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(GOAL 2) Enhance Unified Communications Systems 

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Enhance Unified Communications Systems 

Evaluate and implement enhanced tools for unified communications to ensure all stakeholders receive timely and relevant information. The outcomes of this initiative are changes to the platforms used for school and district websites, mobile app, social media, robocalling and text messages, and teacher communication with families to increase engagement and the accessibility of information. 

2023-24 Winter Progress Update 

In this stage of our planning, stakeholder input will play a key role in our decision-making process moving forward. We are currently conducting demonstrations of three unified communications tools and evaluating each with predetermined criteria that our team identified as critical components that must be present in the tool we select. For each vendor, we will gather stakeholder input in the form of end-user demonstrations, and inviting parents and teachers to evaluate the tool based on their communication needs. This input will influence the evolution of our strategies in this initiative by directly informing us through feedback on what tool our stakeholders would best receive and generate buy-in from those groups. 

The initiative has utilized quantitative and qualitative data to inform its strategic decisions by gathering data from our team members in each of our demonstrations. Using a Microsoft Form, our team can evaluate each category we've identified as essential on a scale of "very satisfied" to "very dissatisfied" while also having room to take individual notes. At the end of the form, our team members can rate the tool on a viability scale from 1-10, which gives us a quantitative aggregate of how the team feels about the usefulness of the tool. An insight we've taken to heart that will be crucial in shaping the initiative's direction is the ability of the tool we select to feature two-way translation capabilities across the entire platform, which will support our families who don't speak English as a first language. 

The deliverables our team produces will impact every facet of ongoing teaching, learning, and operations through the changing infrastructure that we utilize to communicate with our stakeholders. This includes changes to our district website, mass communications to families, and how teachers dialogue with their students. To sustain this implementation's immense impact on our district, one of our critical evaluation criteria for the tool includes the continued training and support our staff, parents, and students will undoubtedly need to use the tool successfully in their daily operations. This will need to be built into the tool's price and will especially be critical in the first few months while everyone is adjusting and unfamiliar with the new technology's intricacies.

2024-24 Fall Progress Update

As a result of analyzing potential candidates for our district's unified communications tool, this initiative will produce a budget impact analyses, consumer report surveys, and application demo reports for each platform. These reports will be the result of team collaboration, existing templates for efficiency, and critical stakeholder input to guide our strategy and decision-making. As a unified communications tool being used district-wide, the deliverables also include more efficient and accessible two-way information delivery. This will not only impact teachers in a classroom, parents, and the community, but every employee group as well. This tool would encapsulate the website, mobile app, social media, access and translate forms and report cards, classroom, coach to athlete and staff to staff communication, email, robocall, and text, flyers, attendance, and lunch notifications.

As we move forward with identifying a unified communication tool that will likely replace several current communication platforms, there may be a cost-savings. There also could be a cost increase, which would be a trade-off for the convenience of having one tool for families to access that every school would use to communicate with two-way translation capabilities.

The positive impact of a unified communication tool capable of two-way translation could be immeasurable for our families, teachers, and staff.

Centering Stakeholder Voice

In our project timeline, crafting a strategic consumer report survey is one of our tasks. The information gathered from stakeholders through this survey will ensure equitable decision-making, giving everyone a voice to offer feedback to our team concerning the unified communications tool throughout the process. In addition to the survey, our application demonstrations will also play a key role in forging our way forward. Key stakeholders will participate in the demos, which will further improve our knowledge and understanding of the tool selected.