Regional Chapter Reports: November 2018

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Southwest Region Chapters Report - November 2018

Trent Allen, APR, senior director of community relations, San Juan Unified School District, Carmichael, Calif.

Southwest Region Vice President (ASPRA, CalSPRA, COSPRA, USPRA)

 

Arizona School Public Relations Association (ASPRA)

Emily Waszolek, chapter president

Chapter well-being

As a chapter, ASPRA is increasing in membership and gaining momentum as an organization. We are meeting quarterly, with our ASPRA*tions Awards coming in November and a change in location for our annual summer conference next year.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

One of the projects for ASPRA is being more inclusive of our members in the southern (Tucson area) and northern (Flagstaff) portions of our state. To achieve this we are meeting in Tucson for our next quarterly meeting and up north in a couple months. The ASPRA board is also looking into developing a social media presence this year.

Professional development programs/activities

Professional development happens quarterly with ongoing communication and idea sharing through the email listserve.

Major chapter issues or concerns

No major struggles, just brainstorming ways to be more inclusive of all our members.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

We could use support with content ideas for professional development and national speakers.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

Empowerment scholarships are on the ballot this year and could gain traction if approved by voters in November. The #RedforEd movement is still alive and becoming increasingly more political as time goes on.

Additional items of note

None submitted.

 

California School Public Relations Association (CalSPRA)

Nathan Quevedo, President

Chapter well-being

CalSPRA launched its membership drive in October and is on track to exceed the previous membership of more than 300. We also launched registration for the 2019 seminar in Santa Rosa and have a significant amount of interest from sponsors.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

CalSPRA is exploring attending, presenting at and/or having a vendor space at the Superintendent Symposium, Small School Districts Association, California School Boards Association, Association of California School Administrators, among several others. This will help advocate for school communications, increase visibility and potentially bring in new members.

Professional development programs/activities

A new project for CalSPRA was expanding our regions to seven (map attached). Each region will have at least one professional development/networking event annually to better serve our members where they are and focus on more regional needs.

Major chapter issues or concerns

Our biggest issue is managing growth. We are reviewing job descriptions from other chapters to develop a sustainable position to help manage the growth.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

There are no major issues or concerns for CalSPRA.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

School safety, funding retirement and updating aging infrastructure are all items of concern.

Additional items of note

N/A

 

Colorado School Public Relations Association (CoSPRA)

No report submitted.

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Utah School Public Relations Association (USPRA)

No report submitted.

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 


South Central Region Chapters Report - November 2018

Tony Heaberlin, APR, chief communications and economic development officer,
Tulsa (Okla.) Tech

South Central Region Vice President (ArkanSPRA, KanSPRA, MOSPRA, OKSPRA, TSPRA)

 

Arkansas School Public Relations Association (ArkaNSPRA)

No report submitted.

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Kansas School Public Relations Association (KanSPRA)

No report submitted.

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Missouri School Public Relations Association (MOSPRA) 

No report submitted.

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Oklahoma School Public Relations Association (OKSPRA)

Cara Adney, chapter president

Chapter well-being

There are 102 OKSPRA members as of October 3, 2018. This is a slight increase from last year’s final membership number. The 2018-19 officer team developed a membership recruitment strategy to reach out to former OKSPRA members and invite them to rejoin the organization. We use MailChimp to communicate with members and prospective members. OKSPRA officers divided a list of “regulars” who did not join and made personal contact with them regarding their membership status.

In terms of communication with members, we guaranteed members that they would receive monthly emails from the OKSPRA president that will include upcoming meeting content and information on OKSPRA member-only resources. We have a communications outline for the year that includes essential chapter/meeting content as well as NSPRA award information. This communication has been well received by members. We have established a members-only Facebook group and a resource area on our website. We have a separate email campaign that goes to non-members to share upcoming meeting content and the benefits of membership, with hopes to move them into the member’s only list!

Our goal for this year is to bring the best of NSPRA to OKSPRA members. Many of our state’s schools are still under tight budget constraints and travel restrictions. We know a majority of our members will never have the opportunity to attend the NSPRA Seminar. We are committed to bringing the best of NSPRA to our members. Each of our quarterly meetings will feature someone who presented at NSPRA 2018 and the work of an OKSPRA member. We kicked off our year with outgoing NSPRA President Tom DeLapp and a presentation by longtime OKSPRA member Kathleen Kennedy and Lynn Cordes, a new OKSPRA member. Looking forward, Andrea Gribble will be our speaker on December 11 and Carla Pereira will present on February 19. Our Spring Conference will take place April 10-12, 2019 and will primarily feature NSPRA speakers.

During the NSPRA leader’s meeting, we learned how other chapters are using the free ZOOM platform to host monthly virtual meetings. OKSPRA is launching this membership benefit in October. Our plan is to reach out to presenters from the NSPRA Gold Mine sessions and ask them to share their content with our members. We hope to use this “best practice” to connect our members with the best of our national organization, furthering our goal to bring the best of NSPRA to OKSPRA.

We changed our bylaws in April 2018 to better serve members and organizations that support OKSPRA. Our institutional membership now allows members to “pass” institutional meeting spots to guests when a paid institutional member is unable to attend. The primary goal of this change is to allow institutional members (primarily technology centers in Oklahoma) to invite guests (for example, representatives from their sending/partner school) to attend meetings. Members are also given one guest pass to invite someone to attend a meeting with them. Our vision is that those guests would see the value of the organization and join. We also established a membership level for organizations who support OKSPRA and school communications.

Membership fees for OKSPRA increased this year. We surveyed surrounding state SPRAs and other professional associations and determined that we were underselling our value and benefit. We increased dues by 50 percent, increasing an individual membership from $50 a year to $75 a year. A similar increase was made to the institutional membership. We let members know we were doing this to bring in national talent to our meetings. We have not had any feedback from members regarding the change.

Our association is fiscally sound, but we recognize in order to maintain our current financial situation we must secure sponsorships. This is an ongoing area of improvement and a top priority for officers. During the leader’s meeting at NSPRA, we collected information on sponsorship levels from multiple chapters and we plan to use them as a guide for OKSPRA.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

We will continue to have partnerships with the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration as opportunities arise. This relationship started during last year’s teacher work stoppage and continued with OKSPRA having a presence at their statewide conference this summer. OKSPRA plans to submit a proposal to offer a session at this year’s conference. We are still brainstorming ideas for content.

The Oklahoma CareerTech Communications and Marketing group has shared our meeting dates and content with their members.

West/School Messenger has committed to be a meeting sponsor for December. We are reaching out to other organizations to become financial supporters of OKSPRA.

Professional development programs/activities

OKSPRA has quarterly meetings set for September, December and February. Meetings will take place in the Oklahoma City metro area, a central part of our state. Our Spring Conference will take place April 10-12. The location is TBD at this time. Virtual meetings will be held monthly.

Major chapter issues or concerns

Membership and sponsorships continue to be a concern for the organization.

We are also struggling with our awards program and hope to revamp it for the upcoming year. We welcome any best practices from other organizations. This might be a topic for the 2019 Leader’s Meeting.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

Charter schools and online learning continue to be an issue for our state. EPIC Charter Schools is the fifth largest high school in the state. Our members continue to monitor this situation and the ongoing conversations regarding the quality of education.

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA)

Linsae Snider, Executive Director

Kristin Zastoupil, President

Chapter well-being

  • Forms were filed with the Secretary of State for an Assumed Name Certificate.  TSPRA can now conduct business as both Texas School Public Relations association and/or Texas Chapter, NSPRA.
  • An external audit review of our organization was conducted during the month of August resulting in a report of sound accounting practices and diligent and responsible management of funds.
  • The Member Review of Financial Records and Procedures (Audit) Committee conducted its audit of the 2017-2018 fiscal year on September 13, 2018, reporting sound accounting practices, efficient office operations and making seven recommendations to the Executive Committee, mostly addressing long-term investment goals.
  • The TSPRA 990 for the 2017-2018 fiscal year was filed with IRS on October 12, 2018.
  • We continue to accept dues 2018-2019 renewals until October 31, 2018.  After that date, a late fee of $45 will be added.  We expect membership to remain at approximately 880 members. 
  • All but one of the nine TSPRA regions has hosted (or has scheduled) to host least one meeting during the fall of 2018 with SPRINT, CASPRA, SASPRA and HASPRA hosting monthly meetings.
  • TSPRA Executive Committee met in Austin on September 27, 2018, resulting in a summary of the meeting actions, discussions and information being shared with membership via the weekly newsletter.
  • TSPRA Executive Committee approved anti-harassment policy along with a policy for compensation of unused staff sick leave.
  • The TSPRA Nominating Committee also met in Austin on September 27, 2018, to slate Executive Committee candidates for 2019-2020.  Electronic voting takes place November 7-December 7, 2018.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

  • A total of 20 TSPRA members have earned CPC (certified public communicator) credentials from the TCU program with another five enrolled and having completed the first year of the two-year program.
  • The Past Presidents’ Council dedicated the spring and summer to designing a new President’s ring depicting the new TSPRA logo for both male and female presidents, a pendant that will be available to membership for purchase and a lapel pin that will be presented to all who attend the 2019 conference.
  • A new Star Award medal was also designed and produced depicting the new TSPRA logo.
  • All new exhibit collateral depicting the new TSPRA logo has been designed and purchased.
  • The state office continues to publish twice-weekly EduLeges, weekly eNewsletters, eBlasts about important announcements and postings of communications related positions on our website. In addition, numerous Facebook postings and twitter messages are posted on an ongoing basis.  The TSPRA Facebook page houses photographs from regional meetings.
  • Pastors for Texas Children Founder, Reverend Charles Foster Johnson, was named 2018 Key Communicator and received recognition on September 29, 2018, during the second general session of the 2018 TASA TASB Convention held in Dallas.
  • Professional headshots were taken of the TSPRA Executive Committee and will appear on the TSPRA website and annual conference program.
  • Celebrate Texas Public Schools Committee will dedicate the 2018-2019 school year to determining the future of the program.
  • Plans are underway to form a collaborative of the CCO’s from the ten largest school districts in Texas.
  • We continue to be pleased with the Member 365 member management system and continue to learn new features realizing that no MMS is perfect!
  • Star Awards entries are being accepted until November 12, 2018, through Open Water, a system we also invested in two years ago, with an expectation of receiving approximately 1100 entries.
  • Open Water will also be utilized this year for professional awards nominations and judging.
  • TSPRA continues to be asked to present to the TASA First Year Superintendent Academy each year and delivered seven concurrent sessions for the TASA/TASB Convention and will schedule 8 sessions for the Superintendent’s Midwinter Convention.
  • TSPRA continues to utilize ‘GoToMeetings” making ad hoc and standing committee meeting time and resources more efficient without the hassle or expense of travel.
  • Applications for three TSPRA conference scholarships, valued at $1980 each, will be accepted until November 20th with the recipients being named on December 12th.
  • The TSPRA president served on the selection committee that named the 2019 Texas Teacher of the Year.
  • TSPRA continues to author articles for the TASA publication, the INSIGHT that is delivered to all TASA members quarterly.
  • TSPRA has contracted for conference locations in 2020 (Omni Barton Creek Resort in the Austin Hill Country), 2021 (Denton Embassy Suites) and are in negotiations currently for 2022 location.

Professional development programs/activities

  • Proposals to present at the 2019 TSPRA Conference are being accepted until October 25, 2018.
  • Conference 2019 registration is open.  Already, the hotel block at the conference hotel is at capacity and an overflow hotel soon to be announced. 
  • The conference planning committee meets on November 8, 2018, to slot concurrent sessions, determine the “timely topics” and appoint facilitators for the job-alike sessions.  Tony Heaberlin, NSPRA South Central Vice President has been asked to bring greetings from NSPRA.  Five preconference sessions are scheduled along with one keynoter, 40 concurrent sessions, 40 roundtables, job-alike sessions and “timely topics” discussions. Forty-five vendors will be on-site.  Keynoter is Lynne Wester, Donor Relations Guru.  In addition, there will be a 5K run, sponsored evening receptions and events and the annual Star Awards Banquet emceed by Tim Carroll, APR.  We expect attendance 700 attendees again this year.
  • Ten retired TSPRA members have been enlisted to assist with conference labor, photography and other duties, providing a significant cost savings.
  • Spoken Word Group serves as the contractor for Media and Crisis Communications, Presentation Skills, and Dealing with Angry Public trainings as we continue to schedule them across the state.
  • A means for housing and providing an on demand video/webinar library of training content is being explored.

Major chapter issues or concerns

  • Foremost on the minds of Texans are the midterm elections.  A huge #blockvote campaign is driving most every education group’s efforts.
  • The Texas Speaker of the House will be determined in January when the 86th legislative session convenes.  The retiring speaker was a public school advocate while the Lt. Governor, who oversees the Senate, is not.  The Lt. Governor is up for re-election (the #blockvote campaign).  The direction the upcoming legislative session steers in terms of vouchers, charter support, school finance and the bathroom bill is yet to be determined due to the unknown of the leaders yet to be elected by the voters and by the House of Representatives.
  • TSPRA serves a very diverse membership – PIO/communications professionals at all levels from head of department to specialists in addition to education foundation directors, webmasters, electronic media production specialists, translators, community partnership coordinators and graphic artists.  We continue to challenge ourselves to provide services that address and meet the very different needs of each.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

  • Charter schools across the state are marketing like crazy and pulling students from our public schools affecting ADA and funding. In many cases, they are extremely organized, strategic and effective in recruitment practices. 
  • Texas has among the lowest voter turnout of all states and even lower among teachers.  Voting in this mid-term is going to matter in a state that is predominately red with a ballot of blue candidates supporting public education and a ballot of red candidates who are not. The two races to watch are Lt. Governor and Attorney General at the state level and the senate race at the national level.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

  • School safety is an issue of concern given the Santa Fe incident this past spring.  The Texas Governor issued a controversial report on school safety and arming teachers and the means for funding safe schools is another political hot button.
  • The Texas Education Agency and local school districts are at odds over who should bear the costs of federally mandated ACT and SAT college entrance exams for certain high school students. At the heart of the funding battle is a group of 109,000 Texas students who completed high-level state math and reading tests before entering high school.  Federal education law now requires that those students take another assessment while they are in high school to measure their achievement. This comes at the price tag $5.45 million and TEA says the local schools should pay the cost.
  • Increasing health insurance costs for teachers has become a political hot button and a matter of quality of life for many retired teachers.
  • Border issues continue to affect our schools, especially those near the Mexico border.

Additional items of note

TBD

 


Southeast Region Chapters Report - November 2018

Mychal Frost, Director of Communication, Rock Hill Schools (S.C.)

Southeast Region Vice President (ALSPRA, SUNSPRA, GSPRA, MSPRA Miss., NCSPRA, SC/NSPRA, TNSPRA)

 

Alabama School Public Relations Association (ALSPRA)

No report submitted when regional vice president is new to the office.  

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

 

South Carolina School Public Relations Association (SCSPRA)

No report submitted when regional vice president is new to the office.  

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Georgia School Public Relations Association (GSPRA)

No report submitted when regional vice president is new to the office.  

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Tennessee School Public Relations Association (TNSPRA)

No report submitted when regional vice president is new to the office.  

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Florida School Public Relations Association (SUNSPRA)

No report submitted when regional vice president is new to the office.  

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 


Mideast Region Chapters Report - November 2018

Thomas Scheidel, public information coordinator, Allegan (Mich.) Area Educational Service Agency

Mideast Region Vice President (CHESPRA, INDSPRA, KYSPRA, MSPRA Mich., OHSPRA)

 

Chesapeake School Public Relations Association (CHESPRA)

Karen Tanner, President

Chapter well-being

We have approximately 140 members and held our first Executive Board meeting on June 21, 2018, to work on the 2018-19 calendar and set the agenda for the fall/spring conferences. We will hold our fall conference Nov. 1-2, 2018 at the Richmond Hilton.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

The Board reviewed our organization’s website and selected a new template through Blackboard Connect that we will roll out after the fall conference. It’s more user-friendly for our members. We also redesigned our logo using a tagline for the theme “CHESPRA: Changing How Everyone Sees PR, Again! We sent members our video PSA with the theme “CHESPRA: Changing How Everyone Sees PR, Again! as our membership drive. We are revisiting our accounting system “SchoolPay” and hope to find a better database system.

Professional development programs/activities

Our chapter is currently working on the NSPRA 2019 campaign and materials to share at the upcoming NPSRA 2018 conference in California to encourage attendance.

We are developing our PRo Connect program to provide PR professionals the opportunity to be a mentor or go to person for support with PR questions, concerns or ideas.

Our chapter offers members two professional development opportunities through our Spring/Fall conferences. We are working on a new membership campaign entitled, “CHESPRA: Changing How Everyone Sees PR, Again” to promote the evolution of school public relations using technology, social media, and innovative promotions to market our school districts and increase our CHESPRA membership.

Major chapter issues or concerns

CHESPRA is working to encourage school districts in Maryland and West Virginia to join, and other school districts that did not connect with us this past school year.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

During our fall conference will discuss “juuling, mental health, and fake news, and hope to glean other topics of concern from our VA/MD/WV PR professional along with suicide and bullying issues.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

Mental Health/Transgender issues

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Indiana School Public Relations Association (INDSPRA)

Stacey Forcey-Moore, President

Chapter well-being

Membership is growing and districts are seeking us out. We have some attrition each year, but 18 new member districts have joined this year. We now have over 70 school districts. Fiscally, we are the strongest we’ve ever been. Our healthy budget has allowed us to move to a nicer conference venue and expand to two days. We are currently in the process of a rebrand and website re-design. In order to distinguish ourselves from the Illinois chapter, we will now be INDSPRA.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

We are expanding our outreach and being more of a resource for our state education agencies. These state agencies are increasingly pushing out our information to their memberships. Our Executive Director was asked to join a panel discussion on referenda at the Indiana School Board Assoc./Indiana Assoc. of Public School Supt. Budget Seminar. INDSPRA also staffed a booth at the annual ISBA/IAPSS Fall Conference. School safety specialists now regularly confer with us on crisis communications.  Also, we are in the midst of surveying our members for data and how we can best serve them.

Professional development programs/activities

We are planning professional development opportunities with Blackboard and have offered that to a few other sponsors. Recently, Blackboard provided a “School Choice” Leadership seminar followed by an Indians game. We provide Power Hour opportunities around the state each month. Last fall we launched a half day “boot camp” for rookies. It was so successful that we have lengthened it to a full day with a “reboot” for veterans in the afternoon. We are creating three regional director positions (north, central, south) that we have added to our board.  Their purpose is to help coordinate meet-ups for chapters and host at least one Power Hour. We are always looking for new ways to create face-to-face opportunities with members, and plan to offer our own webinar to members in November.

Major chapter issues or concerns

In Indiana, vouchers are always a concern. Last year the State passed on $143 million of public money to support private and charter schools. With a Republican super majority in the legislature they are strangling public schools. HB 1315 was passed in emergency session that will allow a state university to take over a public school district in fiscal distress, rather than an emergency manager. It sets a disturbing precedent in that it voids collective bargaining for teachers. It appoints (rather than elects) the school board, requiring only two of seven members to reside in the city. It provides no “end date” for turning the district back over to the community.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

The above is certainly one, but, always the financial/voucher beast.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

Right now, we are dealing with the same things the rest of the country is. Underfunding, vouchers, gun violence (Noblesville West Middle School), teacher recruitment and retention, transgender rights, fake news . . .

Additional items of note

An INDSPRA Board member represents INDSPRA during monthly legislative issues discussion meetings with a coalition of public education advocates led by the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. Other participants include:

  • the Indiana Department of Education,
  • the Indian State Teachers Association,
  • the American Federation of Teachers,
  • the Indiana Parent Teachers Association (PTA,)
  • the Indiana Association of Career and Technical Education Directors,
  • the Indiana Association of School Principals,
  • the Indiana School Boards Association,
  • the Indiana Small and Rural Towns Schools Association
  • and the Indiana Urban Schools Association.

 

Kentucky School Public Relations Association (KYSPRA)

No report submitted.

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Michigan School Public Relations Association (MSPRA)

Karen Heath, President

Chapter well-being

The Michigan Chapter of NSPRA is thriving!  We just completed a successful year that featured a new sponsorship investment process, a new board member orientation process, added two new committee chair positions (Technology and Sponsorship), and attracted a number of new members thanks to our professional development activities.  

September marks the beginning of our member renewal window.  While we have noticed a number of veteran school communicators leaving the field for the private sector, there seems to be an influx of new association members with less than one year of experience.  This shift in our membership comes at an interesting time in the history of MSPRA as we are preparing to celebrate our chapter’s 60th anniversary-giving us a reason to commemorate our birthday as well as recognize the work of the many veteran school communicators who have helped shape our chapter along the way!  It is also a rejuvenating time in that there are a lot of fresh and innovative ideas being shared by our newest members.  This is evident in the makeup of our board as well, with new faces joining the ranks this year.    With these changes at the membership and board levels, MSPRA has been working hard to keep tabs on the needs of our members.  Surveys have become routine as have discussions on our listerv and closed Facebook page. This feedback is used to shape our strategic plan, which in turn, has become a guiding document for the year.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

Building on last quarter’s School Safety collaboration with the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA), MSPRA and MASA worked together to create a toolkit about chemicals found in school drinking water.  The 32-page toolkit provides schools with an RPIE-focused communication plan to assist school districts in their effort to report drinking-water problems.  The toolkit was shared state-wide.  It was also given to NSPRA so that it can be shared with members as a resource.

Professional development programs/activities

Summer Drive-In

In June, MSPRA hosted its Summer Drive-In Conference; Building an Identity: Tips and Tricks to Create and Strengthen your District's Brand. The event helped participants answer the following questions:
What comes to mind when your students, parents, teachers and community think about your school district?

Is it positive?
Does your district have a brand identity? Or, is your district experiencing an identity crisis?

Attendees learned how a Michigan intermediate school district updated its brand, the steps taken to maintain that identity (and brand guidelines), as well as initiatives that are underway to strengthen the brand. Following the session, an Action Lab was offered for attendees to work with other school PR professionals to create branding goals and objectives as part of their overall communication plan, brainstorm strategies to measure the success of their branding efforts, and produce long-term communication goals aimed at strengthening their current branding practices.

Fall Drive-In

Scheduled for the end of October is our Fall Drive-In Conference. The topic “Bad Things Happen to Good PR People:  Be PRepared.”  This day-long event will feature two presentations; Hacked!  It's not if...but when...And, when it happens, you need to be prepared! and Successfully communicate your way through a cyber breach and manage your social media.  

Annual Conference

Plans are underway for our Annual Conference scheduled for March 14 and 15 in Lansing, Michigan.  A theme is being developed by our Professional Development Committee and invitations for keynote speakers are being sent.  We anticipate having an informative and inspiring event that includes a 60th anniversary celebration!

National Seminar

A total of 11 Michigan members traveled to California in July to attend the National Seminar. In addition to their own learning, three members served as session speakers and two of those three also presented Gold Mine topics. Four members attended the Leaders’ session on Sunday morning and two of them presented.  Two of our members (one attended) were honored at the Annual Meeting as Learning and Liberty Legacy Leaders.  Plus, one of our members received a Gold Medallion Award at the closing banquet.

Major chapter issues or concerns

Due to increased job duties or changing employment, the Board lost two committee chairs:  Membership and Awards and Recognition.  We are in the process of recruiting replacement chairs, however have found this to be a struggle.

Chapter President Karen Heath had the opportunity to talk with NSPRA Associate Director Mellissa Braham in September about how other chapters welcome new members.  Our current practice is to share an automated email once dues are received. The Board would like to improve the new member welcome process so that it matches the level of our other customer service experiences.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

Thank you for offering the extended Leadership meeting prior to the start of the National Seminar.  All of the topics addressed were beneficial, especially the sage advice from OHSPRA relative to financial management (very enlightening discussion).  Thanks to that experience, we have spent time reevaluating our own processes, ensuring we have proper checks and balances in place.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

Adequate school funding:  School Finance Research Collaborative

School safety/mental wellness

Safe Drinking Water--PFAS Response website

Additional items of note

  • Hosted a board retreat in August where we focused on revamping our strategic plan.  The plan will be reviewed again in October and implemented upon adoption.  The retreat also served as an opportunity for board members to network with public relations officers and executive directors of school-based associations and the Michigan Department of Education.  During the retreat, we also developed a new board member orientation process and onboarded one new and one returning board member.
  • Renewed our association management contract with the Michigan Association of Superintendents &  Administrators.  The agreement is for an additional year (2018-2020) at the same administrative fee rate.
  • Board members served as judges for both the New York and Wisconsin chapters’ communication contests.
  • Created a School Drinking Water Toolkit--worked with MASA to release it jointly on September 28.  The toolkit was shared with NSPRA with the intent that NSPRA may share it with members as a resource.
  • Reinstituted the Technology Committee with the responsibility of overseeing the chapter’s social media planning and web development.
  • Announced the winners of the Outstanding Superintendent Communicator of the Year-Scott A. Menzel, PhD, Superintendent of Washtenaw ISD; and the 2018 Gerri Allen Outstanding School Communicator Award-Diane Bauman, APR, Director of School/Community Relations for Farmington Public Schools (FPS).
  • Members were invited to present at multiple conferences including the Michigan Adult Educators Conference and Michigan Pupil Accounting and Attendance Association conference.

 

Ohio School Public Relations Association (OHSPRA)

Patrick Gallaway, President

Chapter well-being

OHSPRA - Building for 2018-2019

MEMBERSHIP

OHSPRA membership as of October 12, 2018 stands at 102 for the 2018-19 membership cycle .

Erika Daggett is new to the position of Director of Membership and in August we developed an

invoice system and letter to all existing members to encourage renewal. We also annually mail a token of thanks of some sort of branded OHSPRA swag. This year it was a little bag that has a clip that PR Pro’s on the go, may be able to use for their phone or whatever else. In the past, we have done Yo-Yo’s that light up, mints in a branded case, and a business card holder silicone sleeve for your phone or laptop. We continue to see a lot of new faces in the membership and will continue to build on the recruitment moving forward this month.

Additionally, via a partnership with the Ohio Department of Education, the school communication officer contact information database was again updated within the past six months. This is a major goal accomplishment for the director of memberships! Using this updated database, we will be better able to communicate with the chief school communication officers across the state and we plan to use this list heavily as a recruitment tool.

BUDGET/FINANCES

The chapter continues to be fiscally viable and responsible.

-As of October 1, 2018

● Checking $40,938.07

● Savings $25,642.41

● Total $66,580.48

SPONSORSHIP

Sponsors include; Blackboard, eSchoolView, Peachjar, Roetzel Consulting Solutions, School

Messenger and SiteImprove. We thank them for their generous support. We have set the sponsorship goal for 2018-19 at $20,000.

Our current sponsorship level is here:

The OHSPRA Sponsorship window opened on September 7, 2018. The following is where we are currently with sponsors for the 2018-19 year. Our sponsorship grid is attached to this report.

● Gold ($5000) — SchoolMessenger/West

● Silver ($2500) — Allerton Hill, eSchoolView

● Blue ($1000) — FinalSite

● Social event commitment for Spring Conference 2019

○ Food — School Messenger/West

Currently we have commitments for $11,000, plus the food will be covered for the Spring Conference social. We are still working on additional sponsorships. Our Sponsorship Grid is attachment A

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

OHSPRA partnered with the Ohio School Boards Association to present “Amplify the Positivity” See the Professional Development section the details.

Professional development programs/activities

SCHOOL SECURITY AND SAFETY SOLUTIONS SUMMIT – SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

OHSPRA was part of this event in Columbus, Ohio joining forces with a number of educational

associations all listed below. The panel session that OHSPRA led is also described below. We received great feedback form the session and those in attendance. It was great to be part of it.

 

Engaging the Community in Your District's Safety Initiatives

Communication is a vital component to district safety. Is your district proactively communicating about its safety policies and protocols before a crisis happens? When a crisis strikes in your school district, what is the messaging to your community and media that needs to take place immediately, regularly, as well as in the aftermath of the incident? How does your district respond when there is a crisis in a neighboring community or a national movement that has caused disruption in schools across the country? What systems do you have in place to disseminate the facts and how effective are these systems? In a panel discussion, hear from school communication experts across Ohio about best practices and the role a communications professional can play in relation to district safety.

 

Panelists (OHSPRA) included:

Jenny Alexander - Communications Director, Mad River Schools
Dr. Roseann Canfora - Chief Communications Officer, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Trevor Patton - Director of Marketing and Communications, Washington Court House City
Schools
Erika Daggett - Associate Director of Communications, Forest Hills School District
Lou DeVincentis - Director of Communications, Orange City School District

Information about the summit:

Recent events across the country have renewed the nation’s focus on protecting the students and staff in our schools. The debate on school safety is raging and people are wrestling with what school districts can do to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again. The education community understands that the problems and challenges facing our school leadership go beyond individual roles and even district boundaries.

 

The solution to school violence is not one dimensional and requires an ongoing effort in a multidisciplinary approach. The inclusion of mental health services, safety measures, improved safety features for school buildings and increased training must be enhanced to ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

 

OSBA is taking part in a collaborative effort involving a multitude of education groups, mental health organizations and law enforcement agencies to address the issues surrounding the safety and security of Ohio’s schools. Twenty groups have committed themselves to working together to make a difference for the schoolchildren of this state. They have developed both short- and long-term goals that focus on mental health, safety procedures and training, cooperative relationships between law enforcement and school districts, weapons in schools, family and parental involvement and more.

 

The groups involved include:

• Buckeye Association of School Administrators;

• Ohio Educational Service Center Association;

• National Alliance on Mental Illness – Ohio;

• Ohio Federation of Teachers;

• Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education;

• Ohio High School Athletic Association;

• Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators;

• Oho Mental Health and Addiction Services;

• Ohio Association of Public School Employees;

• Ohio PTA;

• Ohio Association of School Business Officials;

• Ohio School Boards Association;

• Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators;

• Ohio School Counselors Association;

• Ohio Department of Education;

• Ohio School Psychologists Association;

• Ohio Homeland Security;

• Ohio School Resource Officers Association.

• Ohio Education Association;

• Ohio School Public Relations Association.

 

FALL WORKSHOP – OCTOBER 4, 2018

OHSPRA partnered with the Ohio School Boards Association to host the Fall Workshop “Amplify the Positivity” on October 4, 2018. The audience consisted of a diverse group of school PR professional, school counselors, a superintendent and a few school board members. In addition to these individuals, we were joined by four students from schools in South west Ohio who participated on a panel session. Please see the agenda below.

 

OHSPRA invites you to attend the 2018 OSBA/OHSPRA Fall Workshop, Amplify Positivity Workshop: Suicide Prevention and Behavior Supports to Boost Positivity in Your District. OHSPRA is collaborating with the Ohio School Boards Association to sponsor this fall conference, to be held 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4.

 

What baggage are students bringing to school and how can we help them unpack it? Hear directly from students about the issues they are facing today — such as school safety, suicide, depression, drug and alcohol use and abuse — and the impact these problems have on them in the school setting. Learn from Ohio school public relations professionals and other stakeholders in education about the strategies

being used in schools and communities to support student well-being, safety and mental health.

 

AGENDA

9 a.m.  Registration and coffee

9:30 a.m.  Welcome and introductions

9:45 a.m.  Grant Us Hope

Diane Egbers, founder and board chair, and Dr. Keith Kline, executive director, Grant Us Hope

After losing her 15 year-old-son, Grant, to suicide, Diane Egbers founded a Cincinnati-based nonprofit bearing his name. Grant Us Hope focuses on teen suicide prevention by providing a platform for teens, parents and families to engage in pro-mental health conversations, activities and solutions. Hear how Grant Us Hope can help you create a culture of prevention in your district.

10:45 a.m.  Break

11 a.m.  Hope Squad panel discussion

Grant Us Hope is the Ohio sponsor for Hope Squad, a school-based, peer-to-peer student program with a three-year curriculum emphasizing suicide prevention fundamentals, self-care and anti-bullying. The program empowers students to be the ears and eyes of a school as they watch out for youth in distress. A panel of Hope Squad students will share their insights on the suicide prevention issues they are facing in schools today.

12 p.m. Lunch (provided)

1 p.m. We are Firebirds, We are Kettering

Valerie Dupler, J.E. Prass Elementary School principal, Kettering City; and Mary Beth Thaman, director, Kettering Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department

The Kettering City School District (KCSD) implemented positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) districtwide to encourage positive school environments that are more effective for achieving academic and social goals. Based on this success, Partners for Healthy Youth (PFHY) — a partnership between the city of Kettering and KCSD focused on addressing the needs and issues facing local youth and families — worked with school personnel to develop a community-based initiative known as We Are Kettering, which mirrors the district’s PBIS model. Learn how KCSD and PFHY are working together in this unique partnership.

2 p.m. Turning negatives into positives

Panelists:

● Mary Beddell, Communications Coordinator - Plain Local Schools

● Olivia Bronczek, Communications Coordinator - Massillon City Schools

● Patrick Gallaway, Director of Communications - New Albany-Plain Local Schools

● Trevor Patton, Director of Marketing and Communications, Washington Court House City Schools

A panel of school PR pros from across the state will share how they turned negative incidents in their districts into positive opportunities.

3 p.m. Adjourn

 

CAPITAL CONFERENCE SESSIONS - BEGINS SUNDAY - NOVEMBER 11, 2018 AND RUNS THROUGH TUESDAY - NOVEMBER 13, 2018

OHSPRA has been selected to present two sessions during OSBA’s 2018 Capital Conference. One session will focus on social media and new ways to engage your community and the other will focus on surveying your community, communication surveys and more.

 

OHSPRA SPRING CONFERENCE - APRIL 11 & 12

OHSPRA has decided to move to a new location after two years at the Nationwide Conference Center. The new location is a Renaissance property in Westerville, Ohio that opened in the spring of 2018. We feel it will be very attractive for members and is also a bit more centrally located north of Columbus and easily accessible from major highways.

Major chapter issues or concerns

● Amplify Your Story newsletter — We have suspended the use of MailChimp for newsletter

Delivery with concerns that it is going to people’s SPAM, etc. Kurt Moore, director of communications continues to look into the matter and has been sending to membership utilizing his e-mail to ensure delivery of our newsletter.

● We will continue to develop the awards process with a new person as the director of contests and awards this year. We also want to amp up the celebration and sharing of the work of winners at the awards presentation during the Spring Conference. We will also seek ways to promote on the OHSPRA website.

● We are trying to find ways to boost the use of our networking center on our website. It is not utilized enough by our members so we continue to think of ways to draw them in, etc.

● Website - We have been approached by a sponsor to help us develop a new site and have it hosted for free etc. We are looking to their proposal and will research next steps. Ultimately, we want it to be more of a destination for members, a networking resource and support system for best practices with a variety of sample communications.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

● Will there be any thing formal coming from NSPRA to celebrate the 35 Under 35 winners, one of our members was selected - Amanda Lloyd from Fairview Park City Schools. We will also look for ways to celebrate the achievement.

● Other than that, I think we are good.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

● Election year for Governor in Ohio, we will be watching this as the next governor could impact the way the Ohio Department of Education works with districts, assessment, funding, etc.

● New grant opportunity through the Ohio Attorney General for school safety measures, approximately $5.65 made available per student to use in your district for various safety measures - not personnel.

● This continues - School safety issues, walkout support, arming teachers, metal detectors, mental health, etc.

● The continuing drug epidemic (opioid crisis) — what role schools will play in education, prevention, treatment.

● Overall well-being initiatives for students & schools (Suicide clusters, ideation, etc)

● Website accessibility (ADA compliance), Translation systems for website and electronic communications - meeting the needs of district families

Additional items of note

COMMUNICATION TO MEMBERS

Newsletters:

 

It has been published over the last quarter according to the following schedule:

● September 2018 — Focus on Fall Workshop with OSBA, celebrate our NSPRA Exemplary Chapter

status, membership promotion.

 

Social media:

Twitter - We have added 126 followers for a total of 1,412 (between June & October).

Facebook - We have gone from 260 to 295 likes (between June & October).

 

OHSPRA Board 2018-19:

● President — Patrick Gallaway, director of communications, New Albany-Plain Local Schools

● Past President — Crystal Davis, deputy director of communications, Ohio School Boards

Association

● President-Elect -— Lou DeVincentis, Communication Coordinator, Orange City Schools

● Treasurer — Patti Koslo, K Communications & eSchoolView

● Secretary — Erika Konowalow, Erika Konowalow, communication & marketing coordinator at

Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center

● Director of Membership — Erika Daggett, communications coordinator, Forest Hills School

District

● Director of Communications – Kurt Moore, director of communications, Marion City Schools

● Director of Professional Development - Kari Basson, community relations coordinator,

Kettering City Schools

● Director of Contests and Awards — Olivia Bronczek, communications director, Massillon City

Schools

● Director of Partnerships — Erin Graham, communications consultant, multiple districts northeast Ohio Mary Beddell, public relations director, Plain Local School District, serves as chapter manager (not a Board position).

 

GOALS

Focus for 2018-19

● Revamp website and make it more useful for members - this work will be a major focus of our board meeting on October 19, 2018

● Meet or exceed the goal of $20,000 in sponsorships

● Continue to enhance partnership opportunities with other educational associations in the state (presenting at Ohio School Boards Association, Buckeye Association for School Administrators)

● Overhaul awards presentation and process for Spring Conference

● Focus on the new menu of sponsorship levels and attract new sponsors

● Continue to publish quarterly Amplify Your Story newsletter

● Regularly promoted the website features with e-blasts

● Improve the website’s online resources area

● Provide regular social media updates

 


North Central Region Chapters Report - November 2018

Peg Mannion, APR, community relations coordinator, Glenbard Township High School District

North Central Region Vice President (INSPRA, ISPRA, MinnSPRA, NebSPRA, WSPRA Wis.)

 

Illinois School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) 

Becky Koltz, President

Chapter well-being

INSPRA continues a strong financial standing. A critical component is our efforts to secure sponsors, and keep them! To this end, the Past President will now become a formal liaison to our sponsors, giving them a direct link to INSPRA’s leadership.

Membership remains strong and engaged. One of our members was recently named as one of NSPRA’s “35 Under 35” – Adam Harris of Arlington Heights School District 25.

After the October Tips & Tactics event, we will be moving to a new location - Northern Illinois University’s Naperville Conference Center - that can beautifully accommodate all of our programming needs for much less expensive room and beverage cost, yet is still easily accessible to our members (just off a major expressway). Another great benefit is there is a hotel and restaurant right across the street, which provides a wonderful location for housing national speakers close to the event.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

Through our new partnership with the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) they have invited us to participate as presenters at their state conference in May 2019.

We also have two presentations scheduled at the Illinois Association of School Boards (Triple I – IASB, IASBO, IASA) conference in Chicago in November. In addition, we are once again providing “PR Problems/INSPRA Solutions” counseling for board members and superintendents without PR staff, to help them with ideas and strategies for issues they are facing in their districts.

We have had some early success with the use of virtual meetings to assist our members with timely current issues. Through the “Zoom” platform, our Membership Vice Presidents have organized and hosted three meetings since mid September:

New Member Virtual Meeting – September 17
November Referendum Campaigns – October 11
ESSA Communication – October 15

Attendance has been great even though members are just learning about this new networking opportunity.

Professional development programs/activities

Our Communications Contest Workshop and Awards Banquet was held September 14, 2018. The morning workshop, was conducted by Greg Turchetta, “From Educator to Journalist, Creating Connections Through an Army of #tweetchers” and was very well received. The 2018 Communications Contest garner more than 179 entries in 11 categories. Entries were judged by NSPRA chapter members in Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin. Each entry was evaluated by three judges against a rubric of excellence, with awards given to those that scored within the established ranges for merit and excellence. We are grateful for the assistance of these members.

Our first Tips & Tactics workshop will take place on October 19, 2018. The program is titled, “Inclusion: Communicating with a Diverse School Population”. This workshop will provide school communications professionals with case study information and local insights to help improve existing communications strategies, and to effectively engage with ethnically diverse families within their districts. Here is a link to our entire Tips & Tactics offerings for the 2018-2019 school year.

Major chapter issues or concerns

Nothing at this time.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

Nothing at this time.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

Nothing at this time.

Additional items of note

Nothing at this time.

 

Iowa School Public Relations Association (ISPRA)

Laura Sprague, President

Chapter well-being

Our 2018-19 year is off to a good start with continued growth in membership, our fall day-long conference, monthly Zoom meetings with the entire chapter, and new ideas to incorporate fresh faces into leadership positions.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

Ongoing: Strategic Plan Development

Professional development programs/activities

Our fall conference was held on Friday, Oct. 12 in Cedar Falls, IA. Agenda included:

  • Beyond Facebook: Crafting a Social Media Strategy  by Chris Snider, Associate Professor, Drake University
  • ROI: Measuring the results of your digital efforts by Maddie Shepard, Converge Consulting
  • Breakout Sessions:
    • Creating social media graphics that get noticed (Tiffany Schmitt, Digital Communication Specialist, Central Rivers AEA)
    • Video/photography tips for social (Eric Smidt, Director, School, Community and Media Relations, Ames CSD)

Major chapter issues or concerns

We will have leadership changes and board changes coming in the spring. At this point, we have grown enough that some new faces/names/talents should find their way into leadership positions.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

None at this time.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

With the election cycle in full swing, this will likely mean changes in state funding and impact to school budgets.

Additional items of note

Our chapter continues to do well and acquire new members on a regular basis.

 

Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA)

Barbara Olson, APR, President

Chapter well-being

The Minnesota chapter’s membership is stable. We currently have 174 members. Our programming is thriving; we have a large core of members who live/work in the metro area so it’s relatively easy to bring people together, and we have a wide range of PD options, allowing for lots of choice.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

We are currently collaborating with the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators and Minnesota PRSA to offer an APR Prep Course.

Professional development programs/activities

Coffee CHATs (40-minute video chats on a specific topic); APR Prep Course, Emerging Leaders Academy (generally geared to aspiring directors), after-hours Think & Drink sessions (face to face conversations on a specific topic), Power Hours, fall conference.

Major chapter issues or concerns

Nothing in particular.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

Nothing at this time.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

Cruz-Guzman vs State of Minnesota lawsuit alleging that state laws (particularly around school choice) have led to racial segregation, and that the resulting segregated schools are failing to provide an adequate education to children of color.

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Nebraska School Public Relation Association (NebSPRA) 

No report submitted.

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA)

No report submitted.

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 


Northeast Region Chapters Report - November 2018

Lana Mueller, operations manager, Lawrence Township Public Schools, Lawrenceville, N.J.

Northeast Region Vice President (ConnSPRA, NJSPRA, NYSPRA, PenSPRA)

 

Connecticut School Public Relations Association (ConnSPRA)

No report submitted. 

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

New Jersey School Public Relations Association (NJSPRA) 

Lori Perlow, President

Chapter well-being

Our chapter continues to grow and become more diverse with various school employees joining. As of October 11, we have 44 members which is only 9 less than where we finished last year. We tend to gain members through the spring. Hopefully, we’ll surpass our membership from the previous year. We added a fall social event to celebrate our school communication award winners. Our members also indicated an interest in increased networking time.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

We continue to partner with NJASA to provide training to incoming superintendents. This year, Lori Perlow, NJSPRA President, will be presenting on crisis communications at the NJPSA Fall conference which is for school principals and supervisors. They have 7000+ members and they offer no communications professional development. NJSPRA hopes to be the key provider of those services.

Professional development programs/activities

We have three full-day workshops scheduled this year. Some details are still being confirmed.

  • November 1, 2018 - Preparing for a Crisis – Incident Command, Public Information and Post-Crisis Communications - Preparedness, response and recovery.  This workshop will take you through topics in relation to the lifecycle of a crisis.  Jeff Gale from NJ Department of Education’s Office of School Preparedness will begin this workshop covering incident command structure and the services his department offers to school districts.  Liz Scott from the Burlington Township School District will review her role as public information officer and how she has worked with her internal crisis team on various situations. Finally, John B. Comegno II, Esq. of Comegno Law Group will discuss how he has helped his clients deal with post-crisis communications.
  • December 5, 2018 - Bond Referendum Campaigns and Best Media Relations Practices
  • April 4, 2019 - Communications and Legal Issues with Employees and Board of Education Members

Major chapter issues or concerns

None

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

None

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

None

Additional items of note

As our chapter grows, we’re close to hiring a consultant (recently retired school pr professional) who can assist with chapter operations. PA and NY have been helpful with sharing their info.

 

New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA)

Bill Cameron, President

Chapter well-being

Our chapter is growing in membership and was recognized by NSPRA for that growth in the past year. We have two regular meetings per year, and the leadership team communicates weekly and membership receives communication on a consistent basis from the President and team.

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

We are investigating possible collaboration efforts with NJ, Pennsylvania and Connecticut chapters. We are in the early discussion phase of this possibility.

Professional development programs/activities

We just announced winners in our 2018 School Communications Contest, awarding nearly 200 awards out of over 500 submissions. Our Communicator of the Year, 2018, will be announced shortly. We are planning our Spring, 2019 Conference, which will be held in March in Syracuse. Our team continues to work within our Strategic Plan, developed in 2017.

Major chapter issues or concerns

None at this time.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

None at this time.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

None at this time.

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association (PenSPRA)

Karen Smith, APR, President

Chapter well-being

We’re very excited about the progress we’ve made toward our goals this past year in PenSPRA. We recently hired an executive director who will be meeting with us to do visionary and strategic planning work over the next few months that we hope will move the entire organization forward in a very positive way!

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

This past year, we partnered with the PA Public Education Foundation, a school foundation association that is affiliated with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, to run a half-day workshop that preceded our spring annual symposium. Many of our PA colleagues have school foundation association leadership responsibilities as part of their job description. It was our belief that combining the conferences would offer valued professional development in one single conference. This extended our usual one day conference to 1 ½. It was a fantastic success! We look forward to continuing to expand our offerings in this way – potentially partnering with the National School Foundation Association.

We are also excited about potential regional conference planning efforts that have been underway with our NSPRA partners in neighboring states!

Professional development programs/activities

When I became president, I defined three major goals areas:

  • Creating strategic partnerships with other professional organizations, including sending members of our executive team to lead workshops and trainings for school boards, superintendents, and other school administrators.
  • Increasing the “at the ready” resources that exist on our website, and creating opportunities for online learning to remove barriers for members who find it challenging to attend conferences and meetings.
  • Increasing our membership in order to expand our base of support and range of services.

To that end – we will be focusing a great deal on increasing our revenue in order to accomplish the second goal to increase at the ready resources on our website for members. We look forward to discussing this more at our fall executive board meeting during our strategic planning conversation led by our new executive director, Marsha Braverman.

Major chapter issues or concerns

At this time, our only major issue is navigating our transition from one executive director to another and onboarding Ms. Braverman.

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

None at this time – I was happy to have a conversation with the new NSPRA associate director, Mellissa Braham, and I look forward to that continued collaboration.

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

The extreme polarization of our nation’s political conversation is almost certainly bleeding into schools. As we approach historical mid-term elections – how can we as public relations professionals anticipate needs that could arise in the coming weeks? To that end, I ask the question, will this mid-term be different? Are we prepared for the unique communication challenges that our districts may face in the coming months?

  • Many of our schools are polling places. Will this mid-term election be different?
  • Navigating teacher professional responsibilities and answering political questions in classrooms from students, and/or conducting political conversations. Will this mid-term be different?
  • How about our school boards? While they are expected to be a non-partisan group, many of our school board directors are active in the parties and “work the polls.” Will this mid-term be different?

Additional items of note

None at this time.

 


Northwest Region Chapters Report - November 2018

Curtis Cambell, Public Information Officer, Shoreline Public Schools (Wash.)

Northwest Region Vice President (IdSPRA, OSPRA, WSPRA Wash.)

 

Idaho School Public Relations Association (IDSPRA)

No report submitted when regional vice president is new to the office.  

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Oregon School Public Relations Association (OSPRA)

No report submitted when regional vice president is new to the office.  

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD

 

Washington School Public Relations Association (WSPRA)

No report submitted when regional vice president is new to the office.  

Chapter well-being

TBD

Chapter projects/collaboration efforts

TBD

Professional development programs/activities

TBD

Major chapter issues or concerns

TBD

Issues or areas that could use NSPRA regional or national support

TBD

State or local issues that NSPRA should keep an eye on

TBD

Additional items of note

TBD