New Westminster Schools seeks a self-motivated, organized, innovative, creative, collaborative and dynamic communications professional. Reporting to the Superintendent of Schools, the Communications Coordinator plays a vital role towards ensuring our vision, mission and values are at the core of our communications. This includes supporting our four strategic priorities:
- Transform Student Learning
- Build Meaningful Relationships
- Lead into our Future
- Ensure Full Participation in Learning
About New Westminster Schools
New Westminster is located in the center of Metro Vancouver between the larger communities of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, and Richmond. Despite its location, the city is relatively small and has retained a strong sense of history and community. The total population is approximately 70,000 and is expected to grow to 84,000 by 2021. District schools are, in general, fully subscribed, and a modest increase in student enrolment is expected over the next few years.
The student population is reflective of the city’s population, with a full range of social and cultural backgrounds forming a diverse presence in our schools.
- Approximately 7000 K-12 students in 12 schools (8 elementary, 3 middle and 1 secondary), including:
o 319 Aboriginal students;
o 1,051 English Language Learner (ELL) students;
o 998 French Immersion students; and,
o 538 students with identified Special Needs.
- In addition to the 12 schools in the district, New Westminster Schools is proud to have three Youth Alternate Programs, two Adult Learning Centres, and a Home Learners’ Program.
New Westminster School District has a rich tapestry of cultures, backgrounds and needs. Together, we are a caring, inclusive, and committed learning community dedicated to supporting each of our unique learners.
About the position
Under the direction and in partnership with the Superintendent of Schools, the Communications Coordinator envisions, implements, and manages communication strategies to create a world-class level of communication across the district and its many stakeholder groups. The position is the lead liaison between the school district and the media and will manage school district strategic communication plans, oversee its’ media and online presence, and facilitate the understanding and achievement of the district’s priorities, goals and objectives. This work includes, promoting on-going transparent dialogue in various forms, retaining and attracting students and families through promotional activities, marketing and advertising initiatives highlighting New Westminster Schools and programs. Responsibilities include:
- Provides counsel to the Board of Education on communicating board decisions to the community, manages dissemination of information and develops community consultation opportunities.
- Maintain and foster relationships with the community, external agencies and partners (e.g. Ministry of Education, City of New Westminster, New Westminster Police Department, Qayqayt First Nation, Fraser Health, local businesses).
- Manages all advertising and promotions for the district and ensures brand standards are adhered to.
- Develops, measures and implements multi-media campaigns, in support of the strategic priorities, goals and objectives. This includes the annual report, “Good things are happening.”
- Coordinates public information and manages media relations during emergency situations and coordinates district communications with other agencies when needed.
- Manages and supports online engagement tools such as, ThoughtExchange.
- Supports communication amongst parents and the community. This involves collaboration with the IT department to select, implement and support the best electronic means for staff to effectively communicate with parents and the surrounding community.
- Ensures the district upholds student, staff and parent privacy, as regulated by the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), and ensuring all FIPPA requests are responded to in a timely manner.
- Curates social media content and supports staff with the development of website content, including writing and editing of communication materials, as required.
- Routinely monitors and manages relations with the news media to promote district accomplishments, explain and provide background to Board of Education decisions, and ensures the district is reported fairly and accurately in news coverage and local education issues.
- Ensures adherence to copyright law.
About the candidate
- Superior interpersonal, communication, research, analytical and problem-solving skills;
- Strong relationship building skills and a leadership style that is open and transparent with a commitment to a ‘can do’ approach;
- Demonstrated success working at a senior management level, ideally in a BC public school district or similar organization;
- Demonstrated skills in community engagement – including consultation processes and the implementation of mechanisms for the district to disseminate information and receive feedback from stakeholders.
- Advanced ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet time sensitive deadlines.
Specific candidate qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism, or relevant post-secondary education.
- Minimum of five years of relevant experience, preferably in a public sector or large complex organization.
- Considerable experience working with Adobe Creative Suite products and web design applications.