District expanding community engagement with podcast, video series


Tracy Tran

Coppell ISD Trustee Leigh Walker discusses improving community engagement during the livestream of the CISD Board meeting on Monday. The meeting addressed the district’s focus on new communication and updates with the podcast.

Trisha Atluri, Advertising/Circulation Manager

On Thursday, Coppell ISD launched the We Value podcast, available on all streaming services. New episodes will be released on the last Thursday of every month. 

Each episode aims to share local examples of excellence in education. In this vein, the first two episodes include interviews with Executive Director of Communications and Community Engagement Angela Brown and Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. Deana Dynis.

Brown introduced the district partnership with Amazon’s Alexa to produce two pre-recorded series to increase community engagement. The first, “Dr. Hunt’s Mindful Minute,” includes daily tips for the school day recorded by Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt. The second series is “Catch Up With Hunt” and provides daily district news updates.

Dynis updated the board on plans for virtual apprenticeships for students in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes. Dynis is working with Coordinator of CTE Dr. Kristin Petrunin to arrange in-person opportunities once all students return to in-person learning.

The communication staff discussed podcast ideas last Thursday at an advocacy training class that involved administration from all campuses, departments and the Board of Trustees. Advocates from the class of 2021 provided student insight at the training. 

“We’re going to be telling a story of how people are living our core values,” Brown said. “It’s not just our educators and staff members. We want to tell the story of how our students, parents and community members are living the priorities of our community.” 

At the meeting, the board passed an Emergency Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Advocacy Resolution that would protect the board’s rights to govern their school districts without interference from state agencies. This resolution comes after the State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) approved a school board framework that would give TEA greater power in school districts and increase the emphasis on high stakes testing.

“High stakes tests have proven, after 20 years, to not make a difference for kids’ learning,” trustee Tracy Fisher said. “[This change] makes community less important than TEA when our community property taxpayers are footing the bill for our public schools.”

Furthermore, Dr. Hunt was named as a National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) 2020 Superintendent to Watch and CISD received the 2020 TASB Risk Management Excellence Award. Trustee Nichole Bentley earned the title Master Trustee upon completion of the Leadership TASB program, bringing the number of Master Trustees on the board to five. CISD is one of only a few school boards in Texas to have five Master Trustees.

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