We speak a lot about messages in school communications, and for good reason. Messages are the small “bite-sized” pieces of information we want our stakeholders to understand or experience.

Good messages are simple but profound and are best addressed to specific stakeholders with the intention of capturing their imagination.

Most importantly, good messages are aligned with your strategic plan and your district goals.

Here are some examples to get you started.

For example, if your school or district is high-achieving and has a strong tradition of success, your first message might be, “The Anytown School District is a great school district that ensures graduates have the knowledge and skills for success.”

This message then opens the door to providing specific details regarding the evidence of success, including test scores, stories of successful graduates, or other things that demonstrate success.

It may be important for you to also note that your district is working to improve, and is going from good to great, or from great to greater. If this is true, your second message might be, “While the Anytown School District has a great tradition of success, we are working together to raise the bar for the success of our students.”

This message ties in the “we”, which gives you the opportunity to highlight areas where students, staff, parents, and board members are working together. This shows the district is not resting on its laurels.

Then you may want to describe a vision for the district. This is a very important message, as it not only ties into the previous messages, but more importantly, outlines broad goals for the district. Such a message might be, “Building on our track record of success, the Anytown School District is working to ensure that every single graduate in the district has proficiency in a world language, has taken a computer coding class, and has successfully completed a core curriculum to ensure success at the higher education level.”

This message is a bit longer than we might normally suggest, but it packs a punch and lays out a clear vision for the district, one that you can repeat again and again.

The idea with this last message is to be aspirational and to tie it into the previous messages to create a narrative.