School district reaches out to a cyber audience

San Mateo — With the launch of Twitter and Facebook pages by the San Mateo Union High School District, officials hope communication with parents, students and the community will improve.

“In today’s world you have to communicate with people in a variety of ways,” District Superintendent Scott Laurence said. “You can’t depend on just one.”

Both pages launched last week, according to Laurence, and though off to a slow start with only two tweets and five Facebook fans, he is hopeful that will change soon.

Laurence said he’s promoting the Web site and district Facebook and Twitter accounts at board and community meetings. Methods of communication have changed over the years, Laurence said, and social networking is the next step.

“Some people want to print it out and have a hard copy, others want to do away with paper,” he said. “We’re trying to reach different age groups, with different comfort levels of
technology.”

Laurence said both pages will be used to share information, events and construction news about the district and its schools. For example, a recent Twitter post announced the dedication of the Aragon High School football field.

San Mateo Union is the latest in schools and government entities to embrace social networking sites. Earlier this summer the city of San Carlos launched a Twitter page, and San Mateo County also set up a Facebook page.

The school district’s Facebook page will also post information immediately to a “fans” home page. In order to be able to see posts, users must first sign up as fan of the district.

Communication is one of many areas school board candidates have said the district needs to improve upon.

Linda Lees Dwyer, vice president of the school board, said she is in favor of any method of communication the district uses to reach the public.

“If it allows us to reach more people, I’m all in favor of it,” she said. “People need to feel comfortable communicating with us.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com
 

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