The concept of educators welcoming and fostering parent, employee, and community feedback is not a novel one. What has changed over the years is the growing amount of information there is to share about curriculum and mandated programs and services, special events and activities, student progress in both core academic and enrichment areas, changing demographics and the needs of children across a wide developmental and achievement spectrum, and costs, budgeting, and facilities needs and projects. Simply put, we have a lot to share with residents and we benefit from hearing from parents, employees, and students, but also from the residents who contribute time and effort to support the schools and provide the funding resources that allow us to provide a quality education for the students of this wonderful Town.
Educators have a variety of ways to connect with parents, teachers, and students. Increasingly those interactions are digitally facilitated using email, the school website, electronic newsletters, or through Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. Online communication is the preferred mode of communication for most of our parents today. But we also want to reach members of our community, who may prefer more traditional methods.
As a starting point for improving communication and exploring new tools, the Community Outreach Subcommittee of the School Committee has embarked on a “discovery” process relative to critiquing the district’s digital presence and the other forms of communication we use to communicate information and share perspectives. This process involves collecting input from a wide range of stakeholders. Parent, employee, citizen, and student feedback will be used to inform possible revisions to our website or social media presence, and guide the direction of our communication strategies. This exploration may possibly lead us to new forms of communication or technologies not presently in use.
We have partnered with Stirling Technologies, Inc. in this effort. With their help, we are asking for community participation by completing a brief online survey regarding citizens’ experiences with the HPS website and social media outreach, as well as with district and school-based communications. This can be accessed until Thursday, April 26th. As part of the outreach process, there also will be opportunities for face-to-face focus group discussions. If such discussions are of interest, survey takers can indicate that interest on the survey itself, and a representative from Stirling Technologies, Inc. will be in touch with more about these opportunities.
We expect that other citizens, including those not so digitally inclined, may want to share their thoughts about enhancing public knowledge about what’s happening in the schools or suggest ways of providing citizen feedback. You are invited to write me at the Central Office (220 Central Street), send an email to [email protected], or call 781-741-1500. We are most interested in hearing what our readers want most to know more about and how best we can communicate information (cable or other visual media, periodic print articles or newsletters, in person forums, etc.).
Whether you choose to participate in the online survey or share your perspectives in another way, we thank you in advance. EDUCATION MATTERS and so do your perspectives.
The Hingham Journal
Education Matters: Sharing Perspectives
April 5, 2018