Update on Our Communications Efforts and Protocols

Huntley 158 families,

We want to provide an update to you about our efforts to best communicate with you. 

In today’s ever-connected world, the options for how we communicate with each other are almost endless, and every individual is able to select for themselves which methods to use. It’s our job as a District to balance our communication needs and abilities with the preferences of you, our families. 

We do our best to provide timely and accurate information via a variety of media to meet the desires of our families. In recent years we have worked to upgrade our website, make robust use of email, text messaging, and automated phone calls, produce regular e-newsletters, actively engage on social media platforms, and create engaging videos. Some of these efforts integrate with or work in tandem with other information-sharing and transactional platforms, including PowerSchool, PowerSchool Learning (formerly Haiku), MySchoolBucks, 8to18 and others.

In addition, many individual teachers, classes, coaches, and other individual parts of our large district have adopted additional tools to provide communication specific to their purposes.

It’s a lot, for you and for us, to manage.

We constantly are making efforts to streamline communication. In fact, it was during an old-fashioned, face-to-face meeting of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee last year that several parents expressed to us their frustration with the overwhelming volume of communication spread over numerous platforms. After that meeting, we took quick action to ready a new protocol of using one tool for elementary classroom communication. After investigating many options, we adopted Otus for this purpose. Beginning this fall, Otus will be the only additional application used for classroom-level communications, in addition to email and phone calls as needed.

We will continue our efforts to adhere to this protocol at the elementary level, while realizing there is much room for improvement at the middle and high school levels. The size and complexity of those schools makes this a greater challenge, but it’s one we’re working on continuously.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts to remain engaged with us. Please know that the most important and pressing communications will continue to reach you via email, text, and when warranted, phone calls. While those methods are quickly becoming “old school,” they are the most reliable for reaching people quickly. They also remain the best ways to get in touch with us to ask a question or voice a concern.

Thank you again,

Scott Rowe, Ed.D