Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

Movie Making for Community Pride

by User Not Found | Jan 16, 2015
By Bryan Raach, Director of Student Services, Rolling Hills Local School District

Education looks much different today than it did not only fifty years ago, but even a couple of years ago. Our community is keeping up on the changes and supporting the district in a positive way due in large part to social media playing a huge role in keeping the community informed of all of the great things happening around Rolling Hills.

Community and stakeholder outreach has become a focal point for the Rolling Hills Local School District administration in the last several months. In early 2013, we decided to launch social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. Since then, the district’s social media outlets have grown to nearly 1,700 followers on Facebook and 1,000 on Twitter, while reaching more than 20,000 hits on each per month. Initially, we used social media as a tool to inform the community about upcoming events and exciting things happening throughout the district. But, we saw our social media following really take off when we decided to showcase our district through student work, technology integration, and much more.

In fall 2014, we decided to pursue another avenue to reach out to the community—an area which we had done very little in until now—video production for the purpose of community involvement, engagement, and showcasing new and exciting things happening throughout the district due in part to the awarding of creative and innovative grants, as well as partnerships with Ohio University, Zane State College, Battelle For Kids (BFK), and the entire Ohio Appalachian Collaborative (OAC).

In the past, Rolling Hills had used iPhones and iPads for recording various events and interviews throughout the district. The videos were good, but the quality wasn’t superb, and we wanted to produce higher quality videos. After consulting with the district’s Technology Director and Technology Integration Coach in the fall, we purchased a Sony HXR NX30U Camcorder with image stabilization, as well as Final Cut Pro X, Apple’s latest professional grade video editing software, to edit the videos and give them the professional quality we were looking for.

The “We Are Rolling Hills Local School District” video was produced to build upon the already high level of community pride that is sometimes overlooked. The district felt that it was a great tool for the community to view and simply stand back and proudly say, “This is My District”, and feel a sense of dignity, honor, and gratification.  We wanted to get as much community involvement as possible, so numerous clips make up the video. Police chiefs, volunteer firemen, students, teachers, ministers, bankers, senior citizens, mayors, farmers, council members, longtime athletic supporters, and many more make up the long list of community members that were involved in the creation of the video. There were truly many inspiring stories of how individuals had benefited from or had an influence from/on the Rolling Hills Local School District.

During the late fall of 2014, Rolling Hills Local School District administrators also decided to produce a video that would showcase the Dual Enrollment option and the new Colt College and Career Center at Meadowbrook High School. During the production, several students, teachers, parents, professors, and administrators were interviewed. Each of these interviewees were asked a series of questions— ranging from what dual enrollment is, to how it benefits the students and their families. This is a great example of an opportunity available to our students because of our collaboration with BFK, OAC, Ohio University, and Zane State College.
Since the establishment of a presence on social media and YouTube the district has seen a large boost in community and school morale. People are talking about the success the district is having and the positive changes that are being made both physically to our buildings and technologically within our schools. The community is able to see how their tax dollars and allocated grant monies are being spent and the positive impact it is having on our children. #GoColts

Bryan Raach serves as the Director of Student Services for the Rolling Hills Local School District. You can follow him on Twitter at @BryanRaach. You can also follow the Rolling Hills Local School District at @RHLSD_Colts.