Did you see that Facebook post?

Did you see that Facebook post?
Posted on 10/17/2018

More and more, people are turning to social media to search for news, find inspiration, or just catch up with friends. In our world today, it often seems we are connected to social media 24-7. As a school district, we expect that those conversations will likely involve our school, and we believe it is important to be a part of those conversations as well. You’ll find us on the Mexico School District Facebook page, individual building pages, activity/athletic pages, classroom pages, and more.

We encourage our parents and community members to “like” and follow our pages. Tag us in your posts so we can “like” and share. You can even choose to have school district posts show up as a priority in your Facebook news feed. Just click on the “following” button under our cover photo and choose “see first.” Each time we post, it will show up at the top of your news feed.

Recent research by a school communications company shows the use of Facebook and other social media is near the top of the list as a parent engagement channel. This is primarily due to the fact that it offers two-way communication between the school and parents, responding with a comment or reaction. Our parents are on Facebook throughout the day, and teachers can give them a window into classroom learning by posting a few photos that are easily tagged and shared. School events are posted as Facebook events where the community can see what’s happening in our school and who plans to attend. Even what used to be a phone call to the school secretary might now be asked through Facebook Messenger.

As beneficial as social media can be for school communications, it is also challenging. When preparing to share a message, we determine who needs to know, how they need to find out, and who should be the messenger. If our parents are the main audience, they will receive an email or call from the school, and then we may also choose to share on social media. Sometimes we will choose not to share information on Facebook because it may involve student discipline or other private matters protected by law.

On that same note, it’s challenging to monitor social media. That universal Facebook question of, “What’s on your mind?” may prompt others to share negative feelings about our school. And, if an incident occurs in one of our schools, we know that in today’s digital world, it’s unlikely that we’ll beat the text from a student to a parent or friend who may post on social media. We can, however, assure you that the school will consistently communicate with you in a timely manner by email, phone call, and/or a social media after fully researching a situation. I personally encourage anyone that has a concern to contact the school directly. The school communications email is communications@mexico.k12.mo.us.

In the next one to three years, social media use is expected to continue expanding as a communication tool between school districts and parents. Although internet access may be limited for some, most parents have access to a smartphone and social media. My personal role as a communications professional in our district is to monitor and maintain the school message on social media to ensure it is mutually beneficial between the school district and the many publics we serve.

Although we use several communication outlets to reach parents and community, Facebook is just one way, among many, to continue building school and family engagement.