The Mead “heart” Beat of MHS spreads information to students during hybrid and online learning

Lisa Shields gives insight into the upbringing, development, and publication of the Mead Beat to student Schoology pages


DJ Gallegos

The Mead Beat, “the pulse of the school” as said by Lisa Shields, gives students the insight they need and informs them about everything that’s happening at MHS.

Students now have a new way to get information about what is going on within Mead High right on their front Schoology page. MHS Communication Secretary Lisa Shields shares the Mead Beat on Schoology every Monday morning at 7:00 a.m. before students’ first class starts. A copy of the weekly Mead Beat can also be found on the televisions in the student common areas at the school.

As hybrid instruction was introduced and implemented for the second time, Mrs. Shields and Principal Rachael Ayers “were trying to figure out ways to best communicate with everybody since part of the kids were in school at a time”, according to Mrs. Shields. 

The Mead Beat was formed specifically to help kids feel like they were “still connected” and had “some kind of normalcy to high school”.

Mrs. Shields said, “[Mrs. Ayers does] a weekly school letter which goes out on Thursday afternoons. That newsletter goes just to the parent or guardian of kids that are in the school.”

There are also daily announcements over the PA system in the building, but Mrs. Shields was worried about using those announcements for communication because some students may not listen or hear the announcements. 

While it was Mrs. Shields that designed the Mead Beat and placed all the necessary information in the format before each release, Principal Ayers originally came up with the idea.

“Mrs. Ayers… wanted to create a way to share information among students,” Mrs. Shields explained.

Principal Ayers also came up with the name before Mrs. Shields went on to develop the format of the weekly flyer. During the development of the flyer, she put a heart between “Mead” and “Beat”, saying it was the “pulse of the school”. If read the right way, the title is The Mead Heartbeat.

The Mead Beat offers information about upcoming events such as Parent Teacher Conferences and Inclusion Spirit Week. It informs students of sport games and also includes a brief section with the lunch schedule for the week.

Along with writing out and publishing this new student letter, Mrs. Shields plays many roles in Mead’s communication distribution to both parents and students.

“I do all of the website updating and put all of the information [up] there. I do the Monday Shout Points [which] are phone calls and emails that go to parents. [They’re] a quick snapshot of what is in their immediate future,” she said.

She explained that the Mead Beat is basically a Monday Shout Point for students.

This newsletter is a way for MHS students to get information that isn’t as easily listed on the email that their parents or guardians receive. While the weekly newsletter sent out by Principal Ayers does have synchronized information regarding upcoming events, it focuses more on things like fundraisers and advertisements.

According to Mrs. Shields, the newsletter has “a little more detail”, a “letter from Mrs. Ayers”, and any important flyers.

The Mead Beat is not replacing the newsletter; it is in addition to it. Although the newsletter shares great, in-depth information, it doesn’t have the same efficiency of the information in the Mead Beat. When updates are being spread across different school platforms, it is crucial to make sure no one is missing out on something important — not students, parents, or guardians.

The newsletter emailed out by Principal Ayers goes exclusively to parents while the Mead Beat is mainly accessible by students. Mrs. Shields is working really hard on making sure that parents and students are getting the updates they need. Her primary way to communicate with students is through this new student letter.

The Mav student news would like to encourage Mead students to utilize the Mead Beat to learn about any upcoming events and become more involved with the school.