Sharing School Safety Planning with Stakeholders
Do your stakeholders know about all the safety protocols you’ve been planning for? Do they trust that you’re putting “safety first”? Keeping students, teachers, staff, and the larger community safe and healthy has taken on new meaning and communicating safety protocols has become more critical than ever. As you plan for in-person instruction, there are steps you can take to communicate all the great planning and implementation to continue building trust with stakeholders.
See how to go from “I don’t think it’s safe to return,” to “I can see that it IS SAFE to return.
Step 1: Define your “WHY”
It's the glaringly obvious point, but clearly stated helps frame the context: The health and safety of students, teachers and staff. Make sure to clearly state and define “your why” – and then share this consistently in all of your communications.
Step 2: Set a Timeline
What is your plan for when you'll communicate? WHEN do you need to get information out there? Does it need to be in phases? When should stakeholders hear from you about the safety planning you’ve already done? Take a step back and look at the big picture - Even if the plan for communicating back to school needs to shift or change later.
Step 3. Define your Audience
WHO needs to hear about your safety planning? Make sure you create a list to reference as you create communications. Examples include Parents, Teachers, Principals, Staff, Students. Who else? Do you have community partners or governmental partnerships that need to hear too to help share with their networks?
Step 4. Create a Messaging Platform
Similar to talking points, if you have core messages you need to convey to stakeholders, note them in one place. Then, when you need to create communications, you can refer to these core messages to create consistency, repetition, and reliability in what you send to and share with stakeholders. Some of your core messages may be: “Safety is our #1 Commitment,” “We have a Safety Plan! Read it here…”, “We have leadership working on this,” “Everyone can help play a part in safety: Wear masks, Give us Input, We want to hear from you!”
Step 5. Operationalize your Communications
Build a plan for your channels, timing, audience, and message and chart it out. What channels matter to stakeholders? What channels do you use? Is it E-mails, Newsletters, Principals, Facebook, Texting, Board Meetings, Direct Mail, Virtual Meetings, Virtual Flyers, Marquees, Website, Community and Governmental partnerships? How are you building 2-way conversations and LISTENING into your safety communications?
Step 6. Observe, Listen, and Adjust
Make sure your plan changes based on real time conditions. Throughout the process, observe, LISTEN to your stakeholders, and adjust the plan as needed.
BONNIE MOSS (510) 757-9023 [email protected]
TOM CLIFFORD (510) 847-7155 [email protected]
AMANDA CLIFFORD (415) 244-5990 [email protected]
LAURA CROTTY (408) 839-5556 [email protected]