Community Engagement Communication Strategy

What Is Community Engagement?

 Our community engagement process refers to the many ways the Board of Education and the community work together and features a two-way flow of information on issues and opportunities that affect you. It provides valuable input to School District direction and decision-making.

Community engagement:

  • gives you the opportunity to voice your opinion
  • acknowledges concerns to issues you raise
  • educates as well as seeks feedback from all publics
  • initiates conversations and asks questions to deepen understanding
  • lets you know about proposed actions

Levels of Community Involvement

Community engagement and ongoing communication is critical to the land asset management process. The final decisions will, to a great degree, hinge on the NVSD’s ability to effectively communicate with and systematically engage the community.

The North Vancouver School District is committed to working with the public through this Community Engagement Framework[2]. This framework is based on aspects of the International Association of Public Participation’s “Spectrum of Public Participation”. It serves as a guide for gathering input, understanding issues and ensuring that ideas and concerns are incorporated to the maximum extent possible based on the guiding principles outlined in the NVSD 2011-2021 strategic plan.

The Board used this framework to guide its community involvement planning and to identify different types of techniques that can be effective in drawing out meaningful public participation on issues.

Trustee’s promise to the public is that they will communicate the process and timeline for decision-making and provide feedback on how public input influenced our decisions on this issue.

The Board has planned three major engagement activities that will be professionally facilitated as well as smaller community engagement initiatives (that will be announced and roll-out in the coming weeks). Following is some background information on the facilitated events:

Open House

Open houses and the World Café Open Dialogue provide information and an open opportunity for understanding people’s concerns and discussing issues, as well as opportunities for follow up or feedback.

Public Dialogue

The second public meeting is an open dialogue based on a World Café approach. This meeting process features a series of simultaneous small group table discussions in response to a set of questions. Participants join table discussions that are aligned with their particular land asset interest. Those participants that want to change tables during the process are able to participate in a variety of conversations about different land assets. In this way they can identify common ground amongst the various assets in response to each question.

The outcome is for those in attendance at the public meetings is to have balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problem, issues and to have an opportunity to provide input into alternatives and opportunities.

Municipal Government Workshop

The Municipal Government workshop aims to bring together both the City and District Councillors and senior staff to build understanding about each other’s perspectives, to discuss issues and ideas in a non-confrontational atmosphere and to build consensus around new approaches for working together.

 After Each Event:  Review, Reflect and Communicate

The steps between the Open House, the Municipal Government workshop and the Public Dialogue are an opportunity to review and reflect on the input gathered and communicate what has been learned about the publics concerns and aspirations at each phase of the process.

Community Engagement Communications

 Communications outreach initiatives are planned in conjunction with the two large-scale public events and one facilitated municipal workshop. The tactics and tools are divided in three main areas:

NVSD Outreach methods

In addition, the following four themes will be reflected in our tactics and outreach:

Informing and storytelling: update community on the process, listen to community stories

Knowledge-sharing: create two-way tools; provide more and better information online/offline

Connecting: community outreach, alliances and events to build relationships

 Public calls for action: invite the community to attend events, learn, connect online

Here’s a one-page summary of our Engagement Comm Strategy Overview over the next couple of months.