February 10, 2020

St. James R-I School District is making consistent communication a top priority for 2020. One of the best ways to build and maintain good relationships is to form and maintain open communication. In the St. James R-I School District, we are choosing to make consistent engagement with all stakeholders — students, staff, parents, and the community — a top priority. 

As a district, we are always looking for ways to give you a choice in how you receive information from us, as well as ways to streamline our methods of communication. Our desire is for staff, families, and community members to be informed about what St. James R-I Schools is doing and why. We wish for all to have a choice in how you receive information and that you have opportunities to give us feedback. The best possible communication tool is face-to-face interaction, and we strive to build relationships as much as possible in this manner. My favorite part of the week is connecting with students and families, as well as interacting with staff members. When that is not possible, and we need to communicate with a large group of people — whether families, staff, or community — I am grateful for our robust system of communication tools. With the direction and support of our Board of Education and Administrative Team, we are able to use the following tools to create and manage our websites, messaging, and more. 

    • School Messenger:  This system currently supports our phone and email messages, allowing us to contact families throughout the entire district. This tool allows us to send the most critical text and email messages such as weather cancellations and other safety/crisis situations.  
    • Social Media: This tool is growing in use and gives us multiple ways to showcase our programs and provide information. St. James R-I is on Facebook and Twitter.  
    • Website: Although websites are not as prominent as they once were, the district maintains a comprehensive district-wide website, which we are continuing to refine and update.
    • Apps such as Seesaw: This tool provides opportunities for students — and teachers — to really think outside the box. Students can show their work and thought processes in real time by submitting a video of themselves working through a math problem, snapping a picture of a paragraph they wrote, recording themselves reading a poem, or uploading a file to demonstrate their learning. This is just one example of the many educational apps that are available to our families. Seesaw and many other educational apps allow students and teachers to share student work with parents, or push out assignments to students to individualize instruction.
    • Canvas: Is a learning management platform allowing schools to build the digital learning environment to meet the unique challenges our students face each day. Canvas easily connects teachers and students and is used to monitor grades, manage active enrollments and assignment submissions, share course documents, facilitate message correspondence between students and teachers and contains course and district syllabus information for students and parents to access.
    • The Saint James Press: This is a community still deeply ingrained in their local newspaper with many weekly readers. Our teachers, coaches, and sponsors do a tremendous job promoting their programs with exciting and interesting happenings throughout the school year. I also provide weekly superintendent articles updating readers about many of the wonderful things going on throughout the district.  

We are currently considering ways to refine our communication methods to ensure they are comprehensive, user-friendly, professional, and consistent. As parents and guardians, you can help by updating your contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses with your child’s school. We want to be sure you receive important emergency and regular messages from your child’s school and our district. Thank you for partnering with us as we work together to provide the very best opportunities for your child’s education.