Darrell Zaba is hoping a new Christ the Teacher Catholic Schools (CTTCS) communications plan will help his division realize their educational goals more readily.
Zaba, director of education for the Catholic division, said they’ve had a communications plan for some time, but wanted something more formalized and comprehensive.
Administration presented a draft of the plan to school trustees at the regular board meeting February 11. The plan includes a mission statement and communications vision, identifies stakeholders and target audiences, establishes guidelines and messaging opportunities and outlines 11 goals with dozens of specific activities.
Zaba said the driving force behind every element of the document is how it benefits students. To that end, the plan’s primary audience is the division’s own staff.
“The CTTCS staff carries the message of the school division to their families and friends who in turn form opinions about the schools,” the draft states. “Clearly communicating our unified message at all times must be a top priority.”
That unified message will come into clearer focus after the school board publishes strategic goals with its continuous improvement framework in the spring. Trustees are scheduled for a retreat in March to work on the document.
The draft communications plan also addresses external audiences including parents, school community councils, parishes, clergy, elected officials, the public school board, Ministry of Education, Parkland college and media.
Zaba said when dealing with both internal and external audiences transparency is key.
“I think with anything, even with the tougher news stories, you want to make sure you’re open and honest,” he said, adding you do that by addressing issues constructively in a timely manner always with an eye on how to improve the educational experience for students.
Of course, for CTTCS much of that centres around faith as laid out in the first of their foundational values: “Christ is our greatest teacher and the values He taught us in His gospels permeate all aspects of daily life in the schools of the Division.”