Student Voice in School Communication

In a world where young people are familiar with opportunities to express themselves online and in person, it is important that we present our students with excellent models of interpersonal communication. Our students come to us with great ideas that they want to express. Why not channel that communicative energy and put it to work to promote your school?

My virtual tour features NHStv, the nationally recognized broadcast of the Creative Media Production (CMP) Academy at Northwest High School, where a team of students and staff work with cutting-edge, professional-grade technology and equipment to produce daily live newscasts and on-location reporting for the campus and school district to share their story. But it is only one way in which we provide opportunities for students to communicate about—and on behalf—of our school.

For example, students in good standing can run our school’s social media accounts for a day and show followers on the school’s Twitter, Instagram, and other accounts a view of the school from a student’s eyes. Students have creative energy and with just a little guidance can find ways to generate interest and school spirit through their posts to our school account. Hand a trustworthy student an iPad logged into the school Twitter account and see what great things can happen!

Student leaders in our service organizations like student council and the National Honor Society love to rally students, staff, and community around a good cause. Rather than send a stale flyer out in a newsletter to promote their projects, ask the student leaders to come up with a video advertisement that can be posted to the school social media accounts or embedded in a campus newsletter. Find ways to get your students’ faces in the communication, and you will be surprised at the great response you will get.

Do you have a campus goal or statement of expectations you want to communicate to students, staff, and the community? Consider asking your students to help you craft the message. Students love to see themselves and their friends on camera, and often a message from a student peer brings a special level of credibility. Many students enjoy speaking to others and conveying important messages. Let them step up and help.

My favorite example is our NHStv program in our Northwest ISD CMP Academy. One of the most prestigious programs we have at Northwest High School, NHStv is known nationally for its professional-grade newscasts. Student television personalities and technical staff produce a daily news program to share with all students and staff the great things happening at Northwest High School. They feature students, staff, and community members, and they intentionally highlight stories about people on campus doing things in keeping with our campus goals. NHStv even has a spot for me—The Jackson Interaction—that allows me to get in front of the student body and share any messages or content I want to convey.

Would you like to see NHStv live and behind the scenes? Join us for our virtual tour on February 12, and you will see our professional-standard broadcast studio and state-of-the-art equipment, and we’ll introduce you to the students who run the show.

Our students are creative, collaborative, and communicative. Let’s leverage their talents and abilities to share the story of our schools!

This blog is part of NASSP’s Virtual Tour Series. Be sure to visit NASSP’s Facebook page on February 12 at 11:45 a.m. (ET) to participate in the live tour. Carrie Jackson will also be leading the #PrinLeaderChat on Twitter on February 16 at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

Carrie Jackson is the principal of Northwest High School in Northwest ISD—Fort Worth, TX. Carrie was named a 2013 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year and has been actively involved in leadership with NASSP and its Texas affiliate, TASSP, for many years. She currently serves as the Texas Association’s State Coordinator and is a TASSP Past President.

1 Comment

  • Mala says:

    This was a talk in many schools for some years. It makes me very happy to see something like this in action. Hats off to the school management for taking it forward. This will act as a leading example to the other schools who are still speculating on this decision.

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