The Tehachapi Unified School District board discusses items on the June 11 regular board meeting agenda.

Tehachapi Unified School District board members and staff are hoping a newly developed communication plan will help improve engagement with employees, parents and community members.

This plan — an information item — was discussed at the district's Jan. 14 regular board meeting.

"We are really interested in learning the most effective ways and preferred ways that our community would like those communications," TUSD Superintendent Stacey Larson-Everson said.

The 34-page TUSD Communication Plan outlines strategic goals in improving communication for consistent messages about school topics for both staff and community members and helping to improve school atmosphere.

The district will use school websites, social media, up-to-date calendars, a quarterly School News Roll Call publication, community forums, press releases, surveys, and recognize students and staff at board meetings and implement other measures to promote "meaningful communication with parents and staff to assure their voices are heard," according to the written plan.

The document was created with the assistance of six Communication Subcommittee members, who followed the Continuous Improvement Plan in 2019.

The plan may be added to or adjusted in the future to meet the district's goals, Larson-Everson said.

The plan also highlights the need to educate students on the proper protocols for school hazards and inform parents in advance regarding school closures.

Board member and subcommittee member Joe Wallek said, "The committee worked very hard and went above and beyond the call." He added, "Literally every word and every single sentence was scrutinized and modified if needed."

Board President Jeff Kermode thanked everyone involved in the Communications Subcommittee for the work on the document. He said that in the last few years, many issues that have come up during public comment or from Tehachapi Association of Teachers reports have centered on communication issues.

"To see a plan that encourages two-way communication between the district office and teachers and staff and the community, I think will go a long way towards preventing or solving some of those issues," Kermode said.