Last fall, the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association hosted its first Catholic School Communicators Network meeting.
They wanted to do this in order to get people together to share ideas, work, resources and strategies when it comes to communication initiatives that are important to Catholic schools. They then hope to take this network and build from it.
Those who attended were Catholic school communicators and some superintendents from across the province. They met and discussed how they’d put together a framework for a province-wide communication network.
The network itself would be to identify and establish common and consistent language and messaging should larger issues impacting publicly-funded Catholic education arise. Ideally, the network would ultimately strengthen Catholic education identity.
The day-long session allowed for relationship building and collaboration as participants had face-to-face networking opportunities that don’t generally happen as the geographical landscape doesn’t allow for it. Those interactions have since led to communicators now connecting with one another on a regular basis in order to ask questions, discuss immerging issues or to get support.
While the day was a success, it was the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its full potential, and the organizers are working toward those long-term goals of collaboration.
For instance, the group wanted to set up a repository of resources where all communicators have access, which will eventually be hosted on the ACSTA website. They are also working to share all the good news stories using social media and using the same hashtag when sharing those stories: #CathEd.
With plan for a future gathering in the works, ACSTA says the initial meeting was widely successful.
“Our hope was that at the end of the day, everyone was able to take something away– whether they were from a large board with communication supports or a small board with no communication professionals. School boards are not alone – and as a network, we are stronger.”