District 97 recently rolled out a communications campaign designed to beef up its community outreach and engagement efforts. The campaign, called MyD97, features a new “Weekly Wrap-Up” newsletter providing consistent updates on the district’s equity work, a monthly award, and a program that invites community members to be social media ambassadors for the district. 

In a statement the district released in November, the district said the new campaign is part of its work “to keep stakeholders informed and engaged” in its equity efforts. 

“We know that we cannot achieve equity without effectively engaging all of our students, staff, families and community members,” the district explained in the statement. “As part of our renewed commitment to keep stakeholders informed and engaged, we are excited to introduce our new communications campaign, ‘MyD97.'” 

Amanda Siegfried, D97’s communications director, said that the new campaign is part of the district’s broader Communications and Community Engagement Plan, which is a major component of the equity policy that the school board approved in March. 

Siegfried added that the communications plan has a series of objectives to meet its ultimate goal of ensuring that parents are “informed and engaged” around the district’s equity work. Those objectives include increasing “the overall number of engaged parents in D97’s efforts around equity,” ensuring that “at least 50 [percent] of parents of underrepresented groups are engaged in D97’s efforts around equity,” increasing engagement on Facebook and Twitter by 5 percent and ensuring “that parents are moderately to highly aware of the district’s equity plans and activities. 

In addition to the Weekly Wrap-Up newsletter, the campaign will also include the Making MyD97 Better award. Each month, the district will acknowledge a “teacher, staff member, parent, student or community member” who “is helping to make D97 a better place for all.” Each individual selected for the award will receive a gift card for a local business and will be highlighted on D97’s website and social media pages. 

As part of the campaign, the district is also seeking social media ambassadors, or people “willing to share news and information about our efforts to support all students. Whether you are sharing posts from our Facebook or Twitter pages or shouting out a teacher or student, being a social media ambassador is a great way to be part of the ‘MyD97’ campaign and support District 97 schools,” officials explained. 

Earlier this year, the district entered into an agreement with KQ Communications to provide communications support after Chris Jasculca, the district’s former communications director, resigned. District officials said that the net cost to the 2019-20 budget of hiring KQ Communications was approximately $2,000. 

Siegfried said that she and Rochelle LeBreck, the district’s communications coordinator, will plan and implement much of the communications work related to the district’s equity plan. 

“The consultant will continue to provide assistance this year with some of our community feedback opportunities (parent surveys and polls), which will help inform our work moving forward,” Siegfried said. 

Anyone who wants more info about the MyD97 campaign, interested in becoming an ambassador and/or nominating someone for the Making MyD97 Better award can visit op97.org/communications/myd97 or contact Amanda Siegfried, D97’s director of communications at asiegfried@op97.org.

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com 

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