School Communication

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Husfelt 2020By Bill Husfelt, Superintendent, Bay District Schools

This month I thought it would be useful to highlight some of the creative ways in which our schools are communicating with parents/guardians and to make sure you, as a stakeholder, don’t miss a message.

First of all, and really most important of all, there’s Parent Portal. ALL parents/guardians should have active Parent Portal accounts so we have the emergency contact information we need to reach out in the event of an individual emergency or a school-wide situation. It’s easy to set up a parent portal account and that information can be found on our website at www.bay.k12.fl.us. Anyone who needs help is encouraged to contact the school’s office for more assistance.

Most of our elementary schools also use Class Dojo which enables teachers to send frequent messages and updates directly to parents. If you have questions about that program, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s school.

Our schools also use PeachJar to send messages home via email, using the email addresses provided in Parent Portal, and this service is very handy because it delivers the information right to your email inbox. We don’t distribute any paper flyers anymore so you don’t have to dig through backpacks looking for crunchy, crusty bits of paper that had valuable information on them from last week! By activating Parent Portal, you ensure a steady stream of useful information delivered on a regular basis and you can choose how often you check those emails.

Parent Portal also gives us access to your phone numbers so we can use phone calls and/or text messages to communicate during critical situations. We know you want to know when a school is on lockdown and we want to make sure you’re in the loop. But, we can’t do that for you unless you have an active Parent Portal account.

Many of our schools also use social media to communicate directly with parents and the district has active social media accounts. We hope you follow your child’s school on social media and the district and find those updates helpful.

Stingrays 1 Img 3193And finally, sometimes, there are just good old-fashioned signs.

Many of us have spent A LOT of time in the parent pick-up and drop-off lines and so we know how frustrating it can be when those lines move slowly. Our schools use megaphones and signage to help move things along as quickly as they can and they are constantly analyzing traffic patterns to see if there are faster ways to drop off students and dismiss them in the afternoons.

I do want to take a second to highlight the creative (and funny) signs recently installed at Breakfast Point Academy. Principal Clint Whitfield designed these signs, and had them installed, to help bring some levity to the morning and afternoon routines and, hopefully, to help things run even more smoothly.

The signs have been a HUGE hit with BPA parents/guardians and we’re glad they bring a chuckle to those sitting in the morning and afternoon waiting areas.

Communicating as transparently with parents and guardians and community stakeholders is something we’re committed to doing each and every day and we value your feedback as well. If you have a concern about anything at one of our schools, don’t hesitate to reach out to the principal for assistance. I am confident that most problems can be solved at the school level but just in case you need additional help, our number is (850) 767-4100 and you can reach us by email at BDscomm@bay.k12.fl.us.

Thank you for all you do to keep our beach schools running so smoothly. Stay safe and God Bless!