Allerton Hill Blog

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Category: Strategies

From the Podcast: Rethinking the public school experience

Male teacher with a young male student using a digital tablet, related to the We Love Schools podcast on rethinking public schools

November 6, 2017

Moving Beyond the Classroom Walls: Rethinking Public School

In the latest episode of the We Love Schools podcast, host Joel Gagne speaks with Dr. Dave Palzet, superintendent of Pleasantdale Elementary District 107 in Illinois. Gagne and Dr. Palzet discuss how educators are moving beyond classroom walls and rethinking public school.

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How your school can stay on message

Woman pointing at Post-It notes, describing a message to other school leaders

October 24, 2017

Overwhelmed? Here’s how your school can stay on message

It’s hard to concentrate on a single goal in an environment of 24-hour news and social media. From the White House to your school, everyone can struggle at times. How do you move a project and its messaging forward, in harmony, from start to finish? Here are a few ways how your school can stay on message.

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Posted in Community Outreach, Strategies
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From the Podcast: School funding uncertainty

Woman crunching numbers on a calculator relating to school funding

September 18, 2017

Operating with school funding uncertainty

In this episode of the We Love Schools Podcast, hosts Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne talk about uncertainty around school funding and the huge impact it can have on schools. A lot of school levies are on the ballot in the fall, and if these levies don’t pass, it can have a huge impact on the school and the community, and it can be difficult for a school to operate within this cloud of uncertainty.

“Number one, talk about it with your community,” Dorn-Bell says about the uncertainty that can surround school funding. “Because if you don’t talk about it, it must not be happening. And then if something really bad happens, like funding is just ripped out from under you, your community is going to say ‘What the heck?’ and ‘Where were you?’ and ‘Why weren’t you telling us that this was going to happen?'”

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From the Podcast: The next four years for public education

Children running through the hall in a public school

September 11, 2017

The future of public education

In this episode of the We Love Schools Podcast, host Joel Gagne talks with Marlon Marshall, a founding partner at 270 Strategies, about the 2016 presidential election and what’s to come for schools, both politically and legislatively. Marshall served as Special Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Director in the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement, where he led on-the-ground enrollment for the Affordable Care Act.

In the 2016 election, public education, usually a hot-button topic, took a backseat to other debates. Marshall expects much the same in 2020, when President Trump is likely to seek re-election.
But he says those discussions around education can take place locally.

“I think education is really really important,” he says. “I think if we could get candidates to really start talking about that and… tie it to people’s economic futures and why education is important, I do think there’s a lot that can be done at the local level.”

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Posted in Social Media, Strategies
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How to form an authentic voice for your social media

Two teachers looking at a computer discussing social media

September 7, 2017

Forming an authentic voice

Which brands best leverage social media and mass communication with a unique, singular voice? Wendy’s is a strong local example.

The world of social media is a crowded place. With so many people and organizations sharing content in a 24/7 news and information cycle, it can be difficult to stay focused and cut through the clutter.

But it’s not impossible for your school to stay focused and form an authentic social media voice.

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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.”

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Posted in Education, Podcast, Strategies
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How to Continue Your School Marketing Efforts During the Summer

How to Continue Your School Marketing Efforts During the Summer

August 16, 2017

Summer vacation gives teachers and students a much-needed break from school, but that doesn’t mean you should cease your efforts at marketing your school in the community. In fact, school vacation provides numerous opportunities for you to grow your presence and show off your commitment to the community.

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From the Podcast: It’s summer time. Now is the time to plan for the fall!

Man on laptop at the beach

July 3, 2017

In this episode, Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne talk about how to use the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year.

The bottom line: It’s not wise to just turn off the lights or go on cruise control.

The less chaotic summertime can be a great chance to learn new forms of social media, prepare newsletters, conduct polling or manage outreach for an upcoming fall ballot.

“Summer goes away quickly, and so before you know it you are right on top of some of those publications and the need to get those out,” Dorn-Bell says. “So take advantage of the bit of luxury of time that you have with those and get those done.”

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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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February Newsletter: Efficiency vs Effectiveness

February 6, 2017

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Posted in Community Outreach, Social Media, Strategies
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