1. Why is there a need to establish a good rapport with the people in the community where the school exists?
A great deal of a school administrator’s time is spent dealing with the public. The commitment to communicate to that public is important. Parents and non-parents are interested to know where their money are being spent. Parents in particular are now inquiring more about the quality of their children’s education.
It is daunting to realize that non-parents, those without children in school, represent 85% of taxpayers in a public school system. With the competition for public funds on the local and national levels, it is important for educational leaders to be effective voices of both challenges and successes. Efforts should be made to involve non-parents in the learning process, inside the schools.

The beginning to a good image is to reflect what is already. If the school is effective, the image is naturally positive and much easier to represent. If the school includes the community as much as possible in the learning process, positive community relations are then likely to follow. An internal communications plan is critical and the image a school portrays through the communication of administration, staff and faculty is important. The school employees rank first as sources of information and their impressions with the public are the most powerful.

There are many factors that support the need of continuous and effective community relations. Those factors include but are not limited to public criticism, expanding demand and shrinking resource, expanded options and competition; rapid change, individual student problems, and inadequate funding.

Public criticism grows when no or negative information is distributed throughout the community. We currently see public criticism rising toward public education. One topic the public is increasingly interested in is student discipline and safety within the schools. A positive public image effectively...