GCSS Communications Plan
School districts today face many challenges, not the least of which is communication. Ensuring accurate, timely, and honest communications with key stakeholders is integral to supporting student success.
Because it is so important, Glynn County Schools partnered with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and SCoPE (School Communications Performance Evaluation) in the fall of 2021 to determine how effective our current communication tools are, highlight our strengths and weaknesses, and provide practical recommendations on how to advance.
A survey was distributed to our staff, parents/guardians and community members in September 2021, followed by focus groups and administrative interviews in November. Below is a brief summary of the survey results.
- Of the 1,087 respondents, 53.3% identified themselves as district parents. 40% were professional staff (teachers, staff, district personnel and/or building administrators), and 6.7% were community members.
- 66.2% of the respondents have a child in the Glynn County School System. 33.7% did not have children currently in the district.
- District communication via One Call Now automated phone/email system, social media and district website were considered effective in all focus groups. In addition, the use of email, texts and social media to communicate district news was highly appreciated and preferred.
- When asked if they are getting the information that they need, an overwhelming majority suggested improving the district’s communication channels, as the volume of communication and the multitude of channels being used have created confusion. A recommendation to consolidate or streamline communications through one channel was provided.
This plan was updated to establish a more comprehensive and integrated communications process, based on survey results and feedback provided from the Communications Audit Report so that we could better meet the communications needs of all stakeholders. It aligns with the district’s goals and is incorporated throughout the District Strategic Plan. The goals and strategies are tied directly to the objectives of the strategic plan set by the district for achieving its goals.
The Communications Plan is a working document and is intended to do the following:
- Provide a communications program that directly helps the district achieve its strategic goals;
- Increase accessibility of information to all stakeholders;
- Foster strong relationships with district stakeholders;
- Increase the engagement of staff, parents and community members in the district’s decision-making process;
- Streamline external communication practices;
- Provide a focus and direction for messages/methods in support of the district’s goals.
- Enable the district to present itself accurately to audiences.
DESIRED BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDES
Through implementation of this plan, the following desired behaviors and attitudes are the focus:
Faculty, Staff, Board of Education, Parents, Students, Volunteers
- Keep informed on key issues affecting the district and students
- Work as a high-performing organization whose employees respect and value each other as well as stakeholder feedback
- Exhibit district values of caring, integrity, and collaboration
- Exhibit District pride
Taxpayers, Senior Citizens, Business Leaders, Media, Legislators, Religious Leaders, Realtors
- Support the Glynn County School System
- Exhibit trust in the schools and district
- Feel engaged and involved in their public schools
Goals are listed in no particular order of priority and should be recognized as integrated activities for achieving long-term success.
- Develop and maintain positive, collaborative relationships with all stakeholders to strengthen support for the Glynn County School System.
- Increase awareness of the excellent education and innovative programs offered in the Glynn County School System.
- Enhance the image and public opinion of the Glynn County School System.
- Establish an effective employee communication plan to improve internal communication and employee engagement.
COMMUNICATION GOALS & STRATEGIES
COMMUNICATION GOAL #1
Develop and maintain positive, collaborative relationships with all stakeholders to strengthen support for the Glynn County School System.
- Utilize the Key Communicator Groups (e.g. PTA, Family Connections of Glynn, Communities in Schools, Brunswick-Glynn County Library, Golden Isles Arts & Humanities, local media) to involve parents and community members in schools and education.
- Continue with electronic communication tools (e.g. district website, One Call Now messaging system, social media) to provide information for all stakeholders.
- Build and maintain partnerships with business and community leaders (e.g. Partners in Education, New Teacher Orientation, This Girl Can, Connect Glynn Externship, STEAMFest and Literacy Fair, Glynn County Teacher of the Year, Annual Retirement Luncheon).
- Develop and sustain relationships with local emergency management officials (e.g. Glynn County PIO Group).
- Plan, produce and distribute district’s Annual Report.
- Establish strong, positive connections between individual schools and their communities.
COMMUNICATION GOAL #2
Increase awareness of the excellent education and innovative programs and approaches offered in the Glynn County School System.
- Disseminate current, accurate and informative information to the public through the district website.
- Generate news media publicity for unique, innovative, and newsworthy programs and events.
- Serve as district spokesperson to positively position the district in media responses and interviews relating to major district events and issues.
- Ensure that the Board of Education annually reviews and updates as necessary its Mission and Vision statements and the board ethics policy as required by state governance standards.
- Facilitate board participation in the GSBA Board Recognition Program.
- Serve on Golden Isles Arts & Humanities Board of Directors to serve as liaison between the school system and GIAHA.
- Coordinate with the Superintendent to conduct Leadership Listens, a drop-in, agenda-free forum at several schools throughout the year.
- Highlight accomplishments, create awareness, promote transparency and increase community support for the GCSS.
- Work with district staff, the Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Power Company to coordinate and conduct annual Teacher of the Year awards dinner and program.
- Promote and maintain a reporter-friendly culture within GCSS through staff education.
- Maintain positive relationships with members of the local news media and utilize contacts to publicize special events/programs.
- Work with district leadership team to develop, manage and promote the district Strategic Plan.
- Coordinate annual Leadership Glynn school visits and lunch.
- Manage and update district’s Simbli website to provide information about and access to Board of Education meetings, policies and the district Strategic Plan.
- Continue to promote GCSS programs and events through the district’s social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) to maximize awareness and support for the district.
- Keep a file of news article/press clippings for school board members and for the district’s future reference.
COMMUNICATION GOAL #3
Enhance the image and public opinion of Glynn County Schools.
- Serve as a member of the Georgia Schools Public Relations Association (GSPRA), and work toward Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) certification.
- Utilize consistent polished look and theme on all GCSS publications to promote recognition, increase public awareness and improve public perception of the district.
- Provide cost-effective, professional, timely, and interesting publications to our school community and taxpayers (e.g. One Glynn Magazine).
- Continue to produce newsletters, publications and/or website landing pages that address the needs, wants and questions of all audiences (e.g. Back-to-School Information Center page on district and school sites).
- Utilize media contacts to present positive image to the local public.
- Provide opportunities for teachers to discuss their needs and recommendations for leadership (e.g. monthly school visits).
- Maintain a proactive media relations program to enhance the district’s image (e.g. newsworthy media pitches from District News Submission Form and/or submissions from Alumni News).
- Establish a clear brand identity for the district and build upon that brand and reputation (e.g. GCSS Identity Guidelines).
- Build relationships with community members & media through one-on-one story development.
COMMUNICATION GOAL #4
Establish an effective employee communication plan to improve internal communication and employee engagement.
- Work in collaboration with Human Resources to coordinate clear, consistent messages to staff.
- Coordinate with Superintendent, Glynn County Schools Police Chief and other district staff to conduct district communications response to crisis situations and events.
- Counsel district staff, school principals and board members in managing crisis communications and assuming appropriate roles in a crisis or emergency.
- Review social media and website analytical reports to evaluate district strategies and decisions based on data insights.
- Assist with creating and updating district- and school-level crisis communications plans.
- Coordinate with College of Coastal Georgia, Glynn County EMA and other local emergency agencies to share and learn from their crisis management best practices.
- Create and implement new staff orientation as well as recruitment materials to attract and retain highly qualified staff to carry out the GCSS mission and educational programs.
- Work in collaboration with IT Department to maintain the district’s intranet site and to promote it as the primary source of information for staff members.
- Provide opportunity for building level staff to meet individually with Superintendent throughout the year (e.g. Teacher Advisory Group).
- Create, implement, and maintain a monthly employee recognition program as well as employee-related events such as wellness committee initiatives, employee recognition breakfasts/lunches, and annual retirement luncheon.
- Distribute information to staff regarding school, student and staff events, fundraisers, etc. through intradistrict listserv.
- Assist with coordination and conduction of Principals and Cabinet/Directors meetings.
- Promote open communication between the district office and schools, highlight accomplishments, and inform GCSS staff about important information, issues and events.
- Each school building and the district office has a staff meeting monthly to share information, provide training, and foster two-way communication.
Last Updated: 10-10-2023