Leander ISD Communication Channels

This article is a work in progress. Updated: 10/20/20

Overview

Goal 7 – Communicate effectively with our community to build relationships.

The following list is a compilation of the communication channels Leander ISD maintains for communicating with our community, families, staff, and students. The list is maintained by the Chief Communications Officer.

By Audience

Channels and Descriptions

Board Book

Description: A digital storage and publication website for Board of Trustees meeting agendas and presentations.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Board of Trustees, Superintendent’s Office, Cabinet
Access: BoardBook website (also, via the Board of Trustees webpage)
Contacts: Donna Lincke, Executive Administrative Assistant – Board of Trustees, Office of the Superintendent

Specific Uses: Meeting agendas for the Board of Trustees must be posted 72 hours prior to a meeting. Our meetings are typically bi-weekly on Thursdays. The district also posts meeting minutes, video, and audio files to this website.

Board Meetings

Description: The open and public meetings of the seven, at-large elected Trustees for Leander ISD.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Board of Trustees, Superintendent’s Office, Cabinet, Community
Access: Meetings are live-streamed on YouTube and the district’s media website. Access via the Board of Trustees webpage.
Contacts: Donna Lincke, Executive Administrative Assistant – Board of Trustees, Office of the Superintendent

Specific Uses: Board meetings include State and National Recognitions of Students and Staff, Board and Superintendent Communication, Citizen Comments, Action Items, and Reports/Discussion Items.

Campus Websites

Description: Websites for all 44 schools.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Campus Webmasters, School Community Relations Office
Access: Schools Webpage (typically schoolname.leanderisd.org)
Contacts: Campus Webmaster; Daniel Cernero, Webmaster

Specific Uses: Using the Google Sites platform, campus websites are managed by administrators at the school and supported by the School Community Relations Office. Key elements for all school websites include staff directory, calendar, announcements, and bell schedules.

District Website

Description: Websites for the district and its centralized departments, programs.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: School-Community Relations Office, Department Webmasters
Access: www.leanderisd.org (admins log-in via this webpage and their district log-in details)
Contacts: Daniel Cernero, Webmaster

Specific Uses: Using the Google Sites platform, campus websites are managed by administrators at the school and supported by the School Community Relations Office. Key elements for all school websites include staff directory, calendar, announcements, and bell schedules.

We use the district website for an Alerts Page that includes safety protocols and announcements pertaining to on-campus incidents and emergencies.

Email

Description: District email accounts held by staff and students.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Staff
Access: Webmail for Staff (Outlook); Gmail for Students
Contacts: Technology Team

Specific Uses: Leander ISD staff uses Outlook and the email domain @leanderisd.org to communicate internally and externally. Students use Gmail to communicate internally only (i.e. no external contacts can message students on Gmail). Students use @k12.leanderisd.org for their email address.

Select staff members have the ability to send districtwide emails to all staff. Contact Nora Pruett if you are requesting a districtwide email or submit a Communication Request Form (for district staff only) to include messaging on the district social media or newsletter publications.

Engage Plus

Description: District survey tool.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: School-Community Relations, Research
Access: Specific for each survey
Contacts: Corey Ryan

Specific Uses: Leander ISD conducts annual Parent and Student (grades 3- 12) School Climate surveys through K-12 Insight.

EZVolunteer (Relatrix)

Description: District volunteer management, engagement, and background check tool
Audience: Community, Families
Users: Staff, volunteer coordinators, PTA, booster clubs
Access: EZcommunicator
Contacts: Shannon Lombardo, Assistant Director of Community Relations

Specific Uses: Volunteer coordinators, PTA, booster clubs, and campus staff create volunteer opportunities, which volunteers can find and sign-up to support. Volunteers use EZVolunteer (powered by a Relatrix) to complete annual volunteer registrations, which include a national background check. The system allows for the coordination of volunteers and the verification that those volunteers have passed an annual background check.

Facebook

Description: Social media page for Leander ISD
Audience: Community, Families
Users: School-Community Relations, Human Resource Services
Access: facebook.com/LeanderISD
Contacts: Corey Ryan

Specific Uses: Most weeks during the school year, we share Student-Athlete of the Week, CTE Student of the Week, Super Kid of the Week, Volunteer of the Week, and Fine Arts Student of the Week. We also share a bi-weekly Staff Spotlight story.

We do allow comments and messages from the public via Facebook per the district’s Rules of Engagement-Social Media Policy.

Google Classroom

Description: The classroom management system for assignments and instructional resources
Audience: Students
Users: Teachers
Access: Specific to individual teachers and classrooms
Contacts: Instructional Technology Let’s Talk Form

Home Access Center (HAC)

Description: The parent and student portal for student information and grades.
Audience: Families, Students
Users: Staff
Access: www.leanderisd.org/homeaccesscenter (Home Access Center Guide)
Contacts: Home Access Center Let’s Talk Form, Campus Registrars

Specific Uses: The student information system is used for student schedules, contact information, grade notifications, and attendance records. Students and families access the system with a unique log-in generated in the system.

To update your contact information, please work with your campus registrar.

Instagram

Description: Social media page for Leander ISD
Audience: Students
Users: School-Community Relations
Access: instagram.com/leander_isd/
Contacts: Corey Ryan

Specific Uses: We created a Leander ISD Instagram account for communicating with students. This tool is not actively used at the moment.

Knowledge Base/Support Website

Description: Website with “how to” and informational articles about Leander ISD programs, systems, and processes.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: School-Community Relations
Access: support.leanderisd.org (select users have limited access using their district Google SSO)
Contacts: Corey Ryan

Specific Uses: Our knowledge base focuses on searchability and answering questions. You can rank articles and give comments, allowing our users to update articles and continuously improve quality.

Let’s Talk

Description: The district customer service platform
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Select non-campus support staff.
Access: www.leanderisd.org/letstalk (Users log-in here using their assigned Let’s Talk credentials)
Contacts: Let’s Talk Help Form

Specific Uses: Let’s Talk routes questions to the specific administrator(s) knowledgeable in the area or category of the inquiry. It allows “customers” to engage back-and-forth to resolve an issue and for the users to collaborate on responses.

Let’s Talk includes text and phone call portals, which the district used to allow receptionists to work from home during the Spring 2020 global pandemic and shutdown of school buildings.

LNET

Description: The district intranet for staff resources.
Audience: Staff
Users: Staff
Accesshttp://lnet.leanderisd.org/ (Users log-in with the district username and password).
ContactsTechnology Team

News Website

Description: The district’s blog for news and announcements.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Select non-campus support staff, campus webmasters
Accessnews.leanderisd.org, (Users log-in here with their Google SSO).
ContactsDaniel Cernero, Webmaster

Specific Uses: The news website is the source for sharing stories, news, and announcements. Articles on the new website are not updated if program details change, as this is the location for announcements. The new website creates a series of feeds that make sharing news across multiple websites, including campus websites, easy.

Campus webmasters can access the news website to post news and announcements for campus webpages, accessible via unique feeds.

The news website is the place for regular publications, such as Board Briefs, Our Voice Newsletter, The Compass Newsletter, and the of-the-week spotlights.

Rank One

Description: The district’s athletics website for team schedules and scores.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Coaches, the athletics department
Access: Rank One Sports
Contacts: Athletics Department Let’s Talk Form

Specific Uses: Managed by team coaches and staff, the Rank One Sports system is for middle and high school athletic team schedules.

Remind

Description: The district’s notification system and a classroom communication tool.
Audience: Families, Staff, Students
Users: Families, Staff, Students
Access: Remind.com, (staff users should log-in with their Leander ISD Google SSO)
Contacts: Daniel Cernero, Webmaster

Specific Uses: Remind connects with the Student Information System (SIS) and the Employee Active Directory to place students, families, and staff into assigned schools and classrooms. Teachers can access classrooms to communicate with students and staff. Principals and campus administrators can monitor school communication, as well as send campus and grade level communication to students, parents, and staff. The district can access all school and districtwide contacts.

We use Remind for emergency and incident communication, allowing for phone calls, text messaging, and emails. The service, which is built around text messaging, also allows teachers and staff to make phone calls to individual students or parents without using their personal cell phone numbers.

Families, students, and staff can set their communication preferences. Teachers and staff can manage their classrooms and settings in the Remind app or web portal.

Remind is the platform the district uses for the bus route, attendance, and meal balance notifications. We have also configured Special Program students to Remind classrooms to allow for better direct communication.

Seesaw

Description: A classroom communication and sharing tool for elementary school classrooms.
Audience: Families
Users: Teachers
Access: Specific to individual classrooms
ContactsInstructional Technology Let’s Talk Form

Slack

Description: The district’s internal communication chat system.
Audience: Staff
Users: Staff
Access: leanderisd.slack.com, (Users log-in using their Leander ISD SSO Azure)
Contacts: Slack Let’s Talk Form

Specific Uses: All employees can access Slack using their district log-in information. We use Slack as an additional communication channel for districtwide communication and as an available tool to campuses and departments for collaboration.

Slack is our tool for internal collaboration during an emergency or incident that may involve external communication planning. We replaced GroupMe in August 2020 for this functionality.

Members of the cabinet and principals use Slack to collaborate and share information and collect feedback.

Smore

Description: The district’s newsletter design and distribution platform.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Campus principals, administrators, select district department contacts, School-Community Relations
Access: Smore.com, (use your Leander ISD Google SSO to log-in)
Contacts: Smore Let’s Talk Form

Specific Uses: Schools and the district use Smore for newsletters, distributed through Remind, social media, and email. Smore does not connect with the student or staff information systems, so email contact lists need to be managed directly. We recommend distributing through a link via Remind.

The School-Community Relations team uses Smore for Insiders (crisis communication and announcements), COVID announcements, the Our Voice Newsletter (staff), and the Compass Newsletter.

Smugmug

Description: The district’s photo website.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: School-Community Relations
Access: photos.leanderisd.org
Contacts: Daniel Cernero, Webmaster

Specific Uses: The School-Community Relations team uses Smugmug and archive photos from classrooms, schools, and events. Visitors can access the photos and download high-resolution versions of photos for non-commercial use.

Teacher Websites

Description: Teachers create websites to share classroom resources and instructional materials.
Audience: Families, Students
Users: Teachers
Access: Specific to individual teachers, accessible via the campus staff directories
Contacts: Instructional Technology Let’s Talk Form

Specific Uses: The Instructional Technology team works with teachers with training and advisement for their websites, usually hosted and managed on Google Sites.

Thoughtexchange

Description: A district survey platform for open-ended questions, responses, and responder engagement.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: Select campus administrators (available for any staff member to use)
Access: Specific to individual Thoughtexchanges (Thoughtexchange log-in for users is here)
Contacts: Corey Ryan, Chief Communications Officer

Specific Uses: Thoughtexchange allows users to respond to an open-ended question and rate the responses by other users. The system uses an algorithm to randomly assign submissions to users for a rating in order to get an equal distribution of ratings for each thought.

The district uses this for ideation and sentiment analysis, especially for attendance zoning.

Twitter

Description: A district social media platform used mostly for engaging teachers and instructional resources.
Audience: Community, Staff
Users: School-Community Relations manages @LeanderISD
Access: twitter.com/LeanderISD
Contacts: Corey Ryan, Chief Communications Officer

Specific Uses: Twitter allows the district to showcase and tell stories about the wonderful things happening in Leander ISD schools.

Twitter Lists – Athletics Department, District Admin, District Leadership, High Schools, Middle Schools, Elementary Schools

YouTube

Description: A district social media for sharing videos.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: School-Community Relations
Access: Leander ISD YouTube Channel
Contacts: Corey Ryan, Chief Communications Officer

Specific Uses: The district’s YouTube Channel is a social network and storage location for the videos. We also use YouTube to broadcast events, including Board of Trustee meetings.

Zoom

Description: The district’s video meeting and classroom platform.
Audience: Community, Families, Staff, Students
Users: All Staff, All Students
Access: Zoom.us (students and staff use their Leander ISD Google SSO log-in to access their licensed account)
Contacts: Corey Ryan, Chief Communications Officer

Specific Uses: Teachers use Zoom for virtual classrooms. The district uses Zoom for virtual meetings, including staff listening sessions. We’ve also used Zoom to record interviews and panel discussions with students, staff, and parents.

Zoom instructions for students

Updated on October 20, 2020

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