Joelle Doye was recently hired as the Communications Director for the Mineral Point School District. This hire originated from the findings of the district’s Strategic Plan. Paging through the plan the word “communication” appears ten times, which is evidence that the committee on the Strategic Plan value this attribute. In an effort to increase transparency around areas like fiscal decisions, the school budget, and the understanding of school funding makes a Communications Director more essential in today’s schools.
It’s not a secret that we live in a media age and technology has completely changed the way that we communicate. However, some people prefer traditional forms of communication. A school district can’t just put out one form of communication and count on it reaching everyone anymore, rather, making sure that all stakeholders are being reached using the method that is best for them is of utmost importance.
Education is also changing rapidly, and this makes it imperative that the Mineral Point School District is making families aware of all of the happenings in our district. Another goal of the Communications Director is to increase engagement, including building partnerships with citizens, businesses, and civic organizations. Effective communication also improves morale, school climate, and helps to cut down on misinformation.
As one example there has been much misinformation regarding the goal posts scheduled for the new football field. Upon my arrival just three years ago the district’s facilities coordinator stated that the goals posts needed to be replaced as they were rusting out at the bases and one goal post was reportedly not square. A month later I learned that the football field was not regulation (not a true 100 yard field) because the goal posts had been located incorrectly. The only way to fix the problems was to replace the goal posts. Future capital maintenance to the elementary football field was delayed until a decision was made as to which field would ultimately be used going forward.
A decision was made to move the stadium to the high school. Instead of purchasing goal posts at the elementary and moving them to the high school, a more efficient use of money was to purchase the goal posts directly for the high school field being constructed.
The stadium continues to be raised using private donations and fundraisers with the exception of routine maintenance that would have been spent on the elementary field regardless. This was shared with the board verbally and in writing and placed in brochures and on the website for the stadium (http://mpstadium.com/faqs/) The board of education approved the expense for high school goal posts after discussion and adopting this year’s budget.
It is my sincere belief that a communications director will assist the district with more communications creating better opportunities for further disclosure and transparency as matters continue to unfold in the Mineral Point community. Please contact me at Luke.Francois@mp.k12.wi.us or at 609-987-0741 with any questions or concerns you may have.