Say What! Communications Festival

LPS Communications is offering a communications conference next week (the morning of June 15) called Say What? Communications Festival. This is a free, morning-only event where you can come-and-go to various sessions. We have seen an increase in options to promote the work we do in school, and in general we have done better. LPS Communications (and others in LPS) will help us with ideas on what has worked for other teachers, departments and schools. The entire list of sessions is below. You can register here - - or just show up.

Say What 2017:

Lincoln Public Schools Communications Festival
June 15, 2017, LPS District Office, 5905 O St.

*Front lobby: Exhibits of what the LPS Graphics Department can produce.

7:30-8:30 a.m. Registration and refreshments

8:30 a.m. Welcome and introduction – BOARD ROOM

Communications 2016-17: Lessons Learned/Quick Year in Review (**And, of course, we have bloopers…)

8:50-9 a.m.  BREAK


(**Back by popular demand)

9-9:35 a.m. Sessions:

How may I serve you: Panel discussion with Jean Clough (District Office), Chris Warner (Graphics) and Lorie Safford (Calvert Elementary) – moderated by Mary Kay Roth
LOCATION: Board Room

We don't often think of what we do as serving customers, but at LPS we truly have internal and external “customers.” Communicating is a big part of offering high quality customer service – eloquently, patiently and efficiently. Get tips from a variety of Lincoln Public Schools employees who successfully handle different customer types.

Communicate your way through a crisis: Zachary Baehr
LOCATION: Conference Room C/Lower Level

When does an occurrence become an incident? When does that incident elevate to a situation? And when does the situation become a full-blown, national-media-laden, the sky-is-falling crisis? How do we prevent it? And where is the phone number for LPS Communications when you need it? You’ll learn tips for how to handle incidents, but you’ll also practice in an interactive and engaging manner. This … is only a drill.

ParentVUE – Getting info from the classroom to the living room: Kristi Peters
LOCATION: Conference Room A/B/Lower Level

The parent/student portal of our student information system is called StudentVUE/ParentVUE, the gateway for parents and students to see grades, attendance, teacher emails, upcoming assignments and more.  LPS believes in the partnership between home and school to maximize student success.  So it is important to be aware of what information is available through the portal and how to encourage and support families in using it.  Come learn about the ins and outs and ideas for marketing this powerful tool.   

9:35-9:45 BREAK


9:45-10:20 a.m. Sessions:

You let students do what?: Heather Steiner, Allysa Diehl, Brianne Clark, Zachary Baehr
LOCATION: Board Room

Unleash the power of 40,000 students. Ask them for content (stories) that will fill your social media page, affirm the positive feelings of your families and allow you to bask in the glow of praise from LPS Communications. You’ll hear from teachers who have done just this, and #livedtotellaboutit

Planning a successful event: Lea Ann Johnson, Betsy Gomez, Nicole Weber and Mindy Burbach
LOCATION: Conference Room C/Lower Level

Time is precious and the field is crowded so how do you get families to attend and be engaged in your events? Family nights, celebrating milestones, and community activities can all lead to moments of great communication and engagement. Find ideas and tricks on the details that you need to consider when planning an event. 

**Let’s Talk: John Neal
LOCATION: Conference Room A/BLower Level

We have now added LPSConnect/Let’s Talk to every school website, so let’s talk about making the most from this online patron engagement program.  This session offers some great guidance and user-friendly approaches in using this system, designed to create a tracking system for questions and concerns from the community. 

10:20-10:30 a.m. BREAK


10:30-11:05 a.m. Sessions:

**Communicating with hard-to-reach families: Oscar Pohirieth, Bryan Seck   

One of our most popular sessions, we provide participants with strategies and techniques for communicating with under-represented populations of families that traditionally have been difficult to reach: immigrant and refugee families, homeless families.

Adding video showcases to your school website using MyVRSpot: Brian Fitzgerald and Jarred Rowe  
LOCATION: Conference Room C/Lower Level

In this session, we’ll explore the district-supported video repository, MyVRSpot, and its ability to create galleries of organized video content that can be easily embedded into your school website.  Once live, content can be added and deleted from these galleries simply and immediately.  

Become a video star: Zachary Baehr
LOCATION: Conference Room A/BLower Level

Video on social media has literally changed the outcome of world events. How can it positively impact your classroom and school (even if it doesn't go viral)? We'll cover simple ideas, equipment and the added benefits of live video. No need for the powder room yet, but we'll take the shine off a potentially intimidating process.

11:05-11:15 a.m. BREAK

11:15 a.m.-noon Sessions:

Telling your story: Mindy Burbach, Zachary Baehr, Mary Kay Roth
LOCATION: Board Room

Fifty (quick) real-life, tried-and-true stories that serve as audience builders. Listen, jot notes and take the best three ideas back to your school. Never forget the power of the story for public education!

So much to share – how to keep it simple and clean: Brian Fitzgerald
LOCATION: Conference Room C/Lower Level

Your school, your department, your class has so much to share — but people will only be able to find and read your information when presented using a clean, organized system (regardless of the communication channel you are using). Create a system and hold yourself to it: It will make things easier for you AND more pleasant for your visitors!

Connect to meetings, parents, job candidates, experts and more with any device and Zoom: Linda Dickeson   
LOCATION: Conference Room A/BLower Level

LPS teachers and staff have access to super simple, high quality, two-way interactive videoconferencing with Zoom. See why Zoom blows Skype and Facetime out of the water, and how to get started with an account. Anyone can connect to you without an account, using any device, by way of your simple invitation. You'll also see how easy it is to share a presentation, record (including screencasts), and use the instant messaging component of Zoom. Lots of great samples of how Zoom is being used will be shared.


Published: June 7, 2017, Updated: June 7, 2017