Dr. Greg M. Miller
Dear Fleetwood Area School District Families and Friends:
I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the importance of collaboration and communication. Open communication is vital. We live in an era of social media in which on any given day there may be three or four different versions of any situation out on the internet. We need to remember this isn’t a reflection of anyone’s malicious intent but more a situation of individual perception. Due to this challenge, it is more important than ever that schools take every opportunity possible to share current relevant information with their community. We have been working throughout the year to develop a district wide communication plan. The key guiding principles that we have developed include:
1. Establishing and maintaining positive and collaborative relationships with all stakeholders both within the district and beyond.
2. Ensuring communication is clear, concise, consistent, and timely.
3. Utilizing different communication vehicles to reach all stakeholders.
While we certainly know we have work to do in these areas, these principles will help us to move in the right direction consistently throughout our district.
In reference to collaboration, many of us recognize the importance of collaboration within our organizations, but an additional aspect is the importance of collaboration within our community. We could not do what we do for students without the ongoing support and collaborative relationship we have with many local agencies, businesses, and community groups. These partnerships are essential to providing an outstanding experience for our students. While we have the ability to do many things internally, it is the relationship and collaboration with our outside groups that truly enhances the educational experience we are able to provide for our students.
An example of the importance of community wide communication and collaboration occurred earlier this year when we experienced a very dangerous and potentially harmful situation in which a community group was using our middle school and suddenly multiple people became ill. While this event was certainly a dangerous and concerning event, the quick response from our local emergency personnel was essential in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community. Through a high level of communication and collaboration, we were able to ensure the safety of everyone involved. I couldn’t imagine that situation without the quick response of these emergency personnel. In reference to communication, we worked early and throughout the event to provide information to our community. We used our e-mail system to send out communications that evening as well as in the early morning hours with follow-up updates the next day and over the weekend. Additionally, we posted information on our website and on social media. Finally, we conducted interviews with the local media outlets. Our goal was to provide information as it became available to us and to ensure everyone had the same information that we had. While no one wants to experience an event like that, it is essential that clear ongoing communication is necessary. Additionally, it is reassuring to know that our community partnerships with the surrounding emergency personnel are in place and they are available to help at a moment’s notice.
We truly appreciate our firefighters, police officers, EMTs, paramedics, 911 operators, dispatchers, and all other emergency services personnel that stand at the ready prepared to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community at a moment’s notice. You make our lives and our communities so much better with your selflessness and brave service.
Greg M. Miller, Ed.D