This is the time of year when marquee signs for schools are typically wishing athletes good luck at their state tournaments and other upcoming events. Instead, in an unprecedented turn of events, these same marquee signs for schools are being used to announce school closures and provide parents directions about other important information surrounding the Coronavirus threat across the nation.
In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, schools want you their staff and students to know that they are working on plans to ensure that students will be able to learn and that staff will have the ability to work and get paid if there is a complete school closure. And while the main avenue for communication is through emails, there are also many times when scrolling marquee signs direct the entire community to websites that can offer helpful information.
Building principals and supervisors are reviewing different opportunities for hourly staff so they can maintain the hours they normally work in the event of a closure, and with the short notice associated with the end of the second week in March, many schools made the decision to allow staff to bring their children to work if they did not have other arrangements. The schools are promising to do everything they can to accommodate staff and still maintain appropriate social distancing and safety at work. Administrators are asking their teachers to use this time to consider finding alternative child care options if students do not return to school regular of lengthened spring breaks.
Sinage for Businesses, Schools, and Churches Serve as Important Resources During Unusual Circumstances
In the last 48 hours college and major league sports have canceled their seasons. Theme parks have closed, and flights to Europe have been suspended. Major events have been postponed. This is something we have not experienced before, so districts are working hard to answer with an unprecedented response.
This last week, district leaders joined fellow superintendents and state health, education, and business leaders in their capitol buildings to address the situation with governors. Some governor have given thorough explanations of the situation in their states and why decisions are being made to close schools. For most locations, there are two goals. The first is to protect the elderly and those who have health issues that make them vulnerable. The second is to slow the spread of COVID-19 to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. And while the press releases and taped broadcasts serve as a complete explanation of decisions made so far, marquee signs for schools, signs for churches and government buildings can also be beneficial in helping with communication.
Teachers and staff are rapidly responding to change and come to work today to tie up the third quarter and plan for the possibility of eLearning after the spring break. Whether students are in school in the classroom or working remotely, superintendents are commitment to their communities that they will have school. These times require different kinds of flexibility and staff members know the information they receive next week may be different from the information that was given yesterday. Some things are going to be different than they were, but education will continue.
The first question on most parents’ minds, of course, is what will happen in the next two or three weeks after their already planned or extended breaks. It is too early to say. The situation is fluid, but the goal remains the same, to keep everyone safe, and to provide educational opportunities for students.
A combination of emails, group texts, and marquee signs for schools can help communicate important information when unusual situations occur. As many as 71% of people indicate that they often look at the messages on roadside billboards, both traditional and digital combined, so it should come as no surprise that school district administrators are using these sings as a way to keep community members updated. Given that more than one-third of people report that they look at an outdoor ad each or most of the time they pass one, it only makes since that the signs around schools today are serving as an important piece of the community communication puzzle.