4. Deer Lakes (PA) School District

Brand differentiator: Communication, collaboration, and community are our core values.

It’s immediately clear the leaders at Deer Lakes care what their community has to say. Their website devotes ample space to showcasing activities by sharing events, social media posts, and a link to a community climate survey. If their current level of transparency is any indication, we could check back later to see the results when they’re shared. Use #DLproud.

5. Kankakee (IL) School District 111

Brand differentiator: We have a global vision for all students.

The centerpiece of this district’s brand among news, school info, and events on their website is a video: One Community, One District, One Vision, for All Children. (A nice tie in to the 111 in their name!) Under the main district site, community information is showcased for a variety of programs, learning options, and organizations. Each individual school has a microsite as well.

6. Kent (WA) School District

Brand differentiator: We appreciate our community and we’ll hold up our end of the deal.

One of the most striking components of this district’s messaging is the thanks they offer to the community for a recently approved levy. They are actively proving community voters won’t be disappointed in their choice and are even getting students involved in their message of appreciation for the community’s action. Another corner of the site offers a form where families can share testimonials, and the district Twitter feed is engaging as well. Use #TeamKSD415, #KSDproud, or #KSDcommunity, respectively, for educators, students, and community.

7. Grand Prairie (TX) ISD

Brand differentiator: We stand out by offering choice.

Grand Prairie’s options for students truly shine—by design. The district’s messaging centers around their Kaleidoscope School Programs of Choice, offering kids different rigorous educational paths depending on their interests. Another point of pride, the Kid Magic Awards, recognizes outstanding teachers for the engaging effect they have in classrooms. A well-curated YouTube channel shares videos of district events and day-to-day information. Use #IamGPISD.

8. Coeur d’Alene (ID) Public Schools

Brand differentiator: We keep culture and people at the heart of everything we do.

Simply glance at this district’s digital presence and you’ll get a good idea of what’s important to their leaders: student experiences! Their social channels and website are people-centric, sharing images of school events and curating posts with district hashtags. Their culture also shines through transparency as the district shares discussions of budget numbers, news about recent student demonstrations including walkouts, and videos of school board meetings on their YouTube channel. Use #WeAre271 or #271pride.

9. Mooresville (IN) Schools

Brand differentiator: We build kids’ futures on a rich history of education.

District leaders dive right in, breaking down their mission, vision, values, culture, and goals and sharing them word-for-word to set the stage for clear communication. Peeking a little further into the district’s points of pride, over a century of local education is represented. They share their drive to improve while staying connected to these deep roots. Use #BeMOORE.

10. Fall Creek (WI) School District

Brand differentiator: We are a family.

It’s no surprise (but it’s still a delight) to explore excellent digital media created by Fall Creek School District—their superintendent literally wrote the book on school district branding. The Crickets of Fall Creek have their own app, a video all about what makes them great, and once kids are almost big enough for pre-K, everyone is invited to a community birthday party to introduce them to school for the first time. Use #gocrickets.

If you’re wondering how to get the word out about the outstanding things your district is doing today and every day, I’ll leave you with the words of Dr. Joe Sanfelippo (#gocrickets): “Find your audience. Build your brand. Celebrate kids.”

You know what to do next. 🎉

Follow-up resource: Branding your website
Take a look at The EdTech Playbook: The District Website to get a little insight into branding your digital channels.

About the Author:

Erin Werra is a writer at Skyward and Advancing K12. She spent 16+ years learning, then went on to scrutinize the inner workings of practice, learning data, and edtech in K12 schools. Follow her on Twitter at @erinwerra.