Two colleagues and I recently visited a school district interested in learning more about the services provided by our K12 Insight team. As we discussed the types of issues often faced by districts — budget priorities, school closings, Bring Your Own Device initiatives — we were a bit surprised when the superintendent said that, so far this school year, he and his team have no overriding communication concerns.
As refreshing as it was to hear that this district had no pressing or divisive issues to tackle, it just didn’t seem possible that there was no critical stakeholder disagreement or communication breakdown in a large urban district with nearly 60,000 students. But as the conversation wound down 90 minutes later, still no major problems had surfaced.
But sometimes the most valuable information comes after the official meeting is over. As we walked out accompanied by the district staff member most attuned to everyday issues, he confided that there is indeed one issue with which they can use help — explaining to some older stakeholders the necessity of continuing to invest in new technology. They made it through school and life just fine without all these newfangled devices, the argument goes, so why all the fuss? This administrator was obviously frustrated, telling us that the back-and-forth goes on and on, until he explains that technology expertise is required for even the most entry-level fast food jobs. Only then do these stakeholders begin to appreciate the value of investing in tools with which they’re not familiar.
Let K12 Insight work with your district leadership team to identify your most urgent issues — one that may not even be on the superintendent’s radar—and then develop a strategic communication initiative to put the proper context around that issue for your stakeholders.
After all, every district has a pain point. What’s yours?