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Katy ISD Recognized Nationally for SpeakUp and Smart Restart Campaigns


July 27, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark

Katy ISD’s SpeakUp Safe Schools and Smart Restart- Return to School campaigns have both been recognized on the State and National level. Newcomers to the District should sign up for the SpeakUp app that allows students, parents, staff, and community members to anonymously report tips or dangerous situations to the District.

Katy ISD Communication Department

(left to right: Dr. Andrea Grooms – Chief of Communications, Maria DiPetta – Manager of Media Relations, Rachel Migues – Communications & Social Media Specialist and Ray Cortez – Videographer)

KISD's Communication Department Recognized

Katy ISD’s District Communication Department was recently recognized by The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and earned a Golden Achievement Award for its work on the District’s Smart Restart- Return to School and SpeakUp Safe Schools Campaigns. The department was recognized at last night's Board of Trustees meeting.

“Clear, concise and timely messaging for our school community has always been a key component to our District’s outreach efforts,” says Dr. Andrea Grooms, Chief Communications Officer.

SpeakUp Safe Schools Campaign

The SpeakUp Safe Schools campaign involved a multi-level marketing and communication initiative designed to build awareness around safety topics; encourage the use of the SpeakUp anonymous reporting app; emphasize student ownership of safety protocols; educate parents; and reinforce drug and alcohol awareness.

To bring awareness to the SpeakUp app, the department produced print and promotional materials, and more. They also earned a Best of Category Award for the scripting, filming, and editing of the PSA, “Vaping, It’s Up to You,” which was part of the campaign.

“The SpeakUp app has created a safe and reliable space for students and patrons to share their concerns with Katy ISD campus and District staff,” Ted Vierling, Chief of Operation at Katy ISD. “The District has developed systems that allow for better response time, and our efforts at helping students are far-reaching, utilizing both campus and District resources.”

The app allows students, parents, staff, and community members to report anonymously any tips or dangerous situations that could pose a threat to Katy students and campuses. This real-time information allows Katy ISD to respond faster and more efficiently.

Learn more and sign up at the website.

Smart Restart- Return to School Campaign

Also recognized was the District’s Smart Restart – Return to School campaign, which was executed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign focused on educating and engaging students, parents, staff and community members on the return to school plan, safety protocols and evolving initiatives impacted by the pandemic.

The Katy ISD Communication Department was recognized during the annual TSPRA and NSPRA conventions this year.

“While our Communications team is small, their responsibilities are immense and their outcomes, far-reaching,” says Grooms. “They are an extremely talented and dedicated group of professionals — always prioritizing the informational needs of Katy ISD families and staff, no matter the time or circumstances.”

Katy ISD returns to fall classes August 18. Pre-enrollment for new students for the 2021-2022 school year is now open.


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