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Return to learn: Preparing for a new back-to-school season

This back-to-school promises to be like no other. 

Amid many uncertainties, one thing is clear: Your community is going to have questions. A lot of questions.

Finding ways to listen to and engage parents, students, staff and other community members has never been more important. Whether your school buildings are open, or you’re operating in a virtual space (or somewhere between the two)—your community needs an easy way to reach you and receive timely, accurate responses. 

Let’s Talk!, K12 Insight’s customer experience solution, makes it easy for community members to share questions, thoughts, and concerns directly with district leaders—anytime, from anywhere. Let’s Talk! is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any computer, tablet, or smartphone.  

When a parent, staff member, student, or other community member submits a question or concern through Let’s Talk!, their inquiry is automatically routed to the person or team best suited to respond. Key data points—such as the number of dialogues, average response time, and customer experience (Cx) score—are highlighted in a real-time dashboard so district leaders can identify and understand short- and long-term trends that help them improve the overall customer experience.

Want to see how Let’s Talk! works? Watch this brief video.

Here are five examples of how our school district partners are using Let’s Talk! to ensure a positive customer experience this year in light of the pandemic. We hope these examples inspire you and your district as you prepare to return to learn.

1). The School District of Osceola County (FL) 

In Florida (where school buildings are currently required to open in the fall), the School District of Osceola County introduced its Start Smart! (Ready. Set. Start SMART!) reopening plan. The district’s custom landing page provides a wealth of information and resources around re-entry—whether families choose face-to-face learning, digital learning at home, or Osceola virtual school options. 

The page also features a Let’s Talk! button to make it easy for community members to reach out if they have questions or concerns. That button takes them to a Let’s Talk! landing page that highlights key topics around re-entry, including face-to-face learning, digital learning, general reopening, and virtual school. 

“If you have any questions, I encourage you to contact us through our district’s online communication platform, Let’s Talk!, also on the district website,” says Dr. Debra Pace in a video on the district’s reopening plan. “Your questions will be responded to within 24 hours, Monday through Thursday through the remainder of the summer.” 

 

2). Austin Independent School District (TX)

Austin ISD in Texas is committed to keeping community members engaged and informed as they prepare to launch three potential teaching and learning models for the upcoming school year (on-campus/face-to-face, at-home/distance, and hybrid). 

The district continues to share timely and relevant information on its COVID-19 Updates page and encourages community members to engage in two-way conversations via Let’s Talk!, which is linked on the page or accessible throughout the district’s website by clicking the Let’s Talk! button in the top navigation bar. 

To make it even easier for community members to reach out during back-to-school, district leaders added Let’s Talk! Interest Areas for hot topics, including Reopening 2020-2021/COVID-19 and Learning At-Home. 

Community members can also send a text directly to the district, which staff can then handle as they would any other Let’s Talk! inquiry.


 

3). Germantown Municipal School District (TN)

Giving a voice to the entire school community is a top priority at Tennessee’s Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD) as they prepare families and staff for face-to-face, hybrid, and virtual education options. The district’s Road to Reopen GMSD plan highlights important information and action steps relating to re-entry, including a step that encourages community members to reach out using the district’s new COVID-19 Response Center. 

Powered by Let’s Talk!, the district’s COVID-19 Response Center invites community members to have two-way conversations with district leaders on a wide range of reopening topics, including social distancing plans, virtual learning, distance learning, enrollment/registration questions, facilities and cleaning procedures, and health checks & procedures. Community members can also contact specific departments or reach out about a variety of school-specific topics. 

A separate category includes topics specifically for staff preparing to return to work.  


 

4). Pasco County Schools (FL)

As the first day of school draws nearer, Pasco County Schools in Florida is keeping families and staff informed about reopening plans (including the traditional and virtual learning options) on its ReOpening Pasco County Schools webpage. 

Among its information and resources, a FAQ/Submit Questions page strives to answer popular questions around several key topics (learning model options, health and wellness, transportation, technology, food and nutrition, and more). A Submit Questions button at the bottom of the page takes community members to a Let’s Talk! landing page where they can reach out with any additional questions about schools or reopening. 

 

5). Spring Branch Independent School District (TX)

Staying connected is a key for administrators at Texas’s Spring Branch ISD. The district recently launched its LearnSBISD back-to-school plan for 2020-21, which outlines two learning options (in-person and distance learning) and provides additional resources and information. 

As part of its reopening strategy, the district launched an online customer service solution called Let’s Connect (linked on its LearnSBISD webpage). Powered by K12 Insight’s Let’s Talk!, the solution makes it easy for families, staff, and others to engage with district leaders about key topics, including distance learning, in-person learning, technology, transportation, social-emotional support, and school meals.

A pop-out contact tab, also powered by Let’s Talk!, makes it easy for community members to reach out from any page on the district website. 

“Communication is more important now than ever before, so we’re very excited to announce that we are launching a tool called Let’s Connect,” says Jennifer Blaine, superintendent of SBISD, in a video discussing the LearnSBISD plan. “The Let’s Connect tool allows us to provide the service and the communication that our families, our students, and our stakeholders need and deserve.”

 

Want to stand something like this up in your district? Quickly? And for FREE? Sign up for our FREE Let’s Talk! Response Center pilot program and get started today.

About the Author

Kyle Freelander
Kyle Freelander is the Senior Marketing Manager at K12 Insight.

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