State of Education: Text the Principal
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Schenectady High School Principal Diane Wilkinson is using a 21st century method when it comes to communication - texting.
Wilkinson said, "Text the Principal initiative provides an opportunity for students to communicate with me on my dashboard any of their ideas, concerns, and thoughts."
This dashboard, or monitor, shows text messages throughout the school. After setting up a Google voice account, messages come in and go out, with subjects ranging from finding a tutor to adding vegetarian items to the school menu. Or, for example, one student wanted to meet with a special guest - and he did
Student Joshua Powell said, "I texted Miss Wilkinson about the school budget to see if I could talk to the commissioner of education about how we could help out the school."
Even I made the board. What better way to announce YNN is coming to your school? And to get the "message" out, there are even flyers advertising the number.
Student Akeem Celestine said, "It's easier for us as students to be in the hallway and see her and say, hello, and for her to say keep up the good work based on our conversations, so it's good feedback."
But of course, there are policies against students texting on personal phones, so teachers and administrators are working to keep this program focused on school business, and so far, so good.
Wilkinson said, "I thought, OK. I'm really going to get blown up here with the amount or the number of texts that would come in, but it really wasn't that way, people have been really respectful."
Many schools us texting, but it's mostly for concerns or emergencies. Others, like Schenectady, are also looking to take that to another level
Wilkinson said, "In a school environment it's about relationships and building those with all school stakeholders, using this type of mechanism where it's not just about their concerns, but it's about their ideas."
On message at a time.