WSU class helps school district promote plan

Students to help create informational materials for education measures



Shannon Focht, Pullman Public Schools communications coordinator, discusses Pullman Public Schools partnership with WSU students on Tuesday afternoon in the Pullman Public School office.

ANDREA GONZALEZ, Evergreen reporter

Pullman Public Schools officials have been working with WSU strategic communication students to create informational materials about the Pullman Promise strategic plan, upcoming bonds and levies on the ballot. 

Ben Pingel, strategic communication clinical assistant professor at WSU, said the hope is that the students will create materials that help share the key messages about the bonds and levies. They expect to complete the project by the end of the semester.

The strategic plan has five components: demonstrate mutual respect, take action, build together, cultivate trust and share decisions about best practices regarding professional development, Pingel said.

He said they want parents to understand the information presented to them.

Shannon Focht, Pullman Public Schools communications coordinator, said the project focuses on informing the community and giving students real-world experience.

The WSU students will work on producing materials about the upcoming bond and levy such as articles, photos and infographics, she said.

The four-year technology levy is $200,000 per year that is collected annually and will go towards software, Chromebooks and other computers, Focht said.

The four-year enrichment levy will collect $5.3 million per year, which will fund increased staffing, she said.

The bond will be a 20-year bond that amounts to $15 million to fund heating, venting and air conditioning upgrades in Franklin, Jefferson, and Sunnyside elementary schools and the renovations of Lincoln Middle School.

The election will come up in February, which has three different school-related measures on the ballot, Focht said.

Students will create informational materials for the website, families and community members to receive information about the measures and their impact on the school district, she said.

“It’s a way to give back, get involved and increase the collaborative relationship with the community,” she said.

Focht said she held informational presentations regarding the school district and communication skills.

Students will have the opportunity to work on their customer service skills and work with clients, Focht said.

The project aims to provide the students with real-world experience of creating content and posts, he said.

“I like that the project is a practical application rather than an abstract project that I make up,” Pingel said.

The goal is to allow students to create a meaningful project so they’re more engaged and intentional in their work, he said.