Column One: Administrators

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Administrators in the Messalonskee school district in central Maine have developed a marketing and welcoming campaign designed to strengthen the bond between school and community.

As part of the public-relations effort, the district, which serves the towns of Oakland, Belgrade, and Sidney, publishes a 20-page newspaper for residents twice a year and sends home brochures and newsletters with students in each school.

School officials have also enlisted the help of parents, retirees, and businesspeople in the area. Volunteers work with students, help officials in the central office devise strategies, and teach local history.

Many of the schools in the area also leave their doors open to the public after students have gone home, giving Messalonskee's residents the impression that the building is a community center for both children and adults.

The University Council for Educational Administration, on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University, has launched a project to develop computer simulations in educational administration.

The simulations, which may be used in administrator preparation and professional development, can be used in group settings or with individual students and will focus on problems of practice. According to the council, the computer models will allow prospective administrators to collect school district and narrative data, respond to "crisis'' scenarios, and develop intervention strategies.

The project's planning team is scheduled to meet this spring to get feedback on the simulations from practitioners and experts in the field of administration.

Harris Publishing Company Inc. has compiled a booklet for high school administrators and reunion organizers who want to contact graduates and enlist their support.

The 20-page guide includes information on how to structure an alumni association, work through legal issues, and develop a list of resources. It also contains case histories of high schools that have created successful alumni networks.

The publishing company also provides free research services through its "Graduate Connection'' program. The connection locates and surveys a school's graduates and develops a comprehensive and current alumni data base at no charge.

A free copy of the booklet, "How to Start An Alumni Association,'' or information about Graduate Connection is available from Harris Publishing Company Inc., 3 Barker Ave., White Plains, N.Y. 10601; (800) 326-6600.--J.R.

Vol. 12, Issue 25

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