Communications Committee Presentation December 2021
With co-chair Joel Fishbein presiding, the Communications Committee convened over Zoom on Thursday, Dec. 16. The agenda included one item: Alumni Association Update. Director of Communications Kevin Kaufman made the presentation, which featured progress on CHS connections and alumni connections. The presentation also included information about the copious amount of artifacts the alumni association has in its archive, dating back to the 1920s. Alumni association president Christa Sywulak-Herr met with a local archivist to discern the most efficient and strategic manner of organizing and storing the archival materials. Finally, Mr. Kaufman gave an update on the association’s pursuit of a more robust alumni engagement platform. President Sywulak-Herr noted the January general board meeting for the alumni association will be dedicated to making decisions surrounding the platform and an overall communications strategy. Prior to the meeting co-chairs Fishbein and Jennifer Lowman announced the Communications Committee will no longer meet monthly, in lieu of meeting on an “as needed” basis and increased interaction between the director of communications and chairs. Video>
Communications Committee Presentation November 2021
The Communications Committee convened over Zoom on Thursday, Nov. 18 for its monthly meeting. The agenda included three items: update on the digital content specialist search, news media relations and the fall social media wrap up.
Communications Director Kevin Kaufman stated the search for the digital content specialist would be reopened following the Thanksgiving break with an emphasis on tapping into the December graduate pool to fill the position. The media relations portion of the presentation featured an overview of recent earned media and media mentions, and the social media check in showed increased engagement across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The next Communications Committee meeting is Thursday, Dec. 16 on Zoom. Video>
Communications Committee Presentation October 2021
With co-chair Joel Fishbein presiding, the Communications Committee convened for its monthly meeting on Zoom on Thursday, October 28. The agenda included two items: search for the digital content specialist and a 2020-21 overview of the Cheltenham School District Foundation. Interviews for the digital content specialist position will begin next week. The foundation overview covered its activities since the pandemic hit, and included donations to assist those impacted by food insecurity, the 13 scholarships totaling $11,000 which were awarded to 19 members of the Class of 2021 this past June, “Cheltenham Dines en Blanc (with a twist),” Foundation Fest and the return of innovative educator grants. Video>
Communications Committee Presentation September 2021With co-chair Jenny Lowman presiding, the Communications Committee convened over Zoom on Thursday, Sept. 23 for its monthly meeting. The agenda included updates on the recently vacated digital content specialist position and alumni association engagement platform and the unveiling of the 2021-22 communications plan. The digital content specialist job description has been tweaked to include additional writing and news gathering responsibilities. A subcommittee of the alumni association is collaborating with communications director Kevin Kaufman in the vetting and consideration of an all-in-one engagement platform for its constituents. The communications plan included four big goals: Increase news stories highlighting district events/activities; reinforce the CSD brand through increased student interest stories; increase engagement with post-elementary, new and disengaged families; and work with the alumni association to solidify data and begin to build a database. Some of the special areas of consideration for this academic year include introducing the new superintendent, highlighting the incoming board members, BEC contract negotiations, equity, and student activities and achievement.The next Communications Committee meeting is Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Communications Committee Presentation May 2021
With Jennifer Lowman presiding, the Communications Committee convened via video conferencing for its final meeting of the academic year on Thursday, May 27. The agenda included a spring social media check in, superintendent search communications and a dashboard update. Director of Communications Kevin Kaufman reviewed campaigns and popular posts he and digital content specialist Dana Walker created within the past six months on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Kaufman reviewed the communications for the superintendent search, which included a dedicated web page, numerous social media posts and letters to the community about surveys and public forums. Finally, Kaufman unveiled a mock up of the district data dashboard project. Communications and Technology will work together in the coming months to bring the preliminary mock up to fruition. The Communications Committee will meet next on Thursday, September 23.
Communications Committee Presentation April 2021
With co-chair Joel Fishbein presiding and several community members in attendance, the Communications Committee convened over Zoom on Thursday, April 22. The agenda included two items: Athletic communications and activities communications. Director of Communications Kevin Kaufman made a presentation about the different ways the Communications office is connecting with its constituents utilizing athletics and activities. For each topic, the presentation includes slides on student recognitions and news on the website, social media campaigns, social media posts. Kaufman also spoke about how the department has been utilizing Google Sites to create season-specific sports pages, and the success of streaming high and middle school events. Finally, Kaufman discussed how Communications has been partnering with various departments and schools to host “virtual” events, such as high and middle school concerts and school-based events like the Cheltenham Elementary spelling bee. The next Communications Committee meeting - the final one of the 2020-21 school year - will be Thursday, May 27 at 7 p.m. on Zoom.
Communications Committee Presentation March 2021
With co-chair Joel Fishbein presiding, the Communications Committee convened over Zoom on March 25. The agenda included two items: Reopening / COVID-19 communications and school board communications. Director of Communications Kevin Kaufman presented the offices from which and myriad ways in which constituents were being communicated to, including letters from the superintendent, assistant superintendent and director of student services. Other means of outreach included website stories; social media; and YouTube playlists. He also reviewed the rollout of the district’s COVID-19 dashboard. With regard to board communications, topics discussed included the website (board bios, committee descriptions, BoardDocs); board meeting recordings available on YouTube; one-pagers describing board roles and policy creation; promotion of legislative and committee meetings and town halls (legislative and student); creation of statements/resolutions; media relations; and the board email auto-responder. The next Communications Committee meeting is Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m. on Zoom.
Communications Committee Presentation February 2021
With Joel Fishbein presiding, the Communications Committee convened on Thursday, Feb. 25 via Zoom. The agenda included a recounting of the monthly COVID-19/Reopening outreach and review of media relations. The Communications team continues to push out timely, pertinent information to its constituents with regard to COVID-19 and school reopening. In the most recent month, more than 20 communications were released to various constituents. Updates to the district’s Road2Reopening site were reviewed as well and included an updated monitoring form page, and line item updates with regard to exclusions and travel. The media relations presentation covered the different types of news media coverage, what constitutes “newsworthy” and the difference between “media mentions” and “earned media.” Several examples of media mentions and earned media in print were reviewed, followed by a screening of earned television news media clips.
Communications Committee Presentation January 2021
With co-chair Jennifer Lowman presiding, the Communications Committee convened over Zoom on Thursday, Jan. 28. The agenda included a review of COVID-19/reopening communications and a presentation offering different options for how to host future board meetings. Since the most recent committee meeting, Communications had sent more than 20 emails covering topics from the weekly news share to suspected COVID-19 cases, and transportation to meal distribution, in addition to starting daily email and text reminders to complete the COVID-19 screeners. The presentation also included an overview of how Communications promoted and reported on school reopening town halls. Finally, the board was presented four options for future legislative board meetings: Stream from the administration building auditorium; Zoom and stream from the administration building auditorium; Zoom and stream from alternate location, such as the CBK Learning Commons or Rodgers Culture & Resource Center; and continue with the current model of Zoom. Board members arrived at the remote location and current model being the two most viable options, and will vote on which way to proceed at the Tuesday, Feb. 9 legislative board meeting.
Communications Committee Presentation December 2020
With co-chair Joel Fishbein presiding, the Communications Committee convened via Zoom on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2020. The agenda included a school transition update, review of the month’s reopening / COVID-19 communications, presentation of the past month’s communications analytics, review of the young alumni-driven website BeyondCHS.com and the request to partner with the district, and a discussion about future board legislative and committee meetings being held in person v. continued video conferencing.
The past month’s social media analytics revealed a slight dip in reach but not engagement, a situation chalked up to the fact that numerous posts on district social media are of the FYI variety. The BeyondCHS.com conversation focused on the site’s goals, and committee members lauded the young alumni who put the project together for their entrepreneurial spirit, energy and passion. While citing safety and security issues and liability concerns of the new site, administration has agreed to research established, secure alumni connection software. The committee will engage the BeyondCHS.com group and the alumni association in this process. Various pros and cons were discussed about moving legislative and committee meetings to in-person. For the time being, meetings will remain virtual, but administration will investigate ways in which to enhance Zoom’s functionality and interactivity for meetings.
The next Communications Committee meeting is Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Communications Committee Presentation November 2020
The Communications Committee convened on Zoom on Thursday, Nov. 22 with board vice president Joel Fishbein presiding. The agenda included a school transition update, review of reopening/COVID-19 communications and communications analytics, and a briefing on the Cheltenham School District Foundation.
The school transition update included information about the board’s November 19 decision to push the beginning of the transition to hybrid learning to February 1, in addition to up-to-date incidence and positivity data. The review of reopening/COVID-19 communications included a dive into the information being shared with the community via email, text messaging, application notifications, and Road2Reopening website. Communications analytics offered an overview of social media data, which were up marginally after a down month. The student council spotlights on Facebook and Instagram, and a Facebook and Twitter post about alumnus Chris Myarick being called up to the active roster of the Miami Dolphins garnered major attention. The foundation update covered the student scholarships and innovative educator grants initiatives, community engagement, and special projects. The next Communications Committee meeting is Thursday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at cheltenham.org/zoom.
Communications Committee Presentation October 2020
With board member Charles Burdell-Williams presiding, the Communications Committee convened over Zoom for its monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22. Other board members in attendance included Joel Fishbein and Jenny Lowman. Staff present included Superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseille and Communications team members Kevin Kaufman and Dana Walker and IT director Chris Barone. The agenda included four items: Reopening communications; communications analytics; translation request from student body; and teacher / student activities social media accounts.
Dr. Marseille opened the meeting with a recap of his Oct. 13 presentation to the board about reopening, in which he discussed reconvening the reopening committees, remote learning survey results, and guiding data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Mr. Kaufman discussed communications analytics across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Across the board, numbers were flat if not decreased, which Mr. Kaufman attributed to less building-level activities because of virtual learning. Though he did mention the team was working on new means of engagement with its constituents. Mr. Kaufman highlighted the district’s new instagram “highlights” section. With regard to translation services, Mr. Kaufman has investigated some general solutions such as Google Translate or using the translation option on the district website, but it was agreed upon that those solutions only showed the most general translation, bypassing any local dialects or other linguistic nuances. Mr. Kaufman will follow up with student services and Norristown School District to gather more information about translations. Finally, Mr. Kaufman spoke briefly about the uptick in school-associated social media sites for specials and student activities.
The next Communications Committee meeting will be held on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
Communications Committee Presentation September 2020
With co-chair Joel Fishbein presiding, the Communications Committee convened on Zoom for this month’s meeting on Thursday, Sept. 24. Agenda included communications analytics, social media during virtual school, COVID-19 and school reopening communications and a discussion about the board and administration’s responses to current issues.
- As the district pushes a mix of information updates and feature content, the majority of its social media analytics continue to trend upward in month over month comparisons.
- With buildings being closed, typical content isn’t as readily available as it has been. As such, Digital Content Specialist Dana Walker has created two new campaigns (#OnThisDay throwback posts and snapshot challenge) to drive engagement. Ms. Walker is also working to add coordinated “highlights” to the district’s Instagram page for a more seamless user experience.
- Director of Communications Kevin Kaufman shared about the continuing communications efforts surrounding COVID-19 and school reopening, including website development, FAQs and social media informational updates.
- The meeting wrapped up with a discussion of how the board and administration have been responding to feedback from the community about a number of issues, including athletics, non-public school transportation, special education, and finances.
Communications Committee Presentation May 2020
With co-chair Joel Fishbein presiding and board members Charles Burdell-Williams and Tyrone Scott, superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseille and members of the administration in attendance, the communications committee convened a virtual meeting on Thursday, May 28. The agenda included the monthly communications analytics, social media year-end review and Coronavirus-related media relations. Thanks to spring sports senior salutes and other senior- and staff-related campaigns, Facebook metrics were up in most categories. The year-in-review included a platform-by-platform look at successful campaigns and cumulative statistics. Coronavirus-related media relations included a few trend articles in the Inquirer, a story about the new teacher contracts on Inquirer.com and some television hits focused on senior events. The Communications Committee will reconvene in August.
Communications Committee Presentation April 2020
With board vice president Joel Fishbein presiding, the Communications Committee convened in a Zoom seminar room on Thursday, April 23. The agenda included communications analytics and coronavirus communications. The district Facebook crossed the 4,000 “likes” threshold, and has performed at a higher level than most of the surrounding school districts, thanks in large part to a video message to students from alumnus Dave Burd ‘06 (a.k.a. Lil Dicky), a call to assist those with food insecurity, and a football field scoreboard recognition of seniors. Instagram followers are up to more than 1,500, while the district Twitter account has broken the 1,000 follower barrier. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the office of communications has approached its work with three main goals in mind: inform, empathize and entertain. Communications have come through cheltenham.org, School Messenger emails, texts and app notifications, and social media. The next Communications Committee meeting will be virtual and held on Thursday, May 28.
Communications Committee Presentation February 2020
The Communications Committee convened Thursday, Feb. 27 with Charles Burdell-Williams presiding, board members Joel Fishbein and Tyrone Scott, staff members Kevin Kaufman and Chris Barone and community members in attendance. The agenda included communications analytics, an update from the Alumni Association of Cheltenham High School, and an events overview. The communications analytics conversation centered on social media outcomes, which normalized after months of heavy football-related traffic. CSD had a great month when compared to its peer group, with an engagement mark of 7.3K. The district Instagram (1,405 followers - nearly 100 more than the previous month’s total) and Twitter (972 followers) accounts continue to build their audiences. The presentation on the alumni association covered the following areas: Board and association formation, archives, communications, CHS connections, alumni events/support and future meeting dates. The events overview focused on the three types of events the Communications office works on: Internal (initiated and run by Communications), internal (initiated and run by other CSD offices) and external (initiated by external organization which runs the event). The next Communications Committee meeting is Thursday, March 26 at the Administration Building (2000 Ashbourne Rd., Elkins Park).
Communications Committee Presentation January 2020
The Communications Committee convened Thursday, Jan. 23 with Joel Fishbein presiding and board members Charles Burdell-Williams and Tyrone Scott in attendance. The agenda included communications analytics and an overview of the Cheltenham School District Foundation’s activity from this past year. The communications analytics conversation centered on social media outcomes, which were not nearly as high as they were during and immediately after the football team’s playoff run, but still good. Comparatively, CSD had as good of a month as North Penn, which has nearly three times the likes. The district Instagram (1,301 followers) and Twitter (949 followers) accounts continue to build their audiences. Board meeting streaming took a marked turn up, with the January meeting spotlighting Elkins Park recording 33 viewers, including 26 new ones. The texting rollout, which occurred three days prior garnered 2,617 opt-ins. The presentation on the foundation included an overview of its main activities: Innovative Educator Grants, Community Engagement Events and Scholarships. During this grant cycle, the foundation doled out more than $25k to 33 teachers in seven schools to help fund innovative projects. The foundation’s annual Food Truck Jamboree (766 attendees, $7086.50) and Dine en Blanc (189 attendees, $7,287 raised) were both profitable while building community. In June, the Foundation also awarded $8,500 to 15 graduating seniors through a variety of named scholarships. The next Communications Committee meeting is Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Administration Building (2000 Ashbourne Rd., Elkins Park).
Communications Committee Presentation December 2019
The Communications Committee convened Thursday, Dec. 19 with board members Joel Fishbein and Charles Burdell-Williams presiding and Tyrone Scott in attendance. The agenda included communications analytics, athletic marketing and naming opportunities. Director of Communications Kevin Kaufman presented the monthly social media results, and most measures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are on the rise, mostly due to capitalizing on the success of the football team. Among area schools, Cheltenham had the highest rate of engagement for the past month, but also posted the most stories by a factor of two. The athletic marketing presentation included information about how Communications is using athletics as a vehicle to build community. Kaufman referenced the different ways athletics is highlighted, including posting schedules during the preseason, celebrating coaches, recognizing all-league performers and highlighting college signings. Kaufman also presented the Football Central page created especially for the football team’s appearance in the state semi and final for constituents who are not on social media. Finally, Kaufman presented the naming opportunities available in the district. As part of Policy 704, an administrative regulation lists opportunities at the high school, middle school and elementary schools. The sheet is out of date and needs to be updated, probably through the Policy Committee. Discussion centered on how to bring the listings up to date, whether the naming opportunities were overwhelming, and if a more focused effort - say just on athletic facilities - would be more beneficial. The next Communications Committee meeting is set for Thursday, January 23 at 7 p.m. at the Administration Building.
Communications Committee Presentation November 2019
The Communications Committee convened on Thursday, Nov. 21 and the agenda included a monthly check-in on communications analytics, media relations and capital campaign. Riding the wave of the success of the high school football team, all social media channels had an excellent month, showing gains across the board, particularly in Facebook likes, which are now approaching 3,700. The media relations overview touched on relationship building as key to success. The district is getting its name into the public in positive ways. The capital campaign, which is part of the strategic plan, is behind, as the district lacks proper infrastructure to carry out an impactful fundraising effort.
Communications Committee Presentation October 2019
The Communications Committee met on Thursday, Oct. 24, and topics included communications analytics, data dashboard/scorecard and family engagement. Capitalizing on the success of the football team, Glenside's Unity Day coverage on WPVI and the soft opening of the JWR Culture and Resource Center at the high school, following and engagement are up on all channels. Facebook followers passed 3,500 this week; Instagram followers cracked 1,000 earlier this month; and Twitter followers are on the rise at 758. A data dashboard/scorecard project was introduced with slides providing goals and scope, characteristics of each tool, and plans for adoption. Product demos are being arranged with a number of vendors who will be charged with creating a tool to illustrate strategic plan progress that can then be leveraged into a tool for other departments. Engagement efforts with district families, including revamping the welcome ambassadors teacher leader program, new family packets and community outreach, were presented. Conversation on engagement centered on the outreach being made and converting those opportunities into a genuine two-way interaction.
Communications Committee Presentation September 2019
Communications Committee convened on Thursday, Sept. 26 with board vice president Joel Fishbein and board member Charles Burdell-Williams presiding. Topics covered included an update on the district’s social media properties. By virtue of interacting with numerous parent and student group accounts, Instagram is approaching fast 1,000 followers. Facebook analytics reveal the districts reach outpaced most other area school districts in September, despite having a fraction of the “likes.” The Twitter approach is still being defined. Recently, the Facebook and Twitter accounts were untethered so Twitter posts are down but the quality of interaction has increased. The 19-20 communications plan was unveiled and will focus on the brand highlights gleaned from this past year’s branding survey: CSD Arts (Vocal, visual, media, musical, marching band, theater), Academic Experience (Advanced Placement, Honors, Project Based Learning in grades 7-11, Skills for Life, EASTERN Tech, clubs as an extension of the classroom, laboratory for life), Progressive/Diverse/Inclusive (Majority minority Institution, student activism / voice) and CHS/CBK Athletics (Girls Track, Football, Basketball, Unified sports, wide variety of Olympic sports). PowerSchool Registration outreach for parents is underway with nearly 1,000 families updating their information. Reminders will be sent for the next few weeks, in preparation for the district’s texting rollout. The Legislative Board meeting on Monday, Oct. 7 will be streamed to the public as a pilot.
Communications Committee Presentation May 2019
The Communications Committee met on Thursday, May 23. Topics of discussion included a social media update, follow up on texting as a communication tool and the budget presentation video and branding survey report. See presentation for full details.
Communications Committee Presentation April 2019
The Communications Committee met on Thursday, April 25. Topics of discussion included texting as a communication tool in 2019-2020, branding survey statistics and budget process video. See presentation for full details.
Communications Committee Presentation March 2018
The Communications Committee met on Thursday, March 28. Topics of discussion included boardroom AV update, social media status, equity meeting, and parent engagement strategies. See presentation for full details.
Communications Committee Presentation February 2019
The Communications Committee met Thursday, Feb. 28. The following items were on the agenda: Branding survey update; administration boardroom A/V update, communications/technology data, CSD Foundation retreat recap; and equity statement outreach.