Kelseyville Unified School District – Crisis Communication

Founded in 1921, Kelseyville Unified School District (KVUSD) is the second largest of seven districts located in Lake County, California. The District serves the town of Kelseyville, which includes the Big Valley area, Soda Bay, the Buckingham peninsula, the Riviera and up to the crest of Cobb Mountain. The District is made up of six active school sites, a seventh additional alternative day school which was established in the spring of 2002, and a historical site affectionately referred to as Hells Bend.


CLIENT TESTIMONIAL

By working with Jendi, I can keep parents informed while I focus on running the school district, especially when we’re dealing with a crisis. This helps parents remain calm, knowing that their children are safe and in good hands.

– Dave McQueen, Superintendent


 

CHALLENGE

School districts face many challenges: natural disasters, health threats, safety threats, personnel problems, and others. The school district's number one priority is the safety of students. Their second priority is to make sure everyone knows the students are safe. During the 2019-20 school year, Kelseyville Unified has dealt with the threat of violence on campus via an angry student's social media post, school closures due to the PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff, the health threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and more.

SOLUTION

Each crisis is a little different, but the communication goal is the same--to keep all affected parties informed so they know what's happening and what to do. In the case of the threatening social media post, we received the threat early in the morning before school, so we re-routed buses and used our emergency communication system to alert staff and parents not to bring students to school with calls, emails, and texts. We also used social media and the district website to post information. Plus, we sent a press release to local media outlets. One of the biggest challenges we faced was combating misinformation shared via social media. Concerned parents identified the student online and demonized the teen.

RESULTS

We worked hand-in-hand with public safety throughout the situation. In the end, the teen had no plans to commit violence but had used poor judgment when posting on social media. Once local law enforcement gave us the all-clear, we informed staff, parents, and the public that it was safe for students to return to school.