See also a more recent post (7/14/20) post about effective back-to-school communications.

As school districts grapple with the incredibly complex issues associated with reopening school buildings after Covid-19 closures, it is essential to engage in thoughtful planning for clear communication with families, staff, and partners throughout the process. 

Most school districts are still trying to resolve unanswered questions about the current school year, let alone summer and fall. But with parents, students, and staff anxious about what the future holds, it’s important to keep all stakeholders informed about the ongoing work to develop reopening and recovery plans – even if there are more questions than answers. 

  • Will there be summer school?
  • Will buildings reopen at the end of the summer, or will distance learning continue?
  • What precautions will schools take to clean and disinfect buildings?
  • How will students and adults protect themselves and others?
  • Will class sizes be smaller to ensure social distancing?
  • Will school buses have to transport fewer students?
  • What about fall sports – are they all cancelled?
  • How will students catch up academically?
  • How will districts attend to students’ social-emotional needs?
  • What is the financial impact of all this? 

Clearly, the answers to these and countless other questions will depend heavily on public health directives and other guidance from local, state, and federal authorities. But your school district can get ahead of the curve with various contingency plans now. Your community will benefit from knowing what some of the possibilities may look like, and they will need deep understanding and buy-in when the final plans are adopted.

Over the next few months, districts will have to communicate far more regularly than they would in a typical summer. Be sure you’re equipped with the right tools and messages to build awareness of, support for, and most importantly confidence in your district’s recovery planning efforts. 

We can help.

Horan Communications specializes in communications planning, messaging, crisis communication, digital strategy, and media relations to keep your community informed and engaged.

We’re working closely with school districts and non-profit partners to ensure that Covid-19 recovery plans are supported by thoughtful communications strategies. We can help craft and execute an approach that leverages your website, email, social media, local press, and other tools to deliver clear, consistent, compelling messages. 

The content of those messages matters, of course. Families and staff need the key facts about your district’s plans. But the tone of your messages matters, too. We’ll help ensure that communications from the Superintendent, School Board, and other leaders convey not only expertise and leadership but also the compassion and empathy we all need from our leaders during these difficult times. 

Contact Chris Horan to share your community’s needs and concerns. We’ll help customize and execute a communications strategy that works.