The Manheim Township School District is committed to open, honest, and ongoing communication; we understand that maintaining a two-way conversation with our community, parents, and students is essential for building relationships. These relationships are the foundation for a strong school system.
During the fall of 2016, MTSD provided a Communications Survey to gather information, and to seek ideas as to how the district could better meet the communications needs of our families, staff, and residents. Below is a brief summary of the survey results.
- Of the 330 respondents, 51.2% were professional staff (teachers). 37.3% of respondents identified themselves as district parents.
- 50.3% of the respondents did not have children currently in the district. 22.8% have a child at the high school.
- District website and district email/text messaging system was the top primary communication vehicles of how respondents receive their news (75.8% and 73% respectively). Other communication tools that ranked high were teacher emails (43.9%) and Facebook (37.9%)
- Email (63%) was voted as the most valuable source of information for all respondents (63%).
- When asked how to make the district’s communications tools more effective, an overwhelming majority suggested improving the district’s website. In addition, the use of email to communicate district news was highly recommended. The 3 types of information that respondents were most seeking: district announcements (84.2%), district calendar/events (74.7%), messages from the Superintendent (62.3%).
This plan was updated to establish a more comprehensive and integrated communications process, based on survey results, for more effective communication with all stakeholders. It aligns with the district’s goals and is incorporated throughout the District Strategic Plan. The goals and strategies are tied directly to the objectives of the strategic plan set by the district for achieving its goals.
The Communications Plan is a working document and is intended to do the following:
- Provide a communications program that directly helps the district achieve its strategic goals.
- Foster strong relationships with district stakeholders.
- Provide a focus and direction for messages/methods in support of the district’s goals.
- Enable the district to present itself accurately to audiences.
Desired Behaviors and Attitudes
Through implementation of this plan, the following desired behaviors and attitudes are the focus:
Faculty, staff, Board of Directors, Parents, Students, Volunteers
- Keep informed on key issues affecting the district and students
- Work as a high-performing organization whose employees respect and value each other as well as customer feedback
- Exhibit district values of caring, integrity, and collaboration
- Exhibit District pride
Taxpayers, Senior Citizens, Business Leaders, Media, Legislators, Religious Leaders, Realtors
- Support the Manheim Township School District
- Exhibit trust in the schools and district
- Feel engaged and involved in their public schools
Goals are listed in no particular order of priority and should be recognized as integrated activities for achieving long-term success.
- Develop and maintain positive, collaborative relationships with all stakeholders to strengthen support for the Manheim Township School District.
- Increase awareness of the excellent education and innovative programs offered at Manheim Township School District.
- Enhance the image and public opinion of Manheim Township School District.
- Establish an effective employee communication plan to improve internal communication and employee engagement.
Communication Goals & Strategies
Communication Goal #1
Develop and maintain positive, collaborative relationships with all stakeholders to strengthen support for the Manheim Township School District.
- Utilize the Key Communicator Groups to involve parents and community members in schools and education.
- Continue with electronic communication tools to provide information for all stakeholders.
- Build and maintain partnerships with business and community leaders.
- Develop and sustain relationships with local emergency management officials.
- Establish strong, positive connections between individual schools and their communities.
Communication Goal #2
Increase awareness of the excellent education and innovative programs and approaches offered at Manheim Township School District.
- Generate news media publicity for unique, innovative, and newsworthy programs and events.
- Promote and maintain a publicity-friendly culture within MTSD through staff education.
- Maintain positive relationships with members of the local news media and utilize contacts to publicize special events/program.
- Continue to promote MTSD programs and events through the district’s social media to maximize awareness and support for the district.
- Keep a file of news article/press clippings for school board members and for the district’s future reference.
Communication Goal #3
Enhance the image and public opinion of Manheim Township School District.
- Utilize consistent polished look and theme on all MTSD publications to promote recognition.
- Provide cost-effective, professional, timely, and interesting publications to our school community and taxpayers.
- Continue to produce newsletters and publications that address the needs, wants and questions of all audiences.
- Utilize media contacts to present positive image to the local public.
- Provide parental workshops that focus on student needs and education.
- Maintain a proactive media relations program to enhance the district’s image
- Establish a clear brand identity for the district and build upon that brand and reputation.
- Build relationships with community members & media through one-on-one story development.
Communication Goal #4
Establish an effective employee communication plan to improve internal communication and employee engagement.
- Work in collaboration with Human Resources and Business Departments to coordinate clear, consistent messages to staff.
- Create and implement new staff orientation as well as recruitment materials to attract and retain highly qualified staff to carry out the MTSD mission and educational programs.
- Work in collaboration with IT Department to maintain the district’s intranet site and to promote it as the primary source of information for staff members.
- Develop and implement monthly superintendent blog to increase positive awareness and promote district programs within our own MTSD staff network.
- Provide opportunity for building level staff to meet individually with Superintendent throughout the year.
- Create, implement, and maintain a monthly employee recognition program as well as employee-related events such as wellness committee initiatives, employee recognition breakfasts, and retirement dinners.
- Each school building and the district office has a staff meeting monthly to share information, provide training, and foster two-way communication.