After 9 years, I have built up a list of suggestions for JCPS that I think would help improve their communications, make life easier for parents, and improve the image of the school. These include:
- A thorough review of "Choices" Booklets, School Websites, and other information on schools to ensure that the information accurately reflects the offering of the school and provides parents with information that makes comparing and contrasting schools easier to do.
- Training sessions for incoming parents to learn about how school selection works, how magnet programs work and feed into middle and high schools, the programs and methods of teaching offered within each school and how they differ, and guidance on choosing the best path for your child. The Showcase of Schools is nice, but throws far too much information at you too fast.
- Revamping the JCPS website to make information easier to find, eliminating redundancies and items that are no longer relevant.
- Creation of an internal database that tracks frequently asked questions from parents and records the answers given to ensure a consistent, accurate response.
- Taking the previous idea further, a wiki page or FAQ that provides one consistent answer to commonly asked questions, and the source of the information
- Additionally, focus on the rumor mill that springs up around desirable schools and programs. Is it really true that you have to sacrifice a goat, cross the Ohio on horseback, and have three verified miracles to get into Manual?
- Focusing on consistency of information provided and positive parent experience on school tours. The first JCPS school I ever toured told us we could "walk around and walk inside any open classroom, but don't ask any questions, interrupt, or go into any door that wasn't open." Thankfully, the next four elementary school tours were pleasant and informative. And while I realize it makes for a long day, I appreciate all schools that have evening tours and high staff participation
- Detailed explanations of different programs offered within schools, such as the "Advance" program.
- An advisory panel of parents and students to discuss the state of different communications initiatives and to solicit suggestions and feedback
Do you have suggestions for improving JCPS communication?