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Our View: School district improves communications
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Good businesses and organizations develop more effective and efficient practices in times of adversity. On rare occasions, the better practices are thought of before adversity strikes. But usually the problems must be experienced to discover the solutions.

The Monroe school district certainly has experienced adversity in the past couple of weeks. Recent threats have forced two evacuations of Monroe High School and another at Monroe Middle School. Those and a couple of other more minor incidents have students, parents, school personnel and the community on edge.

But through the adversity, the district has developed better practices in how it communicates with parents and the public what is going on in its schools. District administrators and employees should be commended for listening to concerns that were raised, and having a swift and positive reaction to them.

When the first threats were made and students were taken out of their buildings, the district heard critics say there wasn't enough information being shared quickly by the schools. The district acknowledged there were shortcomings, promised to address them, then did.

Now, when there is an incident at the school, there is a point person in the district for communications - Jennifer Thayer, director of curriculum and instruction. She is tasked with relaying initial information to parents and the media. E-mails are sent to all affected parents who have registered for the district's beneficial Family Access program. Information is posted to the district's Web site expediently. And the district administration has made itself readily accessible to the media to answer questions.

The district has had a few incidents this week already to test out those practices. A threat had to be investigated by police Monday at Monroe High School, and police were sent to the middle school the next day to look at graffiti written on a bathroom wall. And on Wednesday the district provided significant information about a student confession in one of the high school threats.

Certainly, there will be other times when the district's new emergency communications steps will be tested and reveal other shortcomings. That's natural. What's encouraging is that the district has displayed a willingness and capability to accept those shortcomings - and fix them.