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How Osceola School District promotes trust, transparency, and communication

“In Osceola School District, every voice counts,” said Dr. Debra Pace, Superintendent of Osceola School District.

Osceola School District — located in the heart of Central Florida — is a model for how school districts can intentionally provide better experiences, engagement, and education through customer service. 

This district uses Let’s Talk! by K12 Insight — the only all-in-one customer experience and intelligence platform built for K-12 — to deliver upon its strategic plan’s goals for customer service and community engagement. 

The cloud-based platform helps staff manage inbound questions and concerns from families, teachers, staff, and the broader community.

“In Osceola School District, every voice counts,” said Dr. Debra Pace, Superintendent of Osceola School District. “Let’s Talk! helps us deliver superior customer experiences easier, faster, and more intentionally across our school district.”

Osceola School District also uses Let’s Talk! Assistant — the first chatbot built specifically for K-12 school districts. The district was among the first in the nation to adopt the chatbot. 

“Our chatbot allows us to provide always-on customer service,” Dr. Pace said. “Parents can ask common questions 24-7 and it improves our internal efficiency — giving our staff more time to answer more complex questions.”    

Since launching the tool in 2018, Osceola School District has used Let’s Talk! to automate and simplify communications, increase productivity, and build community trust districtwide. The district is nearing 50,000 Let’s Talk! dialogues, which have been resolved in under two days on average with a lifetime CX score of 8.4 out of 10. 

Discovering trending topics before they hit headlines

Across the country, school districts are grappling with how to handle community questions regarding hot topics such as Critical Race Theory, book bans, equity, social-emotional learning, and more. 

Let’s Talk! helps Osceola School District build trust and strengthen staff, family, and community connections by providing a transparent, easy way for the community to reach out about hot-button issues. 

“If community members have any concerns about our district’s curriculum, we have an easy-to-use form to request a curriculum review,” said Dana Schafer, Public Information Officer at Osceola School District. “We’re happy to answer questions regarding learning tasks, reading assignments, or other curriculum material. This custom form built by K12 Insight streamlines these requests and gives us the information we need to pass along to our Curriculum Advisory Committee.”

“K12 Insight has equipped us with the tools and training to help our district engage with our community through two-way dialogues, identify potential crises, and make data-driven decisions.”
— Dr. Debra Pace, Superintendent of Osceola School District 

Beyond curriculum, Let’s Talk! gives district and school leaders insights into trending topics in the community — before they make headlines.     

“There are many times when a hot topic or concern is growing within the community and our first knowledge of it comes from Let’s Talk!” Schafer said. 

Providing superior service during the busy back-to-school season

As districts begin to prepare for the start of a new school year, Osceola is ready to provide superior customer experiences with its back-to-school hotline. 

This hotline — managed through Let’s Talk! — is primarily used to help the district quickly respond to parents about transportation issues and questions. While it is predominantly used during the first few weeks of the school year, the hotline is open year-long to ensure parents have quick, easy access to the district. 

“Transportation is our hottest topic with over 2,200 dialogues received so far this year,” Schafer said. 

Osceola has also found Let’s Talk! to be helpful with the IT department, particularly with password-related requests. 

“We use Let’s Talk! to help families experiencing technical difficulties or password issues,” said Martha Mann, Community Relations Specialist at Osceola School District. “Let’s Talk! even allows us to see when the IT department is getting overwhelmed with questions and requests. We’re able to jump in and help to ensure every parent receives a response in a timely manner.” 

Keeping the community safe

The district’s Keep Osceola Safe initiative is powered by Let’s Talk! The page features custom-built forms that allow the school community to ask safety questions, as well as report bullying and threats. 

“We encourage and expect our students and our community members to say something if they see or hear a specific threat,” Schafer said. “Let’s Talk! really proved its value when we received an anonymous tip that there was a serious safety threat regarding an employee. It could have been a devastating situation. We were able to quickly address it and get the person the help they needed.” 

With Let’s Talk! Critical Alerts, the district receives immediate notification when there is a severe threat to school safety.

Parents and students often use the “Report Bullying” form to report incidents of bullying, including threats, intimidation, harassment, and destruction of property. This allows stakeholders to provide detailed reports to the district about bullying incidents, including who was involved, where the bullying took place, how often it occurs, and more.

“Sometimes people aren’t comfortable reporting bullying in-person, and Let’s Talk! allows them to share the details in a way that is safe and easy — whether they want to be identified or wish to provide an anonymous report,” Schafer said.

Want to discover how Let’s Talk! can help you deliver superior experiences in your school district? Request a free consultation to learn more.

About the Author

Ellie Grace
Ellie Grace is a senior client success manager at K12 Insight. She is a former teacher and instructional coach and has led training on instructional strategies for the Tennessee Department of Education. She also served as an America Achieves fellow and taught through Teach for America.

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