Community Consolidated School District 181 is inviting community members and businesses to follow the District on Twitter (@CCSD181). While the District has had a Twitter presence since 2010, the social media tool is getting renewed attention with more frequent tweets, expanded connections to local organizations and education groups, and a style that is intended to bring the schools and the community even closer.
District 181 Superintendent Dr. Renée Schuster, who recently launched her own Twitter account, (@ReneeSchuster1) looks forward to the potential of a stronger social media outreach. “For the 2012-2013 school year, the Board and District are collaborating on several strategic goals, one of which includes an increased focus on community engagement. Social media is one of several avenues we are using to enhance community engagement efforts.” Posts on the District’s Twitter page will include news, emergency notifications, recognition of students and staff, event updates, and relationship-building with other Twitter users.
A second “avenue” being addressed this year is the district’s data dashboard. Director of Communications Bridget McGuiggan explains: “The data dashboard is a page on our website (www.d181.org) where visitors can find important files relating to all manner of district business, ranging from financial breakdowns to academic reports. We are expanding this page to provide even more transparency to our community.” McGuiggan notes that the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) Transparency Checklist may serve as a guideline. “The IPI Checklist is an excellent framework for the type of information that public bodies make available to their constituents.”
In addition to the Twitter re-launch and expansion of the data dashboard, the Board’s plans include hosting in-person community engagement sessions in the fall. Board President Michael Nelson explains, “The Board is eager to hear from our stakeholders. Our first sessions will focus on advanced learning, a topic that we know is of value to our residents.” Nelson remarks that while specific dates are being set for the engagement meetings, the Board is open to hearing feedback all year long. “In our role as Board members, it is critical that we listen to ensure we are making decisions that reflect the best interests of students, staff, families, and our taxpayers.”