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Today’s parents and school employees expect to be kept informed about their local schools and to have a voice in the education process of their district. That is why school systems of all sizes must develop ongoing, two-way communication programs that keep constituents informed and involved, demonstrate fiscal and educational accountability, and build trust in and support for their schools.
The NSPRA Communication Review is intended for smaller school systems of fewer than 3,500 students that either do not have communications staff or are newly launching a communication position/program.
Our review process will help you identify existing communication gaps for your parents and staff, in order to give you the data you need to build a cost-effective communication program. Our quantitative and qualitative research will tell you what works best for these stakeholders in your district, so you can avoid spending your limited time and funds on less effective tools and tactics. Our recommendations will offer practical, relevant solutions for communication challenges in a system of your size.
Regardless of the size of your district, decisions—including decisions about communication—should be data-driven. An NSPRA Communication Review gives you the power to build a cost-effective communication program informed by research into the communication needs and preferences of your parents and staff as well as national best practices. It also sets a data baseline for evaluating the success of your communication strategies and tactics moving forward.
An NSPRA Communication Review will identify where the gaps are in your current communications and where there might be wasted effort, allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively. There are a lot of communication tools out there, but using too many or using them at the wrong time can backfire. We will help you identify the strategies and tactics that are most effective with your parents and staff.
Nothing is more important in demonstrating accountability and building trust and support between your district and its stakeholders than the quality of your communication. The NSPRA Communication Review will uncover communication gaps that exist between the district and its parents and staff. It also will identify factors affecting the effectiveness of your communication program.
The NSPRA communication review has two major research components:
Quantitative Research: We survey your staff and parents about their communication preferences, perceptions and ideas. Your results in key areas are compared to other school systems nationwide to help put them in context.
Qualitative Research: We examine samples of communication materials issued to parents and staff; communication policies; communication and crisis communication plans; the district website; district social media channels; and samples of news clips on key issues. We conduct virtual interviews with the superintendent, a school leader, and if applicable, the new communications director. We also conduct three virtual focus groups, one each with these key stakeholders: parents and parent leaders, instructional staff (teachers) and non-instructional support staff.
These components are part of a four-phase process that will provide a cost-effective snapshot of your school system’s communications with parents and staff:
The process results in a communication review report with key findings from the surveys, district materials, focus groups and interviews. The report will pinpoint your district’s communication strengths and areas for improvement. It also will make several recommendations for moving forward, based on our research and industry best practices.
It generally takes about 14 weeks to complete the full communication review process, but some school districts contract for the review months in advance of when they want the work to happen. If you have a target deadline in mind or a time frame you need to avoid, let us know and we’ll discuss how that might impact the timeline.
To learn more about an NSPRA Communication Review, please fill out the form below. A member of NSPRA's review team will contact you to schedule a time to discuss the review process and answer any questions.