District Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Communications Toolkit

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To: Superintendents, Principals, K-12 Public Information Officers, Charter School Leaders, Education Partner Leaders and Communicators 
From: Colt Gill, Director, Oregon Department of Education
Date: February 28, 2023 
RE: District ESSER Communications Toolkit 

Dear Colleagues, 

Districts have worked hard to think both creatively and strategically about how to best invest their Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. We appreciate how schools are tailoring their expenditures to support students based on local needs and community engagement across our state. Now is the time to tell the story of how this funding has been used to help address unfinished and accelerated learning, return to in-person instruction, and take action to bolster the social and emotional needs of both the children and the adults in our schools. 

This District ESSER Communications Toolkit  has been designed to help school districts communicate about how they used their ESSER funds to address their immediate needs and to position their community for long-term wellness and academic success. This toolkit contains templates, draft language, and ideas for districts to use to communicate effectively with key audiences, including students, families, staff, and other education partners. These resources include:

  • Overall guidance on engagement and communication
  • Suggested social media postings
  • Press release template
  • Sample ESSER information slides 
  • Prompt for creating short video segments to share on social media or websites
  • Additional resources 

District leaders are encouraged to customize and/or use any of the ideas, language, and visuals included in the toolkit to supplement their local messaging or to jumpstart a new outreach effort. For additional resources, or for support with telling your local stories, please contact Kristin Bigler, Oregon Department of Education, Public Affairs Specialist, kristin.bigler@ode.oregon.govThe toolkit is also available on the ODE ESSER website here.