West Hartford Public Schools will be using the ‘One Community. One Year” campaign to promote a safe and positive school reopening for the upcoming 2020-2o21 academic year.
By Ronni Newton
No matter what form “back to school” entails – and as of Friday, July 31, the plan is for a hybrid model – the start of the 2020-2021 school year will be unlike any other, and West Hartford Public Schools is looking to involve its entire community in an uplifting and uniting campaign focused on a positive, safe, and healthy experience.
“One Community. One Year,” the theme for the 2020-2021 school year and the district is inviting students, staff, families, local organizations, and anyone else in the community to submit PSA materials to be used in the West Hartford Public Schools’ campaign.
Posters, social media posts or original memes, videos, and other forms of messaging will be welcomed “in order to help spread the word about ways we can keep each other safe and healthy as we return to school in September,” said Director of Equity Enhancement Roszena Haskins, who is leading the community-engaged outreach and communication plan for the district.
“We recognize that this year will not be a smooth and easy one,” Haskins said at the July 21 Board of Education meeting, when the district unveiled its three options for the upcoming school year.
“One community lifts us up and recognizes that there will be sacrifices we all have to make,” she told the Board of Education, noting the “community” is inclusive of the district’s Open Choice students who come from other towns, and those who are attending West Hartford Public Schools half-day in conjunction with a magnet program.
The communication will be “multimedia, multilingual, multimodal, and interactive, Haskins said. Work will be grounded in the district’s recently-released equity and anti-racism statement.
The campaign will include videos, and principals will give virtual tours of the buildings. “We know that there is angst,” she said, but this is one year and she is hopeful we can see some positive change come out of it.
PSAs will focus on the following four important safety messages that everyone in the community should be aware of, and entries can cover any of the topics either alone or in combination:
- Hand washing as an easy and effective way to prevent the spread of germs and infections
- Wearing face masks, and wearing them correctly, to protect each other
- 6 feet of physical distancing, keeping a social connection but slowing the spread of COVID-19
- “Being a better friend or ally” to be aware of and sensitive to the needs of others, and knowing when to seek assistance for yourself or others.
Submissions can include videos, songs, games, dances, poetry, and more.
Submissions are due by Friday, Aug. 28, and should be submitted directly through the WHPS One Community. One Year website where more information about the campaign can also be found.
For further information, contact Dr. Roszena Haskins, director of Equity Advancement, via email at [email protected].
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