Plattsburgh City School turns to Facebook

The school district is using the popular social-networking site to communicate with residents

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City School discovered social networking about a month ago.

The school district created its own Facebook page that has attracted attention from parents and community members.

“We needed to get information out, but we also wanted to freshen it up and give it a new look,” said Plattsburgh City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short.

School officials were talking about the newsletter and how information became stale by the time it reached district residents. That is when the idea of creating a Facebook page arose.

“So many people are wired and connected through Facebook and email and the Internet and Twitter,” Short said. “It seems everyone is connected digitally.”

Plus, school officials stressed, creating a facebook page and uploading information on it is free. Short figured it might also turn out to be a way to save a little money in the long run.

“So we thought we would try it for an experiment.”

It’s been four weeks, and so far Plattsburgh City School makes up to 500 connections through some of the stories it posts on its Facebook page.

Parents, community members and faculty have been calling the district, requesting pictures that have been posted on the page. Posts include Santa’s workshop, spelling bees, an anti-drug pledge and other pictures of students participating in school events.

“People are sending us things, and we are popping into it things that we never had the chance to share before,” Short said. “Basically, the idea was to communicate with people today in the mode they tend to be communicating.

“We do emergency alerts, and we also tweet.”

Anyone curious about the Facebook page can go to the district’s web site to connect.

Short doesn’t anticipate any problems with the new venture.

“If we have any problems with what people post, we can take it down,” he said. “But right now all it is doing is putting smiles on people’s faces.

“They love it.”

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