The National School Public Relations Association named Rockford Public Schools Superintendent Ehren Jarrett a “Superintendent to Watch” for 2015-16. The program lauds superintendents for engaging and informing schools and stakeholders with new communication technology tools, combined with tried-and-true techniques. Jarrett is among 24 superintendents across the country – three from Illinois – to be recognized for “using dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication at its core,” according to NSPRA.
Follow this link for more about the recognition and a complete list of winners. Since Jarrett became superintendent in 2013, communication has been a priority:
- Jarrett has visited every school building once each school year for an informal Q&A session with building staff.
- He also hosts an annual town hall meeting – another informal Q&A session – for each RPS 205 employee department.
- A weekly electronic newsletter is shared with Rockford School Board members and key administrative employees about district news and updates. That newsletter is then edited and distributed electronically to RPS 205 staff. It’s one way Jarrett can directly communicate with all employees.
- A copy of every news release from the communications department is distributed to staff at the same time it’s distributed to local media, if not sooner. This stresses the importance of staff having critical, breaking news.
- Jarrett also writes a monthly column in the Rockford Chamber of Commerce publication, The Voice.
- He tweets posts via Twitter (@rps205super) to share news of RPS 205 students and staff firsthand.
- Launched an electronic flyer communication tool called Peachjar. The green initiative offers district-approved flyers to parents/guardians through a paperless system via email or their school’s website homepage.
In September 2014, the district launched a web-based, mobile friendly communications tool called “Let’s Talk!” with a goal to boost customer service. The tool gives parents, staff, students and community members direct access to RPS 205 administrators. After receiving a response to questions or comments, users are asked to complete a survey and offer feedback about their experience. The district has received more than 2,500 submissions since the program launched.
Learn more about RPS 205 through our website, our blog housed on the Rockford Register Star, and other communication tools via social media: