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COMMUNICATION PLAN
COMMUNICATION PLAN
COMMUNICATION PLAN
COMMUNICATION PLAN
COMMUNICATION PLAN
COMMUNICATION PLAN
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COMMUNICATION PLAN

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  • 1. GREATER ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD COMMUNICATION PLAN “Open, honest, interactive communication builds trust and commitment.” (taken from the GECDSB BELIEFS statements) A. BACKGROUND What we wish to accomplish as a Board is successful learning for our students. Dedicated teachers and support staff, effective curriculum and program supports, and suitable financial, learning and facility resources internally support the learning process. However, research tells us that children will learn more successfully when parents and the school community believe in and support our schools. Given this, open, two-way communications between the Board, its staff, students, parents, schools and communities is key to the learning process. The Board’s Communication Plan outlines communication goals and vehicles for our students, staff, parents, and our community. Measuring the effectiveness of these communication strategies is an annual process accomplished through communication focus groups and feedback with our Key Communicators, our parents, and our staff. Evaluating our communication activities will help us to make the adjustments required to successfully communicate our messages. B. COMMUNICATION IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS Trustees have a significant role to play in the Board’s overall communications plan. They are lead ambassadors in helping our community understand the quality and care our system delivers, and in holding us accountable for academic excellence and service to our community. The Director and Superintendents provide administrative recommendations to Trustees on the development of policies and initiatives, clearly communicate and direct policy implementation within our schools, provide supervision to our system, and connect to the broader community to promote public education. Senior Administration must maintain a high level of personal visibility in our system and in our community in order to build confidence that we are addressing and achieving improvement. Principals and staff at individual schools play a major role building a positive relationship with their community, and in carrying out public relations and media relations activities. Principals and teachers have the best ability to capitalize on every opportunity to increase the visibility of their schools within the community. This creates the positive “word of mouth” messages that are so important in building public opinion. Parents and School Councils support their child’s educational program through their close links with the school. School Councils have the unique opportunity and responsibility of bringing every parents’ voice to our decisions. The specific objectives of this Communication Plan are to: • build public confidence in education • share the good news about public education and offer a window into our classrooms • provide opportunities for us to hear feedback from the communities we serve • build stronger links between schools, parents, staff and the community
  • 2. COMMUNICATION PLAN Page 2 January 2001 • provide mechanisms for open, two communication with our key stakeholders • provide open access to information subject to the limitations of the Education Act, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Individual Privacy Act, or other legislation System communication vehicles for 2000-01 are summarized in Appendix 1. This alphabetical listing provides a brief description of each vehicle. C. SYSTEM KEY MESSAGES Every organization has fundamental messages to convey to its key stakeholders. The following statements have been developed to communicate clear and consistent information about our educational system throughout our school communities. We encourage you to use these statements throughout the coming year in your communications with your students, school councils, parents, and community. • The Greater Essex County District School Board works in partnership with our community to prepare and inspire all students to achieve their full potential and a successful future. • Our skilled, caring and committed staff deliver high quality educational programs designed to meet the needs of our students and community. • Effective planning and fiscally responsible decision-making allow us to maximize the use of our fixed resources. D COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES, KEY MESSAGES, AND VEHICLES The communication objectives, key messages, and the vehicles in place to serve each target audience are listed below. TARGET AUDIENCE OBJECTIVES KEY MESSAGES VEHICLES PARENTS • Advertisements • Engage parental • Parental involvement understanding and increases student • Annual Accommodation support of their child’s achievement. Report education. • Board Continuous Growth • The Board actively seeks Plan • Increase parental input from parents. • Board Meetings involvement in education. • Compliance/Accountability • Student success requires Report • Promote two-way the partnership of home • Director’s Memo communication with and school • Education Week Activities parents. • Fact Sheets • Provincial Testing • Principal for a Day • School Improvement Plans • School Links on Board Website • School Newsletters • School Year Calendar • Student Report Card • Student and Staff Recognition • Volunteer Recognition • Website for GECDSB Greater Essex County District School Board Building Tomorrow Together
  • 3. COMMUNICATION PLAN Page 3 January 2001 TARGET AUDIENCE OBJECTIVES KEY MESSAGES VEHICLES SCHOOL • Advertisements • Engage School Council • School Councils are an • Annual Accommodation Report COUNCILS understanding and important part of school • Board Continuous Growth Plan support of system and system planning. • Board Meetings initiatives. • Compliance/Accountability • School Councils can Report • Seek active School improve student learning • Director’s Memo Council involvement in through increasing • Director’s Report planning for our schools parental understanding of • Education Week Activities and system. and involvement in • Electronic Conferences education. • E-mail • Promote two-way • Fact Sheets communication with • Provincial Testing School Councils. • Principal for a Day • Promotional Materials • School Council Chair Meetings • School Improvement Plans • School Links on Board Website • School Newsletters • School Year Calendar • Student Report Card • Student and Staff Recognition • Volunteer Recognition • Website for GECDSB STAFF • Accommodation Planning Report • Keep staff informed about • The Board and its staff • Board Continuous Growth Plan Board and administrative are proud of the quality • Board Meetings directions, policies and education that they • Brown Bag Lunch priorities in an open, deliver in and outside the • Compliance/Accountability timely and consistent classroom. Report manner. • Director’s Memo • The Board employs • Director’s Report • Recognize and celebrate dedicated professionals • Electronic Conferences the achievements of staff. who are committed to • Education Week Activities excellence and focused • Fact Sheets • Improve two-way on students and student • Key Communicators communication with all achievement. • Promotional Materials employee groups. • Provincial Testing • The Board is interested in • Principal for a Day hearing and acting upon • School Improvement Plans the input and suggestions • School Links on Board Website of its employees. • School Newsletters • School News Releases • School Visits • School Year Calendar • Student and Staff Recognition • System Calendar • Website for GECDSB Greater Essex County District School Board Building Tomorrow Together
  • 4. COMMUNICATION PLAN Page 4 January 2001 TARGET AUDIENCE OBJECTIVES KEY MESSAGES VEHICLES STUDENTS • Support student learning • The primary focus of the • Annual Accommodation Report and success. Board is student success. • Board Meetings • Director’s Memo • Strengthen student pride • The Board fosters within • Education Week Activities in their education and our its schools the values of • Key Communicators system. respect, tolerance, non- • School Improvement Plans violence, service, • School Links on Board Website • Incorporate more student volunteerism, and good • School Newsletters input into planning and citizenship. • School Visits decisions about their • School Year Calendar • The Board recognizes educational programs. • Student Council Meeting with and celebrates student Director achievements. • Student Report Card • The Board is interested in • Student Trustee Meetings hearing and acting upon • Student and Staff Recognition the input of our students • Website for GECDSB TRUSTEES • Administrative Council • Provide accurate • Student success and • Annual Accommodation Report information to aid in the good decision making is • Board Continuous Growth Plan decision-making process. achieved through • Board Meetings planning, teamwork and • Compliance and Accountability • Respond to and assist accountability. Report Trustees in their role. • Director’s Memo • Director’s Report • Electronic Conferences • Education Week Activities • Provincial Testing • School Council Chair Meetings • School Improvement Plans • School Year Calendar • System Calendar • Website for GECDSB COMMUNITY • Increase the • The Board welcomes • Advertisements community’s public involvement in • Board Continuous Growth Plan understanding and schools and encourages • Board Meetings support of the Board and parental and community • Compliance and Accountability its mission. input. Report • Education Week Activities • Generate an increased • The Board is open and • Fact Sheets awareness of the Board’s accessible. • Key Communicators priorities, programs, • Principal for a Day finances, and • The Board delivers high • Promotional Materials achievements. quality educational • Provincial Testing programs which meet our • School Links from Web site • Enhance the community’s students’ and • School Newsletter attitudes toward public community’s needs in a • Volunteer Recognition education and toward fiscally responsible way. • Website for GECDSB educators. Greater Essex County District School Board Building Tomorrow Together
  • 5. COMMUNICATION PLAN Page 5 January 2001 TARGET AUDIENCE OBJECTIVES KEY MESSAGES VEHICLES MEDIA • Support the media in • We are committed to • Board Continuous Growth accessing information on maintaining good Plan our school system. relations with our media • Board Meetings who serve as a vehicle in • Compliance and • Improve coverage of getting information out to Accountability Report education issues, staff, our school communities. • Director’s Memo and student achievement • Director’s Report and new educational • As a public body, we take • Education Week Activities programs and initiatives. seriously our • Media Briefings responsibility to remain • News Releases • Maintain positive relations open and accessible to • School Links from Web site with local media outlets. our public. • School News Releases • Website for GECDSB E. COMMUNICATION VEHICLES The development of effective communication channels is critical in achieving these goals. As confirmed in the focus group study, a number of effective communication vehicles, in a variety of mediums, are in place and will continue to serve our system well. In addition, there are new initiatives we would like to pilot. These include: • SPEAKERS’ BUREAU: An outreach program featuring key staff who go out into the community to speak about public education, our schools, and our programs. • SYSTEM NEWSLETTER: More features highlighting the “human side” of our system. Spotlight features on our Board’s people, programs and initiatives through a quarterly electronic newsletter. • DIRECTOR’S MEDIA MEMO: A monthly memo to media outlets to outline upcoming events, initiatives and education issues. • MORE WAYS TO SPOTLIGHT OUR STUDENT AND STAFF ACHIEVEMENTS: A school- based initiative that will promote the achievements of our students. A system-based initiative that will highlight student leadership and citizenship. F. ISSUES MANAGEMENT Issues management is also an important area requiring communications support. Each year school boards and schools confront many expected and unexpected issues. It is imperative that a Board be on top of the issues as they emerge and be able to communicate effectively about them. Formulating a communication plan around issues is the best means of managing them. Certain plans can be completed ahead of time while others may need to be developed as issues surface. Having a plan in place for issues ensures that messages related to the issue are communicated to the right people, at the right time, through the right channel, and by the right spokesperson. This is a key component of ensuring our Board is open, accessible and ultimately accountable to our community. G. CONCLUSION Greater Essex County District School Board Building Tomorrow Together
  • 6. COMMUNICATION PLAN Page 6 January 2001 G. CONCLUSION Our Board is open and accessible and offers excellent learning opportunities to our students, acts in fiscally responsible ways, and enjoys the benefits of an excellent staff. This makes communications an enjoyable task. Education, however, is also a central family need and an important cornerstone of our community’s future success. This means it is and always will be of great interest to every group in our community. Effective communications becomes a key foundation to our long term success - with students and as a system. This plan should be considered a “work in progress” as we will continue to adjust it to meet our needs. Greater Essex County District School Board Building Tomorrow Together

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