Eleven Schools Receive FCPS School Communications Awards
Fairfax County Public Schools presented 11 schools with awards for outstanding school communications at the School Communicators Conference held January 26.
The 2023 Awards of Communication Excellence celebrate the creation of excellent website, newsletter, and social media content that informs and engages readers. The winners are examples of the substantial talent that exists among the community of FCPS school communicators.
FCPS Office of Communications organized the event.
Schools were judged on their main family newsletters sent through GovDelivery. They were judged for consistency, engagement, creativity, metrics, and accessibility.
Consistently, this academy has fantastic, engaging photos of its programs.
Annandale High School
The Annandale Insider provides a "one-stop shop" for the Annandale community — not only parents and community members but also students.
Stone Middle School
The Stone newsletter presents a great mix of content from the division toolkit we send out weekly, the Stone community itself, and resources from the larger community. They have astounding metrics with an 8.6% click rate and 60% open rate.
Centre Ridge Elementary School
Centre Ridge’s excellently branded “Ram Gram” provides access to resources that support families outside of school. This includes, but is not limited to, library resources, and resources to support families with food insecurity, clothing needs, or simply events that may be of interest that are taking place in our community and surrounding neighborhoods. We love their attendance campaign featuring students and their artwork!
These awards are being presented to schools that post frequently, consistently, and creatively; follow best practices, and engage their followers.
For the Fairfax Academy social media accounts, Amy Hard focuses on bringing surprise, fun, branding, and creativity to content. She posts consistently, creates fun reels (some she is in herself), and is diligent about highlighting the diverse programs and people across the Academy.
Westfield High School
Westfield’s Instagram is fun, bright, and student-centered. The Bulldog spirit shines through, and their engagement metrics are an indicator of that. They are not afraid of jumping on a trend, with their “Hi Barbie!” reel earning more than 400 likes.
Whitman Middle School
Harmony Tahy has taken the Whitman social media presence from non-existent to one of the best in the county. The top posts of 2023 countdown was definitely an impressive highlight.
Shrevewood Elementary School
One of the coolest aspects of Kaylin’s work on Shrevewood’s new Instagram presence is the fact that 15 teachers also have accounts and are contributing. She makes smart use of Instagram stories and has story highlight areas for every grade level.
These schools have websites featuring innovative and creative content that is up-to-date, easy to read, accessible, and informative.
Langley High School
The Langley High School website's success is attributed to collaborative teamwork. Administrative Assistant Nancy Ayoub posts announcements and events while SBTS Lindsey Fisher maintains the rest of the website. School Counselor Hannah Martenson joined the mix this year and enhanced the Student Services content, making this section a model for other high schools. Langley also offers extensive Student Life & Activities content and Advancement Placement information.
Sandburg Middle School
The Sandburg Middle School website features new athletics webpages, coinciding with the introduction of middle school cross country and track to the school division this year. In addition, SBTS Brianna Lucas partnered with the school’s yearbook company to develop a branding campaign, “In the Pursuit of Excellence,” which is reflected throughout the website.
Best in Show
One school identified in the awards process has been chosen to receive a Best in Show award. This award recognizes a school that is excelling in web, social media, AND newsletters.
The SBTS managing these platforms is a new SBTS this year, and we know she’s someone whose work we’ll want to watch as she grows in her position.
Navy Elementary School
Our Best in Show award is being presented to Chrissy McLaughlin from Navy Elementary School. Chrissy has done a great job building up school communications that support each other.
When she arrived at Navy, the school was not using GovDelivery for regular newsletters. Now they are sending engaging content that links to both web and social content, helping parents know where they can find more information on the school.
The website showcases the school on its Navy is a Special Place to Be! Webpage, which includes information about programs such as Eco-School (National Wildlife Federation) and the morning news show. Readers appreciate the Annual School Year Onboarding webpage, which includes links to required and optional forms. A popular website feature was Year in Review - Best of 2023, which highlighted the most popular social media posts.
On social media, Navy has launched a school wide collaborative effort for content, enough to post nearly daily or multiple times each day. Chrissy has also started working with students to create content, publishing their first student-made reel a few weeks ago.