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Director of Communications

Organization: 
Bend-La Pine Schools
Closing date: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Bend-La Pine Schools (BLS) is committed to principle of equity. Equity supersedes the notion of equality, where all are treated the same. Pursuing equity requires the removal of barriers and the promotion of inclusive practices so that all students fully benefit. The principle of equity will inform all BLS policies, regulations, operations, practices, and resource allocations.

Studies have shown that some individuals (women and people of color, for example) are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single qualification in a job description. The goal of this search is to find the best candidate for the position, and it must be acknowledged that the best candidate may be an individual from a less-traditional background. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply even if they don’t believe they meet every one of the listed qualifications. Interested individuals who are unsure whether they meet the qualifications of a position, or how this would be determined, should reach out to Human Resources to discuss those qualifications.

JOB DEFINITION

Bend-La Pine Schools is committed to the academic and personal growth of every student. Our schools provide safe and supportive learning environments where staff can carry out our mission of educating thriving students.
The Director of Communications, under the leadership of the Superintendent, develops and implements a comprehensive and dynamic communication framework and strategy for the District to improve student achievement, family and community involvement and awareness, as well as cohesive and comprehensive messaging to internal and external stakeholders.
The Director is responsible for the leading of the District’s public information and communications programs, ensuring that long-term and emergent needs are coordinated, effective, and maintain high standards of quality. This person will work proactively and responsively with local media to provide information about district news and events and will be responsible for assisting with the development and implementation of district messaging. The Director provides communication and community relations leadership and serves as the primary point of contact for all district- and some school-based communications.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
Serve as liaison between the district and the news media and supervise the production and distribution of all news releases, arranges press conferences as required, prepares press kits for distribution to media
Create inclusive communication plans to include and elevate the voices of members of our priority populations (including, but not limited to: Latinx, Black, African-American, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Native American, persons navigating disability, and LGBTQ+ students, staff, and community members
Maintain open lines of communication with all community organizations and provide prompt responses to requests for public information about the District, its policies, and its programs
Serve as the District spokesperson to assist the media in obtaining and interpreting information about the District, its programs and schools, and assist the media in interpreting board actions
Support the Superintendent with crisis communications
Support the Superintendent with the preparation of public-facing communications in various media
Coordinate the District’s role in levy and bond elections
Identify key strategic storylines, moments, and proof-points across the District that showcase the District’s efforts to increase inclusive practices in line with the District’s Equity Stance
Maintain an internal communication system so employees are informed and engaged in District and building issues and news
Maintain updated knowledge of best media practices and measurement, graphic design and/or website design and maintenance, content management systems, and marketing
Participate in regional and statewide school public relations associations such as Oregon School Public Relations Association
Attend all school board meetings. Serve as board liaison to the media, coordinate requests for interviews, respond to questions, and provide results of board actions
Consult with staff to ensure that the preparation, editing, and distribution of special publications is done in a manner consistent with the District’s vision
Provide leadership for an office that manages internal communications, external communications, two-way community engagement, crisis communications, and public speaking
Stay informed on all policies, regulations, laws, and court decisions pertinent and/or relative to the District
Maintain a high level of ethical behavior, including confidentiality with sensitive information and data
Ensure timeliness in the completion of assigned projects
Manage multiple projects with firm deadlines simultaneously

WORKING CONDITIONS:

Bend-La Pine Schools promotes positive, professional, and healthy work environments for all staff. At times, however, school and district leaders may need to work under heavy workloads and pressing deadlines. Issues may require immediate attention, setting up conflicting priorities. Sound judgement is required in stressful situations. The employee needs to be able to lift materials, boxes or equipment weighing up to 30 pounds and/or maneuver up to 50 pounds. This position generally works in an office environment with occasional travel to schools and other locations for meetings. This position will require scheduled and emergent work outside of the typical work schedule, including evening and weekend work.

KNOWLEDGE SKILLS AND ABILITIES:

Knowledge of:
A variety of communication concepts, practices, and procedures
Professional marketing and public relations practices for public agencies
Oregon public records laws
Strategic communications planning and execution
Cultural understanding of the ethnic, cultural, geographic, and socio-economic diversity of the populations served by the District
Graphic design principles, including web-based design
Copy writing and editing practices
Public speaking practices
People and project management skills
Workplace practices to create and maintain a healthy and positive working environment for communications staff

Skills and Abilities:
Interpret, explain, and apply complex laws guidelines, initiatives, policies, and procedures
High level of commitment to the completion of assigned tasks
Adhere to District requirements of a drug free workplace
Work collaboratively and cooperatively across a variety of departments to develop communications plans in line with the District’s vision
Build strong, collaborative, and meaningful relationships working across individuals, teams, and administrators
Support of high visibility change projects with a highly collaborative and integrated workstyle
Complete tasks that meet or exceed quality expectations on deadline

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism, Marketing, or other applicable discipline to provide foundational understanding of the scope and components of the position
Minimum of five years’ experience in a professional public administration, communications, or related field
Bilingual candidates encouraged to apply

The statements herein reflect general details as necessary to describe the principle functions of the job, the level of knowledge and skills typically required and the scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work and physical requirements. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned, including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, to equalize peak work or otherwise to balance the workload.

Oregon Health Authority administrative rule 333-019-1030 requires that, by October 18, 2021, all teachers and school staff either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have been granted a medical or religious exception. "Fully vaccinated" is defined as the point in time 14 days after receiving all required doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine (currently two shots of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Upon job offer, and prior to their first day of work, successful candidates will need to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a medical or religious exception.