Monday, January 22, 2018
Education

Instagram shows off social media news in Pasco Schools

The first week of school is all about new beginnings and settling in. Stacey Brazier, a new assistant principal at John Long Middle, spent a good amount of time doing that — and while she was at it, she captured bits and pieces of it all on her smartphone.

Then in a matter of seconds, she posted pictures on the Pasco County School District's Instagram account.

"Instagram is yet another way for the schools to reach out and communicate through social media, and we're having fun with it," Brazier said, referring to the online photo- and video-sharing social network. Brazier said that the goal is to reach more families and students as well as members of the community.

There's a lot to see.

Think morning moon glowing over the bus loop and afternoon volleyball tryouts in the gym. The hustle and bustle of students changing classes and Erik Carlson's seventh-grade marketing class. Alyson Clark taking a "first week of school" cellphone shot of some eighth-grade comrades, and a black-and-white closeup of the shiny whistle that calls an end to lunch period.

It's all John Long Middle. Until Monday.

The district's Instagram feed will next be turned over to Lacoochee Elementary so folks can check out what's going on there. Some time after that comes Pasco High, and so on.

The school district is embracing social media and that's a good thing, said communications specialist Andy Dunn.

"We're trying to engage the community," he said, "and get the word out about all the good things going on in our schools."

Dunn said he came up with the idea to let individual schools temporarily take over the district account after noticing the trend on Instagram. The district also has its own Facebook page that this week featured photographs of the first day of school contributed by followers.

Not a bad hook, it seems.

"Everyone gets back (to school) and it's exciting to see everybody and see what's going on," said John Long Middle principal Christine Wolff. "There are parents who haven't had a kid in middle school before who can get a glimpse of what their kid's day is like. It's kind of neat."

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