Monday, May 23, 2005


Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in a work session on May 23, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland Middle School Commons.  Present were: 


Amy Amrhein            )            Chair


Chuck Keil            )

Sheryl Lipski            )            Board Members                     

Terry Littleton            )

Heidi Parker            )


Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent

Community Members

Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary


I.          Call to Order


            The meeting was called to order at 7:11 p.m. by Chair Amrhein.


II.         Roll Check


            A roll of the board was taken and all members were present.


III.       Review Key Communicators Network


Juli Di Chiro gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Key Communicators Network explaining that it is a method of improving communications between the Ashland School District and its stakeholders.  It is also a way to reach community members who do not have children in school.   Members of the Key Communicators Network will meet annually after the start of school and will receive an overview of the district’s plans and budget for the school year.  After that, key communicators will receive regular updates from the district about what is occurring.  If a particular issue arises, key communicators will receive timely and accurate information about the issue.  Key communicators will have a contact person, either a school administrator or a school board member, who is their liaison with the district.  If a key communicator has a question or needs clarification about anything, their liaison will respond within 24 hours.


Members present divided into groups and the following questions were addressed.


How do you currently get information about what is happening in the district?


Newspaper (3) – (low confidence)

RVTV shows and televised school board meetings

Administrators (2)

Parents (2)

Teachers (2)

Board Candidates

School Board Members (2)

Email from Special Education Department

Presentations from school district personnel to PTOs, PTAs, other students

Students (2)

School Newsletters (3) – not always complete; space limited

Community member email/specific interest groups


Call or stop by district office


Updates?  How?


PowerSchool (problems – opt in email broken?)

Parent/teacher conferences

Word of mouth – grocery store, sporting events, parent hobnobbing

Like mailed information – newsletter (activity, important events, legislation information, school closing) Parent audience, general public

RVTV channel surfing

Site Councils/PTO

Staff – medium confidence

School flyers


Ashland Schools Foundation – Susan Bacon

Stringing telegrams

Senior Project Evaluation Panel

Rotary – student presentations

Service Clubs

Get 75% into schools:  volunteer opportunities, plays, kids /parents invite neighbors, carnivals, organized outreach, expand Smart Reader, pair kids with community members

School Board date/time in newsletters with agenda

Get nothing at all

Get by working at it (not easy enough)



Do you feel the information is accurate?


From parents, 75% is not accurate (emotional overtones)

Newspapers – Not in depth; one sided; sometimes very inaccurate; reflect the sender’s viewpoint; misinterpretations; strange emphasis – wrong priority; trust; weigh information; loss of local control; perspective

Often information from school district personnel is incomplete

Some school district personnel are good about presenting all points of view

Letters to the editor:  sometimes seem purposely inaccurate and are taken as truth; they are by definition emotional, one-sided and often are part of a “group speak” tactical strategy; too often taken as “truth”

Letters are important way to communicate with a large group


Too much information?

What’s mundane

Communications political issues only

Two way – how will this work

School as integral part of community

Conversation on important issues – involve as many people/parties as possible

Don’t just disseminate information – must be two way

Want more input into important decisions

Cumbersome, still end up with those who feel disempowered

Complex issue:  how to get input to Board in a timely fashion; what to give, how to give, what is timeframe

Trust newsletters from schools and information from district


What would be the best way for the District to communicate with you?


Email (2) – be sure it is clear who sender is; have contact information; principal lists; key communicators; include website link; build database across town; make email clear and concise

Keep it simple

Indicate why it is being sent

Good lead time/time to respond meaningfully

Any follow-up required (like a “call to action” notice)

Should it be forwarded?

Annual Meeting:  opportunity for face-to-face, give and take, put faces to names, important upcoming issues; break-out groups on key issues

Utilize website (especially for parents)

Get information out early, ripple effect takes time

Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone

Relook at setting of agenda farther out

Hold more meetings out and about

Televised board meetings

RVTV School House

Update website – opt in email on district website

General (fond, facilities) publication

Community notice in Tidings (calendars)

“School page” once a week with specific advertisers sponsoring

Rogue News

Rotating column (similar to Scott Delgarno)

Regional articles for Mail Tribune

Fact Sheet out to schools as well


Mini news releases to newsletter editors, chamber

Bulk Mail



What would be the best way for you to communicate with the district?


Use personal contacts for emailing, etc. (emails are good because of the written record)

Chat room on website

Invite “crazy” “innovative” ideas

Good mechanism for discussing why ideas are dropped, etc.

Create a bank of frequently asked questions like FAQs for week/month

At annual meeting, consider grouping school district reps with “their” key communicator group (colored name tags)

At first annual meeting, debrief about effectiveness


Phone calls

Town meeting on regular basis for planning

More than once a year meeting – quarterly?

More meaty dialogue, solution based

No “sacred cows” – put everything on the table when entering decisions

Training to use website

Liaison with school board/admin team response

Way of collating, also sharing of common information – hub, posting a threaded email – disc (see City Council)

Not just email but ability to have discussion; bring people together – Liaison led?

Email – summary with links to more detail

Contact person for follow-up, who to talk to

Phone and email


What other strategies should the District be using to communicate better with our community?


Look at school district newsletter, especially for non-parents (quarterly, biannual); look for grant help

Piggyback with “The Source” (city publication)

Newspaper column/guest editorial

Disseminate names of Key Communicators to “gather” information

Emphasize 75% non-parent population

Site clubs

Community groups


Quarterly newsletter

Insert into utility bills (mail outside city limits – cost)

Include Pinehurst community

JPR – bulletin for posting community events, radio spots

Chalkboard, ESD station (channel) – news release

Rotary and other community clubs – Key Communicators help with this

Work sessions – similar to AQEM


IV.            Adjournment


              There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.


Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary


Download File
5-23-05 Work Session.pdf


Ashland School District - © 2021 All Rights Reserved   |   Printer friendly version   |   Site Handcrafted in Ashland, Oregon by Project A   | 
Bookmark and Share