March 25, 2019 – When AASA named Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr. as its 2019 National Superintendent of the Year, it marked yet another step in a remarkable turn-around for a school district that had cycled through five top administrators in just seven years.
After 20 years in the military, Jones has spent another 20-plus years as an educator in Georgia. Needless to say, he is a leader of people. When Jones became superintendent at Bibb County, he knew that the school system needed to regain community trust.
“Transparency was key,” said Jones. “We needed to get to a point where parents could share their concerns and ask questions of us – and have them believe our responses.” To help, the district turned to an online customer service and community engagement tool called Let’s Talk! from K12 Insight.
The cloud-based Let’s Talk platform helps school districts build community trust with a focus on improving and measuring the school customer experience. Accessible via a tab or button on school or district websites or via a smart-phone-enabled mobile app, Let’s Talk helps school district leaders:
- Listen. Students, parents and staff can provide feedback 24/7 from any device in a safe, secure environment.
- Respond. The system time stamps and immediately routes every inquiry to the right person or persons for an accurate, timely, courteous and complete response.
- Collaborate. A universal inbox lets school staff across different departments improve workflow and collaborate on replies.
- Mitigate Risk. A special Critical Alerts feature creates a notification when questions or comments containing specific keywords, such as guns or suicide, are received.
For Jones, better communication means more trust among the school district and the community – and, ultimately, a better experience for students and parents.
“One of our strategic priorities as a district is partnering with and engaging the community, but in a way that allows for a true exchange of information,” explained Jones. “At Bibb County, we’ve been able to use K12 Insight and Let’s Talk to demonstrate that ‘what we say is what we’ll do’. Parents will have a different attitude knowing that, when they put the request into Let’s Talk, the superintendent will see it, send it to whoever needs it, and send an answer back. It changes the conversation and the tone, and people will start having more confidence in you.”
To learn more about how K12 Insight and Let’s Talk can help make a difference in your school, please visit www.k12insight.com.