Communicating with Students and families: Finding the right balance

In our 19th episode of Opportunity Thrives, we explore the extraordinary pressure on education leaders to provide effective, informative, accurate and timely communication to students, staff, families and the larger school community right now.
It has certainly never been easy to be an educator, but the pressure to not only educate our students, but to find the right balance of communication, is overwhelming to say the least. In this episode, we dig a little deeper into how this is working in practice.
Districts across the country have developed and are implementing reopening plans—plans to safely welcome students and staff back to school this fall. Their work has been comprehensive, thorough, and unprecedented. These plans share several common themes— resetting expectations for the new school year; redefining the school day with consideration for flexible and adaptable learning models, parent choice, health and safety protocols; and restarting school with consideration and attention to detail regarding operational and logistical plans.
We discuss how districts are reevaluating their approach to communication with families and their school communities, including what strategies have been effective, and what has been challenging as they provide district updates and communicate critical information to students and families.
Tom Vacanti joins us for this discussion. Originally a high school science teacher, Tom has been the Online Learning Coordinator for the City School District of Albany, New York since 2011. In this role, he develops and implements web-based learning solutions for secondary level students with the goal of meeting the needs of diverse learning populations. He works together with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to identify deficits and develop short-term and long-term plans to meet student educational goals. And he has been very involved in the communication strategies with students, families, and district leadership. Kanoe Namahoe, the director of content for SmartBrief Education, also joined us for this episode. She covers the latest breaking news in education technology within the K-12 and higher ed sectors. As an editor, Kanoe has a broad perspective of what the trends are in K-12, including how districts are continuing to evolve their reopening plans and the communication strategies they are implementing to support those plans.

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