INSPRAtions Conference

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9:00am: District-Alike Networking 

Our opportunities to gather and network have been limited, at a time when we've ne

eded the support of one another the most! Launch the 2021 INSPRAtions conference with district-alike networking. Meet colleagues who serve in districts similar to yours and engage in guided conversations to share ideas and build connections with peers who will support you - and seek your support - for years to come! Walk away from this session with a renewed connection to a long-time School PR colleague, or the foundations of a friendship with someone new!

10:15am -11:15: Choose from Two Great Sessions

Striving for Excellence & Equity
Michael Bolden, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Dani Brink, Director of Community, Relations, Eric Veal Jr., Senior, Willowbrook High School, Dr. Raquel Wilson, Director of Student Services

DuPage High School District 88 will share its journey of  implementing culturally responsive, anti-racist, trauma-informed and restorative practices to help create equity and an inclusive environment for all students. District 88 has about 40 languages and mor

e than 30 countries represented among its families, and almost half of the nearly 4,000 students at District 88 speak a language other than English at home. Embracing that diversity has helped cement the district’s core values of ensuring all students, staff and community members feel safe, valued, respected and welcome – regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. District 88 is maintaining its pursuit of equity and inclusion and will provide tips and advice for other school districts that are on this path.


Passing a STEM Center Referendum During the Pandemic
Shelia Friday, Public Relations Administrator, Elementary School District 159

Following the RPIE process, learn how District 159 established a plan to successfully pass a referendum for its new Community STEM Center and Administrative Facility. Hear background about how the STEM Center came to be by identifying how it aligned with the District's 2019-2023 Strategic Plan and understand how the District engaged the community two years prior to proposing the STEM Center, gained support through targeted strategies and tactics, successfully silenced nay-sayers, and celebrated the culminating success with a groundbreaking ceremony this past August. This presentation will highlight the communication theories and models utilized during the process and draw connections with the KSAs of the APR examination.

11:30am - 12:15 - Lunch

12:30-1:30pm - Wellness & Morale Panel and Idea Sharing

School districts have been leading through crisis for more than 18 months. Three school years have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and it has taken a toll on students, families, teachers, staff, administrators, and each and every member of our community. This session will kick off with brief summary presentations on wellness initiatives from our colleagues, and then shift into an idea-sharing session. How have you carved out time for your own self-care? What has your district done to support the wellness of the stakeholders in your community? Come prepared to share!

1:45-2:45pm - Choose from Two Great Sessions 

Hosting a Successful News Conference
Stacey Moore, Chief Communications Officer, Champaign Unit 4 School District

If your superintendent walks into your office and asks you to coordinate a news conference, would you be prepared to jump into action? Stacey Moore, Chief Communications Officer for Champaign Unit 4 Schools, will share a step-by-step checklist and other crucial tips to ensure that you are confident and ready to host a successful news conference.


Roles and Characteristics of a Strategic Advisor
Brett Clark, APR, Senior Strategic Consultant, c e s o

The most effective school communications professionals assume the role of strategic advisor to other leaders. And while this role is continuously evolving, the pandemic put the speed of change in high gear. In this session, we will discuss how the work of a strategic advisor needs to shift along with the individual and personal characteristics possessed by the most effective advisors.

3:00-4:00pm - Choose from Two Great Sessions  

Building a Strong Digital Presence
Maria Feitlich, Communications Specialist, Glenview School District 34

Photos, videos, hashtags, social media, oh my! Learn how to develop a strong digital presence on social media with engagement from your staff and community. Let’s talk through some social media campaigns that will help build a consistent brand for your school district. Plus, tips on how video, website and social media can all work together. 


An R-PIE Example: Data-Based Decision Making and Transparent Communication to Keep Kids in School 100%
Carla Erdey, Director of Communications, Dr. Robert Nolting, Superintendent, Dawn Rueter-Cox, Director of Assessment and Data, Consolidated High School District 230

 See how District 230's Superintendent, Director of Assessment and Data, and Director of Communications collaborate to build a comprehensive, data-based decision-making process to provide transparent communication. Focused on COVID-19 metrics in the community and in our schools, this R-PIE strategic communication process guides mitigation implementation and communication. Using tools like Infogram and Smore, the district has provided detailed information that is easy to understand. The Dashboard has served as a touchstone in conversations with the school board, community members, staff, students, and parents about the importance and impact of following mitigations. It has also shown the power of visual representation of data to tell a complicated story and encourage desired behaviors to meet our goal of keeping kids in school 100%.