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Superintendent Jinger Haberer believes in the power of communication. It unifies teams, develops and sustains trust, and keeps the district moving forward to help all students achieve.

However, this summer, during the Coffee & Conversations and through the Superintendent Transition Survey, we learned the number one challenge stated by parents/guardians was communication. Our staff expressed similar concerns.

Internally Academy District 20 (ASD20) staff felt communication gets stuck, causing them to feel out of the loop. They stated information is hard to find, redundant, sometimes outdated, and has conflicting dates and/or calls to action. Those working in our schools shared they would like more communication from the district, asking to reinstate the weekly eNewsletter sent during the pandemic.

On the other hand, parents/guardians shared they were happy with the monthly Superintendent Newsletter and appreciated the consistency of district communication via ASD20.ORG, social media and email.

But our families asked for more opportunities to be part of the conversation, specifically sharing they would like more Coffee & Conversations or Town Halls. Parents/guardians also asked for broader representation on committees like the districtwide Parent Sounding Board. Some parents requested meetings in the evening hours.

The number one request from parents was to simplify the flow of communication coming from the schools, with a majority stating the amount of communication is overwhelming.

Communication Changes Coming

Superintendent Haberer is already working with district staff to address the communication challenges and bridge gaps.

Starting in August, we will launch a weekly staff eNewsletter, called The Insider. It will provide staff members quick updates, celebrate and highlight people and teams, and when appropriate include video updates from the Superintendent.

In the beginning this newsletter will be a simple text-based digest linking to detailed posts on ASD20.ORG. Over time, the newsletter will grow to include branded elements, photos, and link to 20Net, the district’s intranet.

Additionally, this fall we are working to make changes to our intranet, adding targeted newsfeeds, refining information and navigation.

We are also investigating platforms that could consolidate the flow of communication to our families. Our hope is to pilot platforms next winter/spring to make communication more consistent and streamlined. This will be especially helpful for families with children across our district schools.

Three seats per school will be added to the district wide Parent Sounding Board and we will hold monthly Coffee and Conversations throughout the year, starting this September.

Our goal is to ensure connection with all stakeholders – internally and externally – while also providing feedback mechanisms to continually improve and grow.