If you have questions or concerns to share with the MVLA High School District, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also complete an online comment form.
If you wish to submit a California Public Records Act request, please email MVLA Communications Manager Cynthia Greaves: email@example.com.
MVLA Communications Plan 2019 - 2020
The Mountain View Los Altos High School District (MVLA) is committed to effectively communicating and building connections with internal and external stakeholders. We aim to foster open communications between our District administration, teachers and staff, students and their families, our Board of Trustees, and the Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills communities. California State Education code requires that school districts have a comprehensive communication plan which “establishes priorities for community outreach to build support for district programs and issues.”
This communications plan is intended to guide all of MVLA’s collective communications efforts. Effective and efficient communications are essential to the success of a school district. MVLA’s communications goals align with the stated six-year goals for 2017-2022, and strives to share essential information and the great stories of our students and schools.
Target Audiences for MVLA Communications
- Board of Trustees
- Parent organizations
- Business partners
- Elected officials
- Law and safety officials
- Communications Vision
2019-2020 Communications Goals
- Launch redesigned website; maintain rich, useful content on a regular basis
- Grow audiences on social media platforms to expand reach of important information via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Post fresh and relevant content on a regular basis.
- Introduce new version of Blackboard Connect that includes new functionality (i.e,. emergency texts) to ensure effective, proactive communications with students, families, and staff.
- Share positive stories about our student, schools, staff and district. Publicize public events, fundraisers and other community engagement.
- Engage with neighbors and the community on topics relating to our schools and district (for example, Measure E construction, the stadium lights discussion, student activities, etc.).
- Write and distribute internal newsletter “District Dispatch”
- Support principal and department communications (e.g. Wellness newsletter)
Objectives and Tactics
- Flow of Information from the District
- Develop and maintain channels of communications that promote access to information and clarifies roles and responsibilities
- Support and Training for Administrators
- Provide information, training and guidance on communications strategies to administrators as needed
- Subscribe to local, regional and national publications, such as the California School Boards Association, National School Public Relations Association
Regular Information on District Issues
- Distribute news releases and website newsroom posts
- Issue statements on breaking news or emergent issues as needed for school staff, parents and the public
- Be professional, direct, clear and concise, responsive, and thorough.
System for Parents/Community to Communicate with the District
- Complete an online comment form
- Email for neighbors and broader community to share concerns and get responses: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email to District: email@example.com or to individual administrators
- Email MVLA Board of Trustees at Trustees@mvla.net or speak at a board meeting
- Phone to District administrators
- Publications and correspondence
Engagement with Community Groups and Government
- Attend community meetings and events
- Encourage participation in area service clubs and volunteer opportunities
- Sustain memberships and involvement with area business groups and not-for-profits
- Highlight staff achievements and innovation in newsletters, on social media platforms, and to the local media
- Promote MVLA events, achievements and honors via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
- Attend community events
- Expand relationships with Chambers of Commerce, businesses and industry leaders to increase internship and work opportunities for our students.
We will identify the communications tools that are most widely accepted, preferred and received by our audiences. Our current communications methods are:
- Electronic: website, emails via Blackboard Connect
- Social media platforms:
Board agendas and meeting minutes are posted online (PDF and audio) for everyone to have access to new and archived materials.
Community online forum will be established on MVLA’s District website in 2019 to serve as a place for community members to share questions and concerns, and for responses to be available to others.
The media is comprised of all print and electronic outlets, including our school and local newspapers, radio and TV affiliates, and regional and national reporters and bloggers. We welcome positive publicity about our schools and district and proactively share stories with media.
MVLA Communications Manager will proactively share news about the district and schools with the Mountain View Voice, Los Altos Town Crier, Palo Alto Daily Post, as well as both school papers, the MVHS Oracle and the LAHS Talon. We will reach out and be responsive to TV, radio, and regional and national news media. We will respond to all inquiries and do our best to respond to all requests for information and interviews.
It is our district protocol that the superintendent and/or communications manager be informed of media inquiries about our schools, policies and breaking news. Please always communicate all media inquiries, requests, requests to come on campus, and unexpected calls or visits from the media to Cynthia Greaves or, in her absence, the Superintendent’s office.
Our campuses are hubs of activity throughout the school year, including many kinds of special events: assemblies, awards ceremonies, arts and sporting events, dances, speakers and more. Media interested in reporting on campus during school hours must check in at the site office and get a pass first.
News releases will be posted on the MVLA website under "District News" at MVLA.net
Crisis and Emergent Issues Communications
A crisis or emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, safety, life, property or environment. It is imperative that when situations arise that concern student or staff safety, you contact police first, then the Superintendent’s office and site leader. This includes situations that occur off campus but involve our students or staff (e.g. natural disaster, death, crime, major damage to a school).
Crisis Communications Protocols
In the event of an emergency or crisis, the Communications Manager Cynthia Greaves assists the district office and all MVLA sites and programs with crafting timely, accurate messages to internal and external stakeholders. When an problem emerges, it is critical that communications begin promptly from the administrator in charge to the Superintendent and other leaders who are impacted by or can contribute to a response.
It is the responsibility of the administrators in charge to determine the level of the crisis or emergency and, in collaboration with local law enforcement and emergency responders, decide a course of action and communications. Any questions about these protocols go to Communications Manager Cynthia Greaves or the Superintendent.
Emergency Communications Cascade
- Board of Trustees
- Cabinet, Principals, Admin Council
- Teachers and staff
- Families via Blackboard Connect
- Website landing page
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as relevant)
- Local media and school papers, Oracle or Talon (as relevant)
- Law enforcement (as relevant)
MVLA Communications Manager: Role and Responsibilities
The MVLA Communications Manager will coordinate the district's communications efforts within the MVLA community, as well as with the broader local community. The Communications manager is responsible for management and/or oversight of the following areas:
- Media Relations
- Public and Community Relations
- Digital Communication with the school community, which includes:
- Website - our central communications platform
- Email messages - Blackboard Connect updates and alerts
- Social Media Platforms- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
- Emergent Communication Alerts - for emergencies, attendance, weather delays and closures, etc.
- Advisor to Cabinet
- Manage California Public Records Act information requests
- Photo and video management
- Print publication production
- Visual and communications identity management
- Advertising and marketing
MVLA Communications Manager