LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Some school districts present slideshows and speeches to tell community members about their schools. District officials for Lakota are sharing a video series.
The "Inside Your Schools" series is made up of eight 90-second videos, each of which highlights a different aspect of the district.
"It's really what we consider our state of the schools," said Lauren Boettcher, executive director of media and community relations for Lakota Local School District.
So far, seven of the videos have been shared with community members via the district's website and digital newsletters. The eighth is set to be released in early December.
District officials worked with local company SpotOn Productions to produce the videos. The district has worked with the company from time to time over the past few years, but this is the first time they've teamed up on a video series like this one, said Ian Murray, president of SpotOn Productions.
As a 2002 Lakota West graduate, the experience of working with the district on the videos has been particularly meaningful for Murray.
"The information and the way they chose to present it is very innovative for a school district," he said.
"We were really looking for a new and different way to connect with our community," Boettcher said.
The series delves into a variety of topics including academics, technology, diversity and financial planning and stability.
"Those are really driven by the priorities and our values as a school district," Boettcher said.
Branching outside the realm of a more traditional state of the schools address is "just kind of a given where we're at in society today," said Robb Vogelmann, acting superintendent for Lakota.
Because the topics are broken up into individual videos, they require less time to take in than a written report or verbal presentation.
"In the video series, it's more of a condensed, concentrated message," Vogelmann said.
Focusing on specific topics in short messages is not only a more "user-friendly" approach, but also reaches people who may receive and retain information in different ways, he said.
"To see and hear … reaches both the auditory and the visual people that are out there," he said.
The videos also can be shared through a variety of outlets -- from social media to email and the district's website -- making it easier to reach a wider audience.
"I think it allows them to diversify the way people view it," Murray said.
"A big focus for us is on communication and community engagement," Boettcher said.
So far, the reactions to the videos from district staff and community members have been positive, Vogelmann said.
"It's just a new platform and the response we're getting from people (is) they seem to like it because it is quick and easy," he said.
The current video series was created to remain pertinent for an extended period of time and will likely stay up on the district's website until next school year, Boettcher said.
More videos may be on the way, too.
While district officials will continue exploring various communication methods and outlets, they're already considering potential topics and timing for another series, Vogelmann said.