March 1, 2022
As an education leader, you know building trust with your community is critical to addressing challenges and creating strategies for positive change.
In this episode of SchoolPR Drive Time, ThoughtExchange Account Manager, Kailey Metcalfe, Highline Public Schools’ Chief Communication Officer, Catherine Carbone Rogers, and Assistant Director of Communication, Tove Tupper, explore the challenges and opportunities that arise when engaging parents, staff, and educational partners. They also share successful strategies for addressing them.
See how ThoughtExchange helped Washington state’s Highline Public Schools gain and maintain trust with their community and pass a stubborn bond.
Trust helps pass a stubborn bond
After launching an Exchange, they discovered that the community wasn’t opposed to the items in the bond package, but rather how staff had allocated amounts for the items. The community didn’t trust the school district to make these kinds of decisions—that was a problem.
Understanding this allowed leaders to develop a solution to rebuild trust. They created a Citizen Advisory Committee to lead the charge. And although the resulting bond wasn’t much different, it passed with 67% of the vote.
Carbone Rogers says, “Trust is the currency of a superintendent, school district, and especially a school PR practitioner. You cannot reach your goals as a school district if you don't have the trust of the community because your efforts will be blocked at every opportunity. If you have trust, you’ll be able to pursue the goals and vision you have for your schools.”
So how do education leaders build trust to mitigate challenges? Start by listening to your community to understand where they’re coming from. When people feel heard and involved in decision-making, they’re much more likely to support, not sabotage a strategy or decision.
Trust builds alignment during a pandemic
Their words resonate whether you’re trying to pass a bond, dealing with student recruitment and retention, or navigating a pandemic. ThoughtExchange has tools to help you succeed.
Talk to one of our education experts to see how we can help you build trust with your community.