a prospectus document, which weaves together and combines the narratives of what’s happening academically, facility-wise, operationally and fiscally.

“Because those are all so interrelated,” Dorn-Bell says. “It’s this fabulous document.”

Many school districts struggle with financial communication, so it’s important to have materials conveying all relevant details.

“We communicate quite a bit about what’s going on instructionally inside the walls of the school district,” Logan says. “But the financial piece, we don’t do as often.”

 Click here to read the full post on We Love Schools »

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Posted in Education, Podcast, Strategies
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From the Podcast: Teaching as a Second (or Third) Career

Man with briefcase walking into school

August 14, 2017

In today’s episode, Carole Dorn-Bell hosts Michael Demana, who made a career change later in life to begin teaching. Demana provides tips for anybody who is considering making the switch to education.

“Our generation is really the first to experience the impact of that,” Demana says, speaking about how people are more likely to switch jobs and careers throughout their lives. “I know a lot of friends who have had to make midlife career changes.”

After a few other jobs out of college, Demana began working for an airline, which he believed would give him the time and energy to follow his dream of writing fiction. While he didn’t necessarily write as much as he planned, he was happy with his job and the travel it afforded him—until his airline merged with another airline.

 Click here to read the full post on We Love Schools »

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Marketing battle: Schools pull out stops to win students

April 3, 2017

TrustED (blog) by Todd Kominiak

Last week, a lawsuit brought by public school parents in Nashville, Tenn., against an area charter school network received class-action status.

According to News Channel 5, the lawsuit accuses RePublic Schools Nashville of spamming local parents with text messages aimed at siphoning students from Nashville Metro Public Schools to the company’s for-profit charter school network.

In total, close to 4,000 parents received the texts. Attorneys representing aggrieved parents are now seeking $1,500 in damages for each message.

It remains to be seen whether the parents will win their legal battle. Either way, the story shines a light on a reality that many public leaders suddenly face: Competition from charter schools, private vouchers, and other alternatives is real. And many of these schools are investing in marketing to attract families.

Joel Gagne is president of Allerton Hill Consulting, a marketing firm that contracts with public schools. His take: Public schools need to step up their game if they want to compete with other providers. “K12 leaders have to adopt the mentality that they are competing for these students. And they must understand that this is no longer a fair fight.

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Posted in Allerton Hill News, Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education, Issues Facing Schools Today, Policy, Social Media, Strategies
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From the Podcast: Expanding Sign Language in Our Schools

February 21, 2017

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Posted in Education, Podcast
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Apps in the Classroom: How to Find What Works for You and Your Students

Educational Apps in the Classroom // Tips on Technology & Communication from Allerton Hill Consulting

July 18, 2016

There is no doubt that the internet and the use of smart devices in the classroom is revolutionizing how teachers teach and how students learn. Think of any subject, any technique and “there’s an app for that”… in fact, there are probably thousands of apps for that! This, of course, is where the problem lies. How do you find the apps that will expand on your lessons and engage your students without distracting them or isolating them?

One criteria that can be helpful to use in narrowing down your choices is to look for apps that encourage collaboration rather than just one student and the screen. There are apps that allow students to share notes, write stories, create multimedia presentations and research long term projects. These apps empower students to work together.

Another solid benchmark to consider is whether it encourages students to “break the rules” or build something new. Are users just playing a game or filling in the blanks? Or are they encouraged to be creative? to create? to expand upon ideas and form new conclusions, new questions, new paths to discover?

Of course, it is critically important to ensure that any apps you use have safety settings that will allow you to contain search terms and access to appropriate materials.

There are hundreds of lists of the “best apps for educators” but we would be remiss not to include our own favorites that follows these 3 points of criteria. I’ve used all of the apps below and can speak to its ease of use, collaboration capabilities and creativity-inspiring capabilities.

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Posted in Education, Technology
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Communicating Confidence

June 17, 2016

When a crisis occurs in a school district, it is essential that calm be restored as quickly as possible.  That happens more easily if stakeholders have confidence in school leadership. However, that confidence must be present not only after a crisis has been resolved, but also before and during a crisis. It can be built and reinforced through a targeted communications strategy.

The first step is to determine whether your district has a “confidence gap.”  A simple survey of students, staff, parents and the community will determine whether your stakeholders believe your district can handle a crisis. Note that a crisis can range from a disabled furnace during a cold snap or an expensive lawsuit, to school violence or an unexpected death.  Each requires a unique set of leadership skills.  Any survey must account for that.

While your public may believe the district can repair a furnace, for example, they may not agree that the district is capable of handling school violence.  Use the information collected from the survey to develop a communications plan for building, reinforcing, or restoring confidence.  Special attention should be given to those areas in which stakeholders have the least confidence.

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Posted in Community Outreach, Education, Policy, Social Media
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From the Podcast: Looking at Mississippi and Beyond

May 30, 2016

Today’s show touches on funding, equity, and resources in public schools and how socioeconomic status and zip codes are dictating the success of our students. Our guest is Dr. Denver Fowler, professor at the University of Mississippi, who has served as a coach, teacher, athletic director and administrator in P­12 settings for over a decade. He was named the 2015 State Assistant Principal of the Year in the state of Ohio and nominated for the National Assistant Principal of the Year. His research interests include ethics, leadership and research on the superintendency.

To SUBSCRIBE to our podcast via iTunes, click here.

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Posted in Education, Podcast, Policy
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Planning for the Transition from High School to College

Allerton Hill Consulting podcast on transitioning from high school to college with Elizabeth Probst

May 2, 2016

This week’s show focuses on the all important question of what college to attend and the factors that go into making that decision. We welcome Beth Probst, from At the Core, an organization that was founded to help serve students as they prepare to make important decisions that surround their transition from high school to the future.

To SUBSCRIBE to our podcast via iTunes, click here.

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From the Podcast: 1:1 Technology Initiative in Your School

1:1 Technology Initiative in Schools : a podcast interview from Allerton Hill Consulting

April 11, 2016

Today’s show is about technology and 1:1 initiatives in public schools. Technology can be a great equalizer for students, but understanding all sides of implementation and day­to­day use is crucial to the success of any 1:1 technology program. Our guest is Keith Pomeroy, the Chief Technology Officer at Upper Arlington Schools in Ohio where they have recently successfully launched a 1:1 initiative.

“…changing what is possible in the classroom.”

To SUBSCRIBE to our podcast via iTunes, click here.

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Posted in Education, Podcast, Technology
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