District earns 3 national awards for outreach

Pway earns 3 national awards for community outreach
Posted on 06/20/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Pway earns 3 national awards for community outreachPiscataway Township Schools has earned three national awards honoring the district’s community outreach and communication programs.

The district was honored in three categories of the Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). Piscataway is one of just five districts from New Jersey to be honored.

Piscataway won the following awards:

• Award of Excellence in the Calendar category for its 2022-23 School Guide and Calendar.
• Award of Merit in the Social Media category for its outreach on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
• Honorable Mention in the Print Newsletter category for its monthly Superintendent’s Report newsletter.

3 award badges

“This national recognition is a great honor for our district,” said Superintendent Dr. Frank Ranelli. “We pride ourselves on keeping our community informed and involved in our school activities and accomplishments. These three national awards show that our staff does an incredible job reaching out to strengthen family and community ties for the betterment of our schools.

"Mr. Gary Miller, our public information officer, does a wonderful job keeping the public informed and is very deserving of this recognition."

The Award of Excellence honors the district’s annual School Guide and Calendar, which provides vital information for parents and is mailed out to the school community at the start of each school year. The booklet has a full calendar of events and observances throughout the year.

calendar cover

The 2022-2023 School Guide and Calendar was a joint effort of the Superintendent’s Office and the Office of Community Education, with input from every school and department. It is paid for through a grant from the Office of Community Education and uses no taxpayer funding.

Piscataway is one of just eight winners of the Award of Excellence nationwide and the only New Jersey district honored in the Calendar category.

The Award of Merit for social media recognizes the growth of the district’s @PwaySchools social media accounts in the 2022-2023 school year. In September 2022, the district created a new Instagram account, which now has more than 1,200 followers. The reach of the district’s Facebook page, reflecting the number of users to view posts, increased 455 percent from September 2022 to March 2023 compared with six months prior. And average Twitter impressions from August 2022 to February 2023 more than doubled the seven months prior.

@pwayschools social media promo

The Award of Merit places Piscataway among the top 75 districts in the country in the social media category, and it is the only district from New Jersey among that group.

“We share good news from around our district on a daily basis on our three social media accounts, allowing us to highlight a wide range of programs and events for different audiences,” said Public Information Officer and Webmaster Gary Miller, who oversee the district’s communication efforts. “These posts allow families to see what is going on at their child’s school while giving the community at large the chance to stay connected with our schools and see some of the great work our teachers and staff do. Then we share everything in our Superintendent’s Report each month to reach a wider audience who may not follow social media.”

superintenden'ts report cover

The Superintendent’s Report is first available at the monthly Board of Education meeting, then is shared on social media and through email and text messages with staff and families the following day. An archive of Superintendent’s Reports going back to 2008 is available on the district website.

The Honorable Mention for the Superintendent’s Report places Piscataway among the top 30 districts nationwide in the Print Newsletter category, and it is the only district from New Jersey among that group.

NSPRA’s mission is to develop professionals to communicate strategically, build trust, and foster positive relationships in support of their school communities. Each year, NSPRA recognizes and honors those whose efforts and expertise have had a positive and lasting impact on school public relations and education as well as honors the best work in school communication.