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Leadership in School Communication Program

LISC program logo.

For Teams of Superintendents and Communication Professionals.

Offered in partnership by the National School Public Relations Association and AASA, the School Superintendents Association.

Clear, proactive and effective communication to students, families, staff and the school community is often cited as a top priority for districts, and for good reason: Strong communication is foundational to building trust and fostering positive relationships. But the area of school communication can be complex.

Now in its third year, the six-month, hybrid program for 2024 kicks off in February, bringing together superintendents and their communication professionals for monthly modules to learn more about:

  • Effective communication strategies and best practices,
  • Identifying areas of growth for continuous improvement, and
  • Ensuring a strong communications strategy is in place to support a district's overall strategic plan and day-to-day operations.


"The program's collaborative sessions are invaluable to school communication - superintendent teams!" 

—  LISC Program Alumnus


2024 Program Details and Schedule

The 2024 LISC program is a hybrid course with two in-person modules and four virtual modules, and kicks off in-person at the  AASA National Conference in San Diego in February. The program will conclude with an in-person module at the NSPRA National Seminar in Seattle-Bellevue in July. All sessions (both in-person and virtual) will be recorded and available for participants who can't make it live and to access on demand.


Choose Your Registration Type:

  • FULL PROGRAM TEAM REGISTRATION: Register for the entire program as a superintendent + communications professional team and take advantage of all six modules. Each team will receive a copy of NSPRA’s Rubrics of Practice and Suggested Measures publication (a $125 value!).  NSPRA or AASA member price: $1,500 / Non-member price: $2,000

Register for full program - TEAM  of 2

  • FULL PROGRAM INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION: Register for the entire program as an individual and take advantage of all six modules. Each registrant will receive a copy of NSPRA’s Rubrics of Practice and Suggested Measures publication (a $125 value!). NSPRA or AASA member price: $1,000 / Non-member price: $1,500

Register for full program - INDIVIDUAL

  • MODULE REGISTRATION: Register for select modules individually using buttons below in the module descriptions. Individual modules 2-5: $450; Module 6: $315 ($290 if registering for the full NSPRA National Seminar)

Module 1: Partnering on a Comprehensive Communication Strategy

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024  |  1-5 p.m. PT  |  In-Person, AASA National Conference, San Diego Convention Center  I  This module will be recorded for those who cannot attend in person.

Using NSPRA's Rubrics of Practice and Suggested Measures for School Communications publication, participants will begin to understand the elements of creating a comprehensive communication program. These elements include supporting board policies, training for cabinet-level staff, creating a communication plan based in research, social media and branding. Participants will also see the importance of aligning the communication program with the district's strategic plan. 

Examples of high performing superintendent-communications director teams will be shared as well as success strategies for superintendents in small districts without the capacity to add communications staff. 

Speakers: Dr. Rosanna Mucetti, superintendent, and Julie Bordes, director of communications and community Relations, Napa Valley (Calif.) Unified School District; Dr. John “JJ” Villarreal, superintendent, and Renae Murphy, chief communications officer, Rockwall (Texas) Independent School District

Module 1 exclusively available for full program registrants only

Speakers: Dr. Rosanna Mucetti, superintendent, and Julie Bordes, director of communications and community Relations, Napa Valley (Calif.) Unified School District; Dr. John “JJ” Villarreal, superintendent, and Renae Murphy, chief communications officer, Rockwall (Texas) Independent School District

 

Module 2: Is Your District Brand Telling the Right Story?

Friday, March 22, 2024  |  12 - 2 p.m. ET  |  Virtual
 

A district brand is more than just a logo. The brand is also what people are saying about the district and can either “sell” it well, or “sink” it before you’ve had the chance to react. Learn best practices for creating and communicating a brand that is authentic, trustworthy and reflective of your goals and mission. 

Speakers:  Dr. Don Killingbeck, superintendent, and Joy McMillan, district communications specialist, Hemlock (Mich.) Public School District

Register for Module 2 ONLY

Individual module price: $450. To register for full program, use the FULL PROGRAM registration buttons above.

 

Speakers:  Dr. Don Killingbeck, superintendent, and Joy McMillan, district communications specialist, Hemlock (Mich.) Public School District

 
 
Module 3: Exploring the Power of Generative AI Tools to Enhance Internal Communications

Friday, April 26, 2024  |  12 - 2 p.m. ET  |  Virtual

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT have the power to increase the creativity and efficiency of internal communications. In this session, we’ll show examples of how to use the tool in speech writing, job descriptions and other messaging. Further, we’ll explore AI’s ethical dilemmas including factual errors, bias and transparency. A review of practices and policies will help you move your district forward in embracing this technology. 

Speakers: Dan Bridges, superintendent, and Alex Mayster, executive director of communications, Naperville Community (Ill.) Unit School District 203

 
Individual module price: $450. To register for full program, use the FULL PROGRAM registration buttons above.

Speakers: Dan Bridges, superintendent, and Alex Mayster, executive director of communications, Naperville Community (Ill.) Unit School District 203

 
 

Module 4: Leading and Communicating in Polarized Times

Friday, May 10, 2024  |  12 - 2 p.m. ET   |  Virtual 

Community divides seem to be growing more frequent and intense around book bans, transgender policies and DEI initiatives. How can you bridge those divides in authentic ways to build back trust and get people to gain a better understanding of each other’s viewpoints? You will learn strategies to structure those conversations and turn down the heat on polarizing issues. 

Speakers: Dr. Michelle Hubbard, superintendent, and David Smith, chief of communications, Shawnee Mission (Kan.) School District 

Register for Module 4 ONLY

 
Individual module price: $450. To register for full program, use the FULL PROGRAM registration buttons above.




Module 5: The PR-HR Connection: Staff Recruitment and Retention

Friday, June 21, 2024  |  12 - 2 p.m. ET  |  Virtual

Finding the right staff for the right positions – and retaining them – in districts is always a team effort. Being strategic in these efforts is critical to success. Latest generational and workplace data indicates the tried and true use of “jeans days” aren’t the way to impress potential or current staff; districts must move beyond pizza on PD days to ensure staff feel valued. Participants will learn from those who have built strong cross-department partnerships resulting in staff who enjoy their work while giving them space to voice concerns and have them addressed.

Speakers: Dr. A. Katrise Perera, superintendent, and Kimberly Simpson, chief of communications, Lancaster (Texas) Independent School District

 
 
Individual module price: $450. To register for full program, use the FULL PROGRAM registration buttons above.

Dr. A. Katrise Perera, superintendent, and Kimberly Simpson, chief of communications, Lancaster (Texas) Independent School District

 
 

Module 6: Media Relations Amid a Crisis: Cybersecurity

Saturday, July 13, 2024  |  1-5 p.m. PT |  In-Person, NSPRA National Seminar, Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Washington  I  This module will be recorded for those who cannot attend in person.

Both superintendents and communications professionals have a responsibility to be prepared for the unexpected. Cybersecurity issues have quickly risen to the top of district leadership concerns. Creating the foundation for your district to react appropriately to this type of crisis – and others – will ensure your families, students, and staff have the information, resources and skills they need throughout the stages of a crisis. You’ll get hands-on media training from former reporters and practice the skill of bridging from a reporter’s question to your message. 

Speakers: Lesley Bruinton, APR, CEO and president, School Spirit PR (Ala.); Christine Paik, APR, chief communications officer, Poway Unified School District (Calif.); and Brad Welle, superintendent, Grain Valley (Mo.) School District
 
 
Individual module price: $315 ($290 if registering for the full NSPRA National Seminar). To register for full program, use the FULL PROGRAM registration buttons above.
 
 

Speakers: Lesley Bruinton, APR, executive vice president, Nichols Strategies, LLC (Calif.); Christine Paik, APR, chief communications officer, Poway Unified School District (Calif.); Brad Welle, superintendent, Grain Valley (Mo.) School District;


Registration Details

Registration Type

Member

Non-Member

Team price for superintendent AND communication professional

$1,500 (AASA or NSPRA)

$2,000

Individual price for either superintendent OR communication professional

$1,000 (AASA or NSPRA)

$1,500

Standalone module(s), Individual registration

$450 per module

$450 per module

Register for full program - TEAM OF 2

NSPRA or AASA member price: $1,500 / Non-member price: $2,000

Register for full program - INDIVIDUAL

NSPRA or AASA member price: $1,000 / Non-member price: $1,500

To register for individual modules instead of the full program, please use the registration buttons in the module descriptions above.



Program sponsored by Apptegy. Thank you for your generous support!

If you have any questions, please reach out to pd@nspra.org.

Offered in partnership by
AASA and NSPRA logos side by side.