SIERRA VISTA — When Sierra Vista Unified School District announced it would be deactivating its Facebook page last month, the announcement was met with an outcry of objection from the community.
Rebecca Bentz, who was the district’s public information officer (PIO) at the time, said the administration’s decision to deactivate the page was because she was moving out of the area and there would be no one in the district to keep the Facebook page current.
“Other staff members’ workloads don’t afford them the time to update the Facebook page, and we don’t want to have outdated or erroneous information out there, which is the reason for the deactivation,” Bentz said in an emailed statement at the time of the announcement. “In addition, the majority of the feedback on the page was negative towards the district.”
Since making that announcement, SVUSD Superintendent Kelly Glass and her administrative team have decided to keep the Facebook page active.
When asked about the status of the page, Glass provided the following emailed statement.
“After receiving multiple requests from the public to maintain our district Facebook page active because of the information value it provides to the community, the district administration decided to keep the page active,” Glass said.
“However, until we hire a new Public Information Officer (PIO), the periodicity of new content will decrease. With the speed of how information travels on social media outlets and without a dedicated staff member to manage the information, it will be challenging to keep our District webpage as current as we would like.”
Glass said the primary reason for considering shutting the page off was to avoid providing the public with stale information. She also noted that in the four months the district was without a PIO prior to Bentz’s arrival, the district received “a substantial number of complaints from the community because of the outdated information on our social media platforms.”
Glass praised Bentz for doing “an amazing job” of revitalizing the district’s Facebook page and website in the short amount of time she was with the district.
“We ask for and appreciate the public’s patience until we hire a new PIO ... who is able to continue with the district’s information management efforts,” the superintendent said.
Meanwhile, each school site is able to post information on Facebook in order to provide updated and relevant information to parents, guardians and students that pertain to their schools.
“The district site will post information when a situation arises that requires information to be disseminated across the district to reach parents, students and staff,” Glass said in her statement.