Superintendent Link > Communication Strategies


September 2015

This issue of the MCESA Superintendent Link is intended to provide you with content that is helpful and empowers you to tackle your toughest challenges. 

If you want to know more about any of the content or want support implementing any of the strategies listed below, just let us know! You can get anything you need at MCESA by emailing



Consistent communication from the very top is crucial to the health of an organization. Articulating your vision over and over and in multiple ways will keep your employees focused and encouraged. If your vision doesn't come from you directly, there's a pretty good bet that it will get twisted and watered down over time. Create several structures to communicate your vision, your passion, and your intent for the district. The following are four you can put into practice immediately:


1. Facebook Page. Many districts use Facebook to communicate with their communities. Smart districts are using Facebook to communicate with their educators. Educators are a key demographic on Facebook. 

Take the following into consideration: 1) 74% of adults who went to college use Facebook; 2) 74% of adults who make between $50,000-$74,999 use Facebook; 3) 73% of adults ages 30–49 use Facebook and 87% of adults ages 18–29 use Facebook; 4) 77% of women use Facebook. A huge part of your staff is on Facebook, you should be communicating there. (source: Sprout Social, 2015)

Facebook is a great place to post photos, videos, and short posts. Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook. View his page as an excellent example of communicating with employees and stakeholders. You can see it here:


2. Superintendent's Blog. You're a big deal. You are the leader of a school district. This means you have skills and experiences that other people admire. You have things to say and thoughts to share. A blog is a great place to do that. 

You blog should be about much more than just the events happening in your district. It should be a place where you post instructive insights, inspirational reflections, and interesting anecdotes. Many CEOs of very large companies use this strategy to communicate. You can view several of them here.


3. Create Videos. Video has quickly become one of the most effective ways to speak to an audience. Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. Busy people tend to click on a video rather than read through long content. Short videos can be a very effective strategy for creating and maintaining a connection from the top to your employees. 

If you choose to use video, make sure your videos are well produced (good lighting, good sound, engaging content). Poorly produced videos can have a counter effect on communication. Videos ABOUT the topic you are wanting to communicate are more engaging than a "talking head" video. Blake Mycoskie is the CEO of Toms. He shares his philosophy and corporate message through video. You can see an example here.


4. Celebrate the unexpected. In a school district it is intuitive to celebrate student achievement, instructional success, and awesome employees. Celebrating the interesting or the unexpected things goes a long way to improve relationships and communication. Celebrate the teacher that decorates his classroom with lamps and bean bags. Celebrate the principal that brings her staff doughnuts every pay day. Celebrate the bus driver that plays dance music on his bus on Monday mornings. Celebrate what it is that builds relationships, increases team work, or boosts moods. Celebrating builds trust and strengthen relationships-- and strong, trusting relationships communicate better.

And while you're celebrating those things, let us know about it. Try us on Facebook or Twitter or email us and we can help you publicize your good news!



Expect More Arizona is doing a great job educating parents about AzMERIT. In fact, if you do a web search for AzMERIT, the Expect More Arizona site will pop up on the first page. They have done an outstanding job of providing parents with resources and important facts about AzMERIT and what it means for children.

Your parents MAY be better informed about AzMERIT than your principals and teachers.

So what should you know that they know?

Teachers should be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the most important topics my child will be learning this year? 
  2. Can I review an example of my child’s work? Is this example satisfactory? How can it be improved? 
  3. Is my child on track to be successful in this class? Is he or she prepared for next year, for college and career? 
  4. What resources are available if my child needs additional help or wants to learn more about a subject?

Teachers have access to excellent Parent Guides for every grade level. The Parent Guides are available here.

Principals should be prepared to answer questions about students’ scores. Most experts speculate that scores may be lower than scores from AIMS. Expect More AZ has prepared the following talking points to help parents understand:

  1. Test scores will be reported differently from the AIMS test. 
  2. Test scores may be lower than what you’ve seen previously because the new tests set a higher benchmark for student success. 
  3. Students and teachers will both need time to adjust to the new assessments. But with time and with our support, we know Arizona students will do well.

Other helpful resources:

Expect More Arizona AzMERIT Webinar: What Do the New AzMERIT Test Results Mean for My Child

ASBA Archived Webinar: What to Expect from AzMERIT and Upcoming Policy Items to be Addressed

Expect Arizona Top Frequently Asked Questions- Assessment

Having information available to your parents is the best way to ensure your community stays informed and remains supportive of your good work. Expect More Arizona has done a terrific job of equipping us all with this important effort.



Leadership Un-Conference: Instructional Leadership

Designed for school-level leaders, the un-confefence provides an opportunity for principals to learn strategies from each to make time for instructional leadership. September 14, 2:00-4:00 pm. No fee. Learn more here.


Twitter for School Leaders Webinar

Twitter is an essential 21st Century communication tool. Join our free webinar and learn how to use Twitter to:

  • Follow trending education news;
  • Follow trending community news;
  • Post school event information;
  • Post urgent school information;
  • Develop professional networks.

Online November 3, 4:00 pm

Register for free here