The world we live in compels us to be better communicators. In order to succeed and thrive, we must be more collaborative in our overall representation of our work as individuals, schools and District.
Change Element Goal: MCPS will develop, launch, and evaluate communication tools that foster transparent conversation in support of our learners, educators, parents, and community members.
Evidence: When communication and knowledge-transfer within an organization are optimized, members are able to make informed decisions. Open and honest communication enhances transparency by promoting collective problem solving, informed decision making, and greater participation of all stakeholders. Whether this applies to parents who are not informed of their child’s development and sequence of learning; or the student in a classroom who is uncertain of his/her responsibilities; or an educator who receives a mandate for new expectations for instruction – the result of poor communication is always diminished faith and trust.
Schuman’s review of research on transparency suggests that the benefits of open communication should extend beyond the democratic values they represent (2011). Specifically, transparency invites the expertise of a broader community, which has the potential to translate into financial and operational improvements. The vast expertise of the community-at-large can be drawn upon when the business and civics communities are included in conversations related to the public school system. Moreover, Balter notes that “providing some insight into your thinking and considerations” will help others to feel involved and empowered (2007). Open and direct communication supports the ideals of 21st century teaching and learning.
2011–12 Recommended Actions:
· Review existing communication strategies to ensure they are engaging, meaningful, and support the goals of the 21st century model.
· Develop District and Building Communication Plans that identify both traditional and non-traditional (more innovative) strategies for communications, such as social media.
· Develop the infrastructure necessary to support the use of innovative communication tools.
· Engage with community-based organizations to ensure that messaging related to shared initiatives is aligned.
Click here to view complete action map for Enhance Communications change element (pdf file).