Mobile County Public Schools has kicked off a new campaign to try to become the most liked school system in the country on Facebook.
As I’m writing this, we have 4,978 likes. But with 59,000 students and their parents, and 7,500 employees and many alumni and other supporters in the community, we can do better than that.
We’ve already surpassed some larger school systems, including Houston (with 3,094 likes), San Diego (3,326 likes) and Shelby County/Memphis (2,530 likes).
Right now, we need about 1,100 likes to pull ahead of Los Angeles’ 6,147 likes, which would be quite impressive considering that’s the second-largest school system in the U.S. and is more than 10 times our size.
Then we’ll focus on Charlotte with 8,209, and Dallas with 9,023.
Ultimately, we’d like to beat New York, which has 33,755 likes. That seems like a lot, but New York has more than 1 million students, so that only adds up to 3 percent of the student population liking the schools. (For comparison, we’re at 8 percent).
I’ve been asked many times: Why is this important? And shouldn’t MCPSS be focusing more on improving itself than counting Facebook likes?
Here’s my answer:
More and more, people are getting their news from social media such as Facebook and Twitter. When I worked at the Press-Register and al.com, the stories that were shared by readers on their own Facebook accounts would receive the most online “hits,” or page views.
As Superintendent Martha Peek likes to say: Great things happen in every one of our schools every day. It’s time for us to share that news.
We just had our 12th school receive a National Blue Ribbon (Council Traditional) for being one of the top schools in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
We opened 4 new Signature Academies in our high schools this year. (Aviation and Aerospace at B.C. Rain; Technology, Industry and Manufacturing at Citronelle; Health at Blount; and Teaching and Learning at Mary G. Montgomery).
One out of every four of our graduates receives at least one college scholarship. That added up to more than $68 million for the Class of 2013. More students than ever before are earning college credit with AP courses and career-technical certification to get real jobs out of high school.
We are working with the Mobile Area Education Foundation and the community to increase our graduation rate to at least 80 percent by 2020.
We opened two new schools (Taylor-White and Whitley elementary schools) over the last couple of months and will open a new Augusta Evans Special School this winter.
We are increasing the use of technology in the classroom with Smartboards, and through programs such as MiDevice.
We have awesome teachers and staff making a difference in our children's lives.
We’ve launched a new call-to-action to the community: “It Starts With Us.”
Learning starts with parents. Education starts with Mobile County Public Schools. Quality of life starts with the community.
We’ve asked students what this means to them, and have heard some interesting things. To them, it means they’re going to do their homework, graduate, obey the school rules and have a positive attitude.
Lamar Advertising donated some billboards and you’ll soon see some more as other businesses get involved in helping us spread the word.
What can you do?
It’s simple. Like us on Facebook. When you see positive news, please share it on your Facebook account.
Log on to mcpss.com to stay informed and check out mcpss.tv, which will have 24-hour programming and will be available online and in your home on AT&T U-Verse soon.
And when you talk to someone, tell them something positive about our schools.
Because community pride and the success of our schools start with you.
This column was written by Rena Philips, Supervisor of Marketing and Education Partnerships, Mobile County Public Schools.
Comments on "'Like' MCPSS on Facebook and help us spread the good news"
I enjoy coming to work each day because no two days are alike. I have taught in the Mobile County Public School System for 38 years and still enjoy coming to work. The students make it all worthwhile because I realize that I am making a difference in the lives of my students. Most of them contact me to let me know that I made a difference in their lives. What other business could you be in that would produce that satisfaction!