Organizational & Community Initiatives

Organizational & Community Initiatives houses some of the most far-reaching programs of Kent ISD, stretching across the ISD and sometimes the region. Our role is to help districts anticipate the impact of important education issues, legislation and student needs, and be ready to respond in ways that best serve students, families, and the community.

Our department bridges the gap between public schools and the broader community to identify and fulfill needs for employers, associations and school districts. We are led by Assistant Superintendent Ron Koehler, APR, who advises District Superintendents and Boards in a variety of areas, from government and community relations to crisis communication and reputation management. Through his deep community connections, Ron has helped create many regional initiatives, including Kent School Services Network, Reading Now Network, MySchool@Kent, and Kent Innovation High.

 

Our Main Focus Areas:

Communications & Marketing:

The Communications Department serves Kent ISD department initiatives and campus HIgh School programs as an in-house agency, providing consulting and implementation for marketing, media, advertising and promotion. In addition, our department creates and coordinates large-scale special events like the Reading Now Network Launch, Take the Test, All-Staff Breakfast, Campus-wide Open House, and a variety of media events, including Maranda shows and press conferences. 

For more information, contact: Allison Kaufman, Director of Communications & Marketing at 616.365.2227 or AllisonKaufman@kentisd.org  

 

School News Network (SNN):

School News Network is a first-of-its-kind communication initiative, created in collaboration with our districts to do what local media no longer does - tell stories of our public schools. This news site is managed in-house, but hosts professional reporters assigned to every district. SNN has become the "go-to," credible news source for public education in our area.

For more information, or to get the latest highlights from our schools, visit: SchoolNewsNetwork.org

 

Grants & Resources:

Housed in the Communications Department, the Kent ISD Grant Coordinator works to help local school districts and educational partners secure funding to provide innovative programming and address critical needs. The Grants Coordinator writes grants to support large, county-wide initiatives that are aligned with the Kent Intermediate Superintendents' Association's Initiatives. The Grants Coordinator also offers technical assistance and training to local school districts and other community partners to assist them in securing funding.

For more information, contact James Hissong, Grant  and Development Coordinator at 616.365.2273 or jameshissong@kentisd.org.


Legislative Affairs:

Our Legislative Affairs professional serves as the liaison between Kent ISD school districts and the state of Michigan. Each year, hundreds of pieces of legislation are introduced impacting education. The liaison works with our state elected officials and department heads to make sure laws considered support the programs and services that benefit our communities. 

For more information, contact Chris Glass, Director of Legislative Affairs at 616.447.5689 or ChrisGlass@kentisd.org

 

Truancy & Attendance:

Our Truancy and Attendance Officer, Mark Larson, works to lay the foundation for student success by working with many community partners, the justice system, local districts, families and students to set and improve school participation standards.  

For more information, contact Mark Larson, Truancy Consultant/Attendance Officer at 616.365.2298 or Truancy@kentisd.org