Accurate data leads to better, more confident decision-making. Providing data you can count on is what we do, utilizing solutions that are the right fit for each school district, and each challenge.
Our data solutions include:
Community, and audience-specific, research surveys. From pre-election research, to taking the temperature before making a major change, our pinpoint accuracy informs your decisions.
Focus groups. Perfect for testing ideas, or seeing what hurdles you will need to overcome, focus groups let you literally “hear” the voices of the people you will be affecting.
Leadership interviews. In every community, there are a handful of people who set the agenda. Our leadership interviews provide insight into their thinking that goes beneath the surface.
Patron Panels. When there’s a challenge that requires ongoing collaboration with your community, Patron Panels offer a platform for strategic conversations that yield key data, while also disseminating district messages to thought leaders.
Demographic data. Understanding how – and where – your district’s population will change is critical for decision-making. We collaborate with the leaders in this important field, to bring you a picture of your district today, and in the future.
School district professionals know it best: Their job description is only the starting point. Excellence is required, and staying current is expected. Helping all staff members be their best is our focus.
Our continuous professional improvement services include:
Project Lighthouse. Ideal for the early to mid-career superintendent seeking to grow his or her skills, Project Lighthouse offers a collegial setting, with curriculum created by industry leaders, based on the needs of participants. Quarterly meetings, supplemented by regular webinars, makes Project Lighthouse time well-spent.
Targeted workshops. Our one-hour to full-day programs build skills in a relaxed environment, with curriculum tailored to fit the audience – whether it’s teachers, support staff, building level leaders, the administrative team or the Board of Education.
Patron Link. This program for school districts that need extra communications assistance, includes brief, timely video training programs that build critical communications skills among staff members throughout the district.
Districts that succeed see planning as both a strategic and creative exercise. The strategic element fulfills the requirement to chart a course for personnel, facilities, curriculum and other components of school district life. The creative component is how dreams eventually become reality. Our work serves both the left- and right-brain sides of sound planning.
Our planning services include:
Strategic planning (and CSIP) initiatives. Whether you are starting with a blank sheet of paper or building on an existing plan, our approach provides the discipline, structure and facilitation necessary to make the most of your efforts.
Budget planning. Strategic patron input at the outset of difficult budget decisions can smooth acceptance later on. Our Budget Planner research provides a strategic outlet to gather that input.
Attendance boundary issues. When attendance boundaries need to be adjusted to ensure equity, our process leads to a collaborative solution, through structured (and lower-stress) participation by residents. It’s a welcome change from out-of-control Town Hall meetings that lead to unfortunate headlines.
Communications plans. Without a plan, communications is episodic, reactionary and unproductive. Our process eliminates those shortcomings, through a disciplined approach that engages everyone in telling the district’s story.
School districts that are the foundations of great communities engage those communities at all times, so that they can call on citizens when the need is the greatest. “Calling for volunteers” is a relic; today’s successful school districts know that successful relationships with the community are built and nurtured at all times.
Our collaboration services include:
Campaign assistance. From providing our Campaign Launch Workshop to get a school district election effort off on the right foot, to full campaign management – and every level of involvement in between – our campaign services guide school districts and their well-meaning committees toward the best opportunity for ballot box success.
Patron Panels.Ongoing problem-solving, idea-testing, plan-shaping groups, Patron Panels offer a link to the community unlike any other and, in the process, build an ever-growing group of citizens who are deeply invested in the school district’s success.
Board Link. Strong, collaborative, visionary Boards of Education mean successful school districts. Board Link offers regularly scheduled programming – in a variety of formats – that helps Board members sharpen their communications, collaboration and problem-solving skills.
Staff Link. Your staff is the key to your school district’s brand. Strong communications skills help build trust – both inside the school district and out in the community. Staff Link provides an easy-to-use, regularly delivered dose of skill-building in these key areas.
With the diversions that come with modern life, it’s no wonder it’s getting more and more difficult to get the attention of your community members. They’re busy, and your news is only part of what they have to absorb. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping school districts make the most of their citizens’ limited attention.
Public relations. Whether the need is short-term, crisis-oriented or ongoing, our public relations assistance can help you deliver a clear, well-constructed message that builds understanding.
Online media. Facebook and Twitter are the modern water cooler and coffee shop, where news is shared and stories are debated. We can help your school district make the most of these modern tools, along with website development and e-newsletters, through effective strategies, tactical guidance and content development.
Video production. When nothing can tell the story quite like video can, we offer services that include coaching, script development, on-camera direction and final production.
Communications audit. If it’s time to make certain that what you want to be saying as a district is what you are saying – and what you think your community is hearing is what it is actually hearing – it’s time for a communications audit. Our approach documents the communications gaps, and recommends strategies that lead to a better connection with your community.
Patron Link. If yours is a school district without a full-time communications professional on staff, Patron Link is your answer. The program includes a customized, year-long communications plan for your district, execution of all the steps in your plan, and annual patron research to check in with your community.