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From the Podcast: Navigating winter as a school district

Tree and snowman cutouts, blog post on navigating winter as a school district

December 20, 2017

Discussing how to communicate effectively in the winter months with Amanda Morris

Host Joel Gagne talks with Amanda Morris, Outreach Strategist for Allerton Hill Consulting. Joel and Amanda discuss the communication needs for schools during the winter months and the difficulties some schools may face regarding communicating effectively over the holidays.

Joel asks Amanda for tips on how schools can communicate effectively over the holidays while school isn’t in session. Amanda says the important thing is for schools to remember to communicate and not disregard this time.

“What I see all too often is that districts say, ‘Oh, it’s the holidays. I’m just going to quit communicating altogether,'” Amanda says. She says that schools should always be communicating throughout the entire year.

“People are busy, but you just need to find short, quick ways to make sure your message is finding a way into their spectrum of attention,” Amanda says.

Amanda suggests quick, fun videos featuring students and staff members talking about how grateful they are.

“This is a time where we’re supposed to be thankful for the pieces of our lives, we’re celebrating those wonderful people in our lives, so celebrate the wonderful people in your school district,” Amanda says.

“Just continuously saying ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you’ goes a long way of showing that gratitude,” Joel says.

Amanda says that including people beyond the students and staff members can go along way with connecting with the community.

“You should have principals, and teachers, and superintendents, and treasurers, whoever, saying why they’re thankful for the community’s support,” Amanda says. “You’re going nowhere without the community’s support, so you have to make sure you say ‘Thank you’ to them for that, otherwise it may not be there the next time you need it.”

Amanda also says this is a great time to give back to the community and share that community spirit.

When the two discuss the “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” debate, both agree that while it may vary by school district, “Happy Holidays” is typically the way to go.

“You’re getting across all the same types of messages you want to get across, but you’re doing it in a way that is acknowledging everyone and isn’t offending pretty much anyone,” Amanda says. “Why not be an example of leadership in your community by including people?”

Joel asks Amanda if she has any tips for schools going into the new year. She says this is a great time to get information out to the community, especially about finances.

“I encourage districts to be constantly communicating about their finances, because if they don’t, trust me, someone else will fill in those gaps for them,” Amanda says. She says this is a great time to show what’s going on in the classroom and to clarify how you’re working to stretch dollars.

The two also discuss this as a great time for doing a test run of whatever system is in place in case the school needs to shut down due to weather. They also says it’s a good time to encourage parents to have a plan in place in case of a school cancellation.

Amanda’s big final suggestion is to remind schools to remember to communicate over the holidays. She says that quick videos can go a long way, and it’s important for schools to communicate consistently while keeping their brands in mind.

Listen to the full We Love Schools podcast episode on Navigating winter as a school district.  

Interested in learning more about how the Allerton Hill Consulting team can help your school? Contact us today.

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

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