Nevada Joint Union High School District seeks PR consultant
The Nevada Joint Union High School District board is planning to hire a public relations consultant to help reverse declining enrollment and raise funds.
“I am working with the district to identify a consultant to work with us on fund development and PR, to try to backfill some of the losses we have due to declining enrollment, loss of students to other options and loss of funding from the state,” said board member Richard Baker.
The goal would be to provide information about the district and the school’s programs, as well as tell stories and build relationships, Baker said.
According to a Request For Qualifications by the district, some of the consultant’s responsibilities would involve the development of communication materials to support and promote the district’s educational programs and services, serving as a liaison between the district and the community and preparing proposals and grant applications.
The position would be funded with an anonymous donation of $35,000 and the board would raise an additional $35,000, which would be on a year-to-year basis, with possible extensions depending on administrative decisions, Baker said.
“We’re not adding staff or taking positions away,” he said. “This is a new way to look at public school financing.”
The concept was created with former Superintendent Marianne Cartan, Baker said, as a way to highlight the schools in the district, which can positively impact other areas of commerce.
One such area would be realty, as a strong and attractive school system would make the area more attractive for real estate sales, Baker said, adding, “Having a good school system draws people.”
Businesses who are looking to hire within the community are also affected by the quality of schools, Baker said, as educated people are the ones that businesses want to hire.
“If you don’t have a community, you don’t have kids,” Baker said. “It all trickles down.”
Some feel the addition of a funded PR position is inappropriate in light of terminations in the district.
“I would like to make sure that everyone who was pink-slipped has their job back before I’d move on this position,” said Nevada Union teacher Brad Dal Bon in an email. “I would like to see these direct contact positions taken care of first before a public relations person is hired.”
Baker said the money can only be used to hire a public relations consultant.
“The donation was specific to this position and there is no money from the general fund going to the position,” he said.
Dal Bon agreed the prospect of drawing students to the district would be beneficial.
“If this position can drive the student population up in the district, then I can be for it,” he said. “I know our schools in the NJUHSD have a ton to offer and have great people inside the system … I am not sure a person needs to be hired to show off the great things our schools do.”
For a copy of the Request For Qualifications, visit http://njuhsd.com/district.cfm
Baker said he hopes the position would be long-term if successful and that the hire would coincide with the appointment of a new superintendent. “Building this is important,” Baker said.
“We are thinking probably July or August.”
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4230.
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