This week, Carole talks with Emily Fermier about American Sign Language (ASL) and its increase in popularity among high school and university students. Emily has taught ASL at both the high school and university level for the past 14 years. Emily notes that in high schools and universities, the number of schools offering ASL is increasing in fact it has been a 67% increase from 1990 to 2013, in the # of students taking ASL as a foreign language. The surge in popularity as a foreign language can “be credited to… it being out there more, people seeing interpreters, people seeing Deaf people and sign language on TV, in movies, and really wanting to learn more about the language and the Deaf Community.”
“There’s something about sign language that is very public and private at the same time… it’s a secret language.” — Carole Dorn-Bell
Today, the day before the US Elections we speak with Amanda Morris and Jennifer Economus, both experts in school communications. We discuss this particular election cycle and how these politics relate to education. This year, in contrast to other years, the national discussion hasn’t included education and there seems to be a disconnect between the national stage and the local stage.
The Absence of Public Education
In many areas, there has been a push to keep local education separate from the federal. The focus and push is to keep control local. Regardless of this push, the absence of discussion about public education in this presidential election cycle seems strange, but potentially good. Perhaps politicians and the American public are satisfied with education, or confident that local school districts are doing a good job.
Dialogue is important, and we need to make sure that we are still talking about education, so that we do not fall away from the minds of the public.
We’ve talked time and time again about the key component of crisis communication is to already have a communications plan in place and a good relationship with your community so they’ll trust you when an emergency hits. This week we’re talking with Dr. Joe Clark, Superintendent of Nordonia Schools in Northfield, Ohio, about leadership and communications when a crisis hits.
This week’s show deals with communicating during the summer and how to stay in touch with all the stakeholders in your community. Summer isn’t a sleepy time to cut off communication, but an opportunity to engage, inform and tell your story.
When to Communicate
Early July is a time when a lot of people are traveling or may be busy. It’s not the best time to communicate. Late July and Early August is a great time to get out a newsletter, or bulletin that starts to get people back in the school mindset. A couple of weeks before school starts bringing the community back into the narrative of summer work and what the next school year holds is crucial. Additionally, once the school year actually begins, it becomes too busy for schools to engage, produce and distribute a newsletter.
Summer is a great time to reframe the previous school year, the work of the summer and the plans for the upcoming school year. Additionally, while it is a cost issue, color is so important. Having pictures that encapsulate real life, and a newsletter that looks pleasing really does a lot to communicate to the community.
With summer communication, it is important to frame the upcoming school year not just for the community and students, but for the teachers. Planning and disseminating information to the teachers about convocation can be really helpful. A couple of videos over the summer that goes along with what will concern convocation of the new year can be a great tool to communicate easily to teachers, the community and even prospective families looking to move into the district. One venue where districts can slow down a bit, it social media. People don’t need tweets every day or constant facebook posts over the summer. Take a step back and share the big things.
Regardless of when your board elections are or will be, taking time in the summer to take stock and potentially tap someone can be really valuable. Summer can be a period to start to help a potential board member see the district and see what that type of involvement would be like. You need to tell your school’s story. If you don’t then any other narrative, told by anyone will be what people know. Use summer to tell your story and engage your community.
Today’s show talks about how to run a meeting and build buy in/collaboration among stakeholders. Our guest is Dr. Jenny Hooie, from Dynamix, a company that works to help organizations improve their workflow and navigate change. With Jenny, Carole explores how school districts and school leaders can create the best opportunities to collaborate.
This week’s show concerns several approaches to guide an organization through change. Our guest is Dr. Jenny Hooie, from Dynamix, a company that works to help organizations improve their workflow and navigate change. With Jenny, Carole explores how school districts can adapt and change with ease and transparency.
This week’s show is a roundtable discussion with Joel, Carole, and Dr. John Marschhausen, superintendent of Hilliard School District, about education and the upcoming Presidential election in the United States.
“It’s a civil rights issue.” — Dr. John Marschhausen, on education & socioeconomics
This week’s podcast takes an honest look at school shootings and crisis situations from a school communications lens. We welcome Ellen Ondrey, the District Community Coordinator with Chardon Schools in Northern Ohio. Through conversation we seek to better understand both the process of dealing with a tragedy and the impact of crisis situations on schools as well as the community at large.