5 Duties of a School Community Relations Coordinator

How do promoting joint school and community events, working with students and parents to match students with school and vocational opportunities and reaching out to create awareness campaigns for popular social and educational causes sound? That’s what school community coordinators do, and that just scratches the surfaces of what their duties might entail.

Earnings Outlook for School Counselors and Coordinators

The U.S. Labor Department statistics show that school counselors earn median salaries of $53,370, and the highest paid earners bring home $86,610. The highest paid geographical regions include metropolitan cities in New York, California, New Jersey and Florida. In exclusive private schools, coordinators can earn even higher salaries.

1. Serving as the Face for Public Relations

Schools — both public and private — face increasing PR challenges when dealing with the community, other schools, law enforcement and corporate liaisons for career planning. School community relations coordinators often answer phones, greet visitors to the schools, deal with family and student crises and address sports and school performance issues on a daily basis. Groups and outside visitors and speakers would liaise with you when visiting the school, setting up demonstrations, recruiting candidates for college admission and future employment and planning other community-based interactions with students, faculty and staff. As the school’s PR representative, you would promote the school, its students and programs in the most favorable light and troubleshoot issues that cause problems or tension such as locker searches, security issues and off-site student behavioral problems.

2. Fostering and Planning Academic and Extracurricular Activities

Coordinators create and distribute informational resources regarding extracurricular school activities, field trips, sports events and academic competitions between other schools. You would help to plan assemblies, field trips, sports events, academic competitions, career-planning events and recruitment activities. In this capacity, you would maintain scholarly records, access school files on various issues and compile and update databases on how effectively outreach programs and community events impact academics and college admission rates. You’d be responsible for tracking individual and school-wide data, attendance records and statistics on how various community, sports and in-school activities affect school performance, school-community relationships, student behavior and other benchmarks.

3. Developing a Working Relationship with the School Nurse or Medical Staff

Community relations often involve working with school nurses, sports team physicians and community medical professionals on dealing with community healthcare issues, developing sex education programs, meeting special dietary requirements, managing and maintaining medications, treating allergies and addressing other health-related issues that students face. As a community relations consultant, you might be responsible for developing and administering programs to educate students about issues like HIV/AIDS, drug use, STDs, teen pregnancy, gay and transgender issues and the risks of premarital sex and alcohol and substance abuse. You would also be involved in compiling statistics for government agencies and fielding requests for school health statistics by media representatives for studies and articles.

4. Demonstrating Skills in Digital Technologies and Internet Forums

Today’s communities aren’t just school neighborhoods but include digital groups like social media. School community coordinators deal with many issues that affect the school’s students, teachers and administrators such as cyber bullying, online stalking and teacher bashing. School coordinators need strong technical skills in working with digital Internet technologies to initiate email campaigns, raise funds for extracurricular activities, follow student trends on the Internet, monitor online behavior of teachers and students and understand mobile trends that could put students and communities at greater risk of encountering difficulties or fostering misunderstandings. Working with spreadsheets and databases is essential for managing and maintaining these files and statistics. Your digital skills can ensure that parents and community stakeholders stay informed about the school and take part in interactive projects that benefit the school, student, parents and community while guaranteeing that information is updated, accurate and accessible.

5. Nurturing Educational and People-Managing Skills

School coordinators promote events, points-of-view, community standards and student interests, so the job demands strong communications and people-managing skills, organizational aptitude and the ability to educate and inspire people to take part in joint school and community events. Aspiring coordinators should have at least one or two years of teaching experience under their belts with real-world experience in dealing with public relations, student counseling or other social services-related fields like health care. As a community relations coordinator, you might deal with such diverse situations as scheduling meet-and-greets for a state championship sports team to investigating sales of alcohol to underage students in the community.

Schools increasingly reach out to communities for sporting events, social initiatives, job placement, extracurricular activities and advanced training for college and career development. Community relations coordinators at schools can ease the process of working with outside groups to promote the school, community and student best interests.

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