Austin Independent School District 2017 Bond Implementation: Virtual Events During Stay-at-Home Orders

Buie & Co. serves as the public relations agency of record for the implementation of the Austin Independent School District’s (AISD) 2017 Bond Program. The $1.05-billion bond proposal passed with 72 percent of the vote and focuses on bringing 21st-century learning spaces to all students and much needed improvements at schools across the district.

Buie & Co. works with the district by leading overall communications and community engagement for the implementation of the 2017 bond. The firm’s work is focused on informing stakeholders about the progress of the bond, executing events and community outreach, demonstrating that the district is honoring its word with the program implementation and favorably positioning the district for future bond initiatives.

Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and local restrictions on public gatherings, in March 2020 AISD made the decision to temporarily close campuses, transition to at-home continuous learning, and rework upcoming community events. Buie & Co. worked with the district to create protocols and best practices for virtual community events for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. In May the district virtually celebrated groundbreakings at three elementary schools and held a virtual community event for the new Bear Creek Elementary School. 

Using Zoom webinars to host the virtual events, Buie & Co. worked with campus and district leadership to ensure the milestone ceremonies aligned with each school community’s identity and needs. The team managed the planning and execution of each event and built out all the collateral and digital assets needed, including invitations, programs, presentations and videos. All four events featured a combination of both live and pre-produced content, including remarks from AISD and campus leadership, student participation, and chat engagement and moderation. In addition, each event included live closed captioning, and live Spanish interpretation when needed, to meet AISD’s accessibility requirements.

Attendees were encouraged to participate in the chat, engage with Zoom polls, and share the recorded versions of the events. The total Zoom attendance for all four virtual events surpassed 850 users and all three groundbreaking events were simultaneously streamed on AISD.TV and the AISD Facebook page.

Interested in what an event like this could look like for you? Explore the videos below. When you’re ready to produce your own event, let’s talk! We look forward to collaborating and sharing your good news with the world. 

Buie & Connected: Virtual Groundbreakings