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Stop the presses! Kelso reinvents its district newsletter

January 4, 2022
Learn how Kelso School District did a 180 on its approach to newsletters with an overwhelmingly positive response from staff, parents, and the community. Kelso's newsletter is now seen as a model for how to tell district stories in an eye-catching way.

With a new superintendent and construction work beginning on a recently approved bond at the start of the 2018-19 school year, the Kelso School District wanted to increase communication with the Kelso community. They had been doing four printed, black and white newsletters of four pages each, distributed in the local newspaper (The Daily News) for several years using our services.  They were communicating, in the traditional text-heavy way, but had very little feedback on each newsletter and wondered how many people were seeing it, let alone reading it.

With the goal of raising awareness about the district, the many programs they offer, and all the things that go into providing a quality public education, the district decided to completely change its newsletter model, with support from its Communications Manager and our design team.

In fall 2018, the district ran a naming campaign on social media to involve families and raise interest. The winning name was “Hilander Highlights” after the high school mascot, the Hilanders. That fall, The Educator became Hilander Highlights, and rather than traditional articles, the newsletter is one big double-sided infographic. We helped the district create an editorial calendar to focus the content of each issue on just one topic, like Career and Technical Education or Social Emotional Learning.

Most recently, the newsletter has featured photos and features of the new schools being completed by the bond work.