Bullitt County Public Schools has released new guidelines for how internal and external communication takes place in the schools and district.
Part of the new guidance reiterates and formalizes what has already evolved in practice. Other parts of the guidance is new and sets district-wide expectations so that all staff members will know what is expected of them and parents and community will know what to expect from school and district staff.
The guidelines come out in response to the proliferation of different communication channels. Schools use eNews (an internal email listserve parent can request), Facebook, Twitter, and Infinite Campus Messenger.
As teachers and principals attempt to keep the community informed, it can sometimes lead to information overload, with the same information sometimes coming over multiple channels, which leads some to simply disregard communication because of the volume.
Similarly, school staff spend a great deal of time distributing the same communication through a variety of outlets. This is time they could spend attending to student learning and school improvement.
Here are what BCPS commits to and what parents and the community should expect (and not expect):
- All school-wide electronic communications will be sent through Infinite Campus Messenger (ICM) by way of a link to a document. Messenger can be set by the parents and guardians as to the form of notification they like best, such as sending in a text message to a mobile phone or sending an email. Some schools may also use Remind 101, Dojo, or other apps already in use.
- Notification of Hard Lockdown will be transmitted through ICM, but will simply be a detailed message.
- Health alerts, such as discovery of lice, bedbugs or other public health issue will be sent via targeted ICM and hard copy.
- Notification of Soft Lockdowns will be left to the discretion of the principal depending on the situation and will be transmitted through ICM.
- Bus changes, accidents, or late buses will be transmitted through ICM or via phone as the situation dictates.
- Notification of drug sweeps being conducted at a school will be transmitted through ICM.
- School principals are encouraged to maintain and use Social Media Accounts for the school.
- Between the times of 30 minutes before school starts and 15 minutes after school starts, teachers’ main focus will be the instruction and supervision of students. They will not be available for drop-in visits, telephone calls, or immediate responses to email, which includes transportation changes. All such communications must be routed through the school office.
- Teachers will respond to all email messages within 24 hours - either during their regular planning time or immediately after school dismissal time.
- Teachers are strongly encouraged to make two positive phone calls or send two positive postcards each week of school.
- Classroom newsletters should be created on a Google Doc or similar document and posted to the teacher’s web page.
- Lesson plans are created each week for the following week and posted to the teacher web page.
- Teachers are encouraged to use the student planners for two way communication with parents regarding particular student issues (positive or corrective).