Roaring Fork School District moves ahead with communication plans
Ryan Summerlin February 18, 2013
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Roaring Fork School District Re-1 officials will begin implementing a strategic plan to improve internal and public communications in the district.
“The board validated what was presented last month as something they would like to go forward with,” Re-1 Superintendent Diana Sirko said of a Re-1 school board discussion last week in Carbondale.
“We will need to prioritize what we can get done right away, and determine what will have the most impact in the community,” she said.
Anything that would require funding, such as website upgrades or staffing to carry out the plan, will be discussed as part of the 2013-14 budget process this spring, Sirko said.
Local communications consultants Jeanne Mackowski and Sheryl Barto recently presented the school board with several strategies to improve district communications.
Among the ideas were to revamp the district and individual school websites, and use other means of technology, to share information.
Sirko said one of the first tasks for the district’s new technology director would be to look at an overhaul of the websites to make them easier to navigate, with more readily available information.
The district recently hired Jeff Gatlin as the new tech director, following longtime director of technology Dave McGavok’s recent retirement announcement. Gatlin is scheduled to start March 11, Sirko said.
The new strategic plan grew out of a communications audit that was conducted in the district last year.
Other recommendations to get the word out about what’s going on in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt schools include:
• Reaching out to civic and business organizations through presentations about district and school programs.
• Improving efforts to engage the district’s Latino families by having more Spanish-speaking liaisons in schools.
• Developing a unified vision for the district that can be clearly articulated by administrators, teachers and staff.
• Broader publicity of school board agendas and webcasts of important meetings.
• More superintendent and district administrator meetings with parent accountability groups.
• Regular drop-in “coffee talks” with school board members and district administrators.
• Publication of an annual “state of the schools” report.
Sirko said the district will also begin working with local newspapers to publish more op-ed pieces on school and education topics.