SACRAMENTO, CA: Ogilvy Public Relations has been chosen by E21, an educational reform effort, to handle communications for a new high school model being tested in the public schools of Sacramento.
E21, a partnership between the Sacramento City Unified School District and nonprofit Linking Education and Economic Development, is currently in the pilot phase of a multiyear program to redesign how teenagers receive their education. The new model assigns freshman students to small groups of other students and teachers that remain together over the four years of matriculation. The idea involves students studying pre-chosen professional fields, such as medicine or construction.
"They're literally breaking up the high schools in the physical sense and the figurative sense," said Alicia Ritter, national education group director and managing director of Ogilvy's Sacramento office. "The thought being that if a child has a closer relationship with a teacher who understands him or her, it's better for everybody."
The program will be phased into all nine Sacramento high schools over the next year. Ogilvy is charged with creating a communications plan that will explain the changes and options to students, parents, teachers, and other interested parties. The largest challenge is explaining the program to the many diverse ethnic communities that have settled in the area over the past few decades.
"We also have the perspective that the Hmong parents, for example, are going to be very different from the Latino parents when it comes to change," Ritter pointed out.