Communications Plan

Purpose: We have spent the Spring and Summer listening and learning. The following document lays out the communications priorities we will use to guide our work based on all that we have heard. Under each priority is a series of specific action steps we will prioritize this fall.

First and foremost, all work of the Board will be guided by the nonnegotiable principle:

“The interests of our students come first.”

General School Board Priorities

  • Student Achievement Our students’ potential is limitless. The achievement and safety of our students will drive all of our decisions and we will invest in programs and initiatives that are proven to support all students in reaching their potential.
  • Transparency and Accessibility Effective school governance requires the intentional inclusion of diverse populations and viewpoints in order to support and strengthen decision making. All voices matter.
  • One System of Quality Schools All of our students deserve access to quality schools. While the School Board oversees district schools and charter schools differently, both types of schools exist to provide quality educational opportunities to all Philadelphia students. We will work to make sure that all children attending public schools- regardless of life circumstances, zip code, behavioral challenges, or disability- have access to great schools.
  • Financial Stability In the end, none of our goals will be possible without balancing the ability to make additional investments while maintaining our financial stability. We will manage our financial resources prudently and seek to secure additional sustainable funding.

Communications Goals to Support our Priorities:

  1. Provide our diverse audiences with information that is relevant, timely, and easily accessible.
  2. Build trust with the public, students, parents, teachers, and community members.
  3. Use committees to better engage with the communities we serve and address key District governance matters.
  4. Develop materials that offer better support to immigrant communities.

Strategy

Strategy 1A: Maintain the Board of Education website so that it acts as the hub for all of the latest information and resources.

Action Items:

  • Manage a calendar that contains action and committee meetings, events and deadlines
  • Utilize entry page pop-ups to communicate important/timely messages
  • Maintain a blog/recent news section to keep all audiences well-informed and engage Board members in creating blog content

Strategy 1B: Build a robust social media presence to create a two-way communication channel between the Board and the public.

Action Items:

  • Keep social media accounts up-to-date by consistently posting news and important information
  • Engage with followers and social users who like/frequent our pages (i.e. responding to questions/concerns, replying to comments, etc.)
  • Share content with key stakeholders such as the District and City of Philadelphia so messaging can be shared across platforms

Strategy 1C: Create an editorial calendar to plan and organize content for the website, social media platforms, and newsletter.

Strategy 1D: Create and share resources that provide guidance on the support systems/programs that are offered throughout the city.

Action Items:

  • Maintain a web page that lists District and city departments, the services they provide and appropriate contact information
  • Design a “Did You Know” social media campaign“Did you know that if you need help with X, you can contact Y”

Strategy 1E: Publish materials so that they are accessible to everyone including those who are disabled and those who speak languages other than English.

Action Items:

  • Whenever possible publish information/materials in the eight languages prioritized by the District
  • Write all materials at a 7th grade reading level to assure that content is accessible to as many people as possible
  • Verify that all content posted online is accessible by readers who are visually impaired

Strategy 2A: Develop a culture of transparency.

Action Item:

  • Make documents/materials easily accessible by posting them online (in a timely manner)
  • Communicate where these materials are available on our website and through social media
  • Be honest and clear about processes and outcomes and communicate in a way that is easy to understand
  • Update platform for sharing meeting materials so that it is is searchable and easily read
  • Develop a public feedback/response system
  • Maintain an FAQ webpage

Strategy 2B: Be open and accessible to the public

Action Item:

  • Update materials frequently so that the public is aware of timelines/actions taken
  • Involve all communities in the work of the Board by holding public meetings and events in various schools/locations
  • Increase ways the Board members can be accessible, such as attending public events, hosting Twitter Chats, etc.

Strategy 3A: Keep the public informed on the responsibilities and actions of each committee.

Action Items:

  • Promote committees as an opportunity for the public to have dialogue with Board members on specific topics
  • Post committee meeting dates, livestream meetings and publish reports and materials on the website and social media
  • Build out committee pages with specific information of the work being done and where the public can look for more information
    Include a message from each committee in the Board newsletter

Strategy 4A: Partner/work closely with news outlets that translate information/articles into the language of their main audience

Action Item:

  • Pitch all articles to multi-lingual outlets such as Al Dia, Metro Chinese Weekly, Metro Viet News, El Sol Latino, etc.

Strategy 4B: Follow accessibility guidelines for the website to make sure that all information can be translated by the web browser

Action Items:

  • Limit the amount of pdf’s posted as they are not able to be translated by the web browser