Page 5

Committee members were select-

because you send a tweet or issue

ed by district leadership to balance

a media release doesn’t guarantee

content knowledge and stakeholder

a strong reach. However, using a

representation. In addition, a board

multi-faceted approach and tailor-

member sat on each committee.

ing the same message to a variety of

The board and administration were

mediums will do just that.

intentional about having genuine

If you want to truly engage the

engagement and thoughtful dialogue

diverse voices in your communi-

in working committees. Through reg-

ty, make sure you are reaching all

ular updates by the board liaison and

audiences. Consider the languages

superintendent, the board was able

spoken by students, whether your

to provide the necessary oversight to

families have internet access, and

ensure the established process was

where they may feel most comfort-

honored while allowing the working

able attending community meetings.

committees’ autonomy.

Remember, an informed community

The communication plan

is an engaged community.

focused on stakeholder engagement,

As a result of the comprehensive

two-way dialogue to ensure feedback

planning and engagement process,

loops, and transparency. Multiple

the Evanston/Skokie School Dis-

opportunities for engagement were

trict 65 Board of Education could

offered — committee participation,

trust that the final plan, which was

focus groups, surveys, public com-

approved March 2015, was one deep-

ment periods, and town hall meet-

ly-rooted in community sentiment

ings. The working committees used

and reflected the issues and concerns

the feedback gathered to inform plan

of Evanston/Skokie residents. What

development.

ultimately made the plan a success

Whether it’s strategic planning,

was a shared vision of engaging the

launching an initiative, or commu-

broader community and to honoring

nicating a major change, it’s import-

the collaborative process.

ant to recognize that not everyone

Nearly t wo years later, the

receives information in the same

District 65 Strategic Plan lives on.

way nor do they participate at the

With a continued commitment to

same level. Offer opportunities for a

accountability, transparency, and an

heavier lift for those who want a more

honest assessment of progress, the

active role (e.g., serving on a com-

administration shares updates regu-

mittee) to less-involved yet essential

larly with the board and community

opportunities (e.g., taking a survey)

through semi-annual report cards

for those who want their voice heard

and user-friendly quarterly reports.

but can’t commit to a high level of

These documents include indicators

participation.

to measure the extent and quality

Make sure to complement tra-

of strategy implementation across

ditional outreach and interpersonal

priority areas as well as student out-

communication with the use of tech-

comes — the ultimate measure of

nology. Some stakeholders get their

district success.

news on social media while others may read it in your local paper. Just

For more information, visit

President Phil Pritzker

Treasurer Thomas Neeley

Vice President Joanne Osmond

Immediate Past President Karen Fisher

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Lisa Weitzel

Lake June Maguire

Blackhawk David Rockwell

Northwest Vacant

Central Illinois Valley Thomas Neeley

Shawnee Roger Pfister

Cook North Barbara Somogyi

Southwestern Mark Christ

Cook South Denis Ryan

Starved Rock Simon Kampwerth Jr.

Cook West Carla Joiner-Herrod

Three Rivers Dale Hansen

Corn Belt Mark Harms

Two Rivers David Barton

DuPage Thomas Ruggio

Wabash Valley Dennis Inboden

Egyptian John Metzger Illini Michelle Skinlo Kaskaskia Linda Eades

Western Sue McCance Chicago Board Jaime Guzman Service Associates Glen Eriksson

Kishwaukee Mary Stith Board of directors members are current at press time.

IASB is a voluntary association of local boards of education and is not affiliated with any branch of government.

district65.net/strategicplan.

J A N U A R Y - F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L 

3

The Illinois School Board Journal, January/February 2017  

A bimonthly magazine for public school board members and administrators highlighting issues in education.

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