Leveraging the expertise of many media-savvy parents in the Dobbs Ferry community, the district has formed an ad hoc communications committee to further disseminate district-related information to parents and community members.
The committee consists of: parents, teachers, administrators and even students.
Spearheaded by first-year Superintendent Dr. Lisa Brady, the committee will aim to give parents a clearer picture of what exactly happens in the Dobbs Ferry schools and how residents' tax dollars are being spent.
"When I first came to the district, the Board [of Education] said one of its most important goals was to improve communications within the district," Brady said. "People are naturally interested in what happens in schools—especially when they're paying taxes as high as those in Dobbs Ferry."
Brady also pointed out that what happens inside a classroom in 2012 may be very different from what happened in 1976, 1990...or even 2008.
"It's probably entirely different from what parents remember—that's why outreach is so important," she said.
According to Dobbs Ferry's public information officer Liz Hausman, members hope to use a number of different media including: emails, blogging, the district's cable TV station and web technology—including social media.
"We will also send out hard copies of any notices to people who may not have access to certain technology," Hausman said.
The first step will be to send out a communications audit (through Survey Monkey) which will help the committee learn where the community believes communication has been lacking in the past and what types of information they want.
The second step will be to divide into sub-committees, each with a different focus: TV, social media, email alerts etc.
Hausman said she hoped to have the survey available by late this week or early next week.
"As much as I love children, I know that when a parent asks his or her child what happened in school today, the kid will say, 'nothing,'" Brady said. "It's our job as educators to fill in those gaps."
What types of information do you want from the schools? What's the most convenient way for you to receive it? Do you read information disseminated directly by the district differently from information you found in newspapers, on facebook or on Patch? If so, how?
To get involved with Dobbs Ferry's communications committee, email Liz Hausman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Brady at BradyL@dfsd.org.