You are doing a great job with your COVID-19 communications with your community and doubling down on communication is everything during times like this. This is about getting information out to people but constantly fine tuning things.
Perhaps of special interest to you, here is a sampling of some things that we are seeing from your peers from throughout the state:
- Big Walnut Local Schools has created a guide to remote learning
- Mariemont Superintendent Conducts Regular Video Updates
- Pickerington Teachers Get Creative with Video
- Ontario Local Schools is conducting a virtual spirit week
Overall with your communication, remember to:
- Have your COVID-19 communications webpage live on your home page (and make it easy to find). Post your all-call scripts and videos, too.
- Be consistent in your outreach and frequency.
Here are some other recommendations that might help you plan and to normalize things as much as possible:
- Communicate about health and wellness and continue doing so throughout this crisis. Let parents/students know how to access reliable resources and their school counselor.
- Take care of yourself and others. Make active check-ins (not email).
- Check-in on your teachers and staff regarding their wellness and remote teaching.
- Have your teachers reach out to check in with their students periodically. They should be ready to refer students to the counselor if that child needs help.
Distance Learning Communication
- Communicate with students, teachers/staff and parents on exactly what remote learning clearly looks like for each of them (and what it does not look like). In fact, do some videos on it and remember that we can help you with that. Examples include:
- Students – They should be actively engaged and conversing with their teacher and class. Remote learning is not one-way learning where the teacher assigns the work and the student is left to do it.
- Teachers/Staff – Reach out, encourage classroom discussions
- Parents – Explain what remote learning looks like for their child and at different grade levels. Explain that helping your child is very different from homeschooling. If one of your parents is truly “homeschooling” then remote learning for their child is all wrong.
- Communicate specifics on what your own day looks like. I imagine that you are working nearly 24/7 to make things work. Describe how your workload has only increased and how you are there for your team and committed to making things work for teachers/staff and students.
- Consider having the principals conduct morning announcements. Have them lead the pledge of allegiance, talk about the weather, and share any creative activities and ideas that they found that students can do or watch at home. Give them a sense of togetherness and structure even though they are all apart.
- Communicate that teachers miss their students.
Supports for Communication
- Get your key communicator group going. That way, parents/community members who are informed can help you dispel incorrect information on various social media pages.
- Have a centralized email to handle the intake of questions. Answer those by email, video, etc.
- Have a heightened awareness of non-sanctioned fundraising efforts that appear to be from or on behalf of your school district. Make sure you are aware of any policies you have as things get dicey with these things, especially on the financial end, for districts with these things. So you might consider sending a proactive message to your community about your policy/procedures as a way to head off any issues.
More to come as things develop. In the meantime, stay inside and stay healthy.
Questions? Email the Allerton Hill team today