BCS makes new push for social media use

Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Beaufort County Schools is amping up its use of social media.

This year, school officials are putting more emphasis on 21st-century platforms for information, including Facebook, Twitter and the recently created BCS app, according to Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps.

Phipps said using these platforms is a good way to keep announcements brief and disperse important information quickly.

“It really gets down to trying to make sure we get our message out,” he said. “We just want to make sure we’re utilizing everything we’ve got in our resources.”

Although Phipps uses Facebook personally to keep up with friends, he said Twitter is new territory — especially the 140-character restriction.

“I like it because it forces you to be brief,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to boil things down.”

Those with students in the school district can expect to see information, such as cancellations or weather announcements, first on social media, but that doesn’t mean the district will stop using the old ways.

Phipps said BCS will still use the district-wide calling system, as well as letters and written announcements. The push for social media is meant to reach out to even more people.

“We’re going to continue to use all of those,” he said. “Some folks prefer it; some folks don’t.”

Another motivating factor behind the use of social media is promoting what is happening in the schools, according to Phipps.

He said many people are still not aware of all that is happening on a day-to-day basis in the schools, and using the newer platforms will facilitate the process of getting the information out there.

Schools have individual Facebook pages, although staff access is limited, and some schools, including Eastern Elementary and Chocowinity Primary, have even created Instagram accounts to promote their day-to-day activities.

Phipps said he wants people to not only be informed about what is happening in their child’s school, but also about what is happening across the district.
“Just trying to make people more aware,” Phipps said. “This gives us an avenue and a vehicle to promote things.”

For school updates via social media, like the “Beaufort County Schools NC” Facebook page, download the BCS app, or follow Phipps @DrDonPhipps or @BeaufortCoSchoolsNC on Twitter.