Jeff West Superintendent discusses rebranding ahead of enrollment changes for Kansas schools

Jeff West Superintendent Jason Crawford talks about why his district wanted to rebrand its logo ahead of Kansas K-12 enrollment changes
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 6:43 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas K-12 schools will see enrollment changes in June 2024. Jeff West Superintendent Jason Crawford joined Eye on Northeast Kansas to talk about logo rebranding in his district ahead of the enrollment law change.

13 NEWS attended the district’s school board meeting Monday evening. More than 100 concerned community members came out to voice their concerns, with the theme of the meeting being transparency.

“Why are we getting rid of it can you explain that to me again?”

The Jefferson West School District now has a new logo but many in the community say they were never made aware the logo was being rebranded.

“Four focus groups were said to be involved in the directive what were the results of this study were those groups asked their opinion of the changed logo and tiger? Where is the data again transparency?”

“I mean it’s over and done with now but something like that would have possibly been better if people would have known about it.”

Those are all words from concerned community members.

District officials says they felt the push to rebrand the district’s logo because of a new state law starting next year which would bring open enrollment to all K-thru-12 schools.

Jeff West Superintendent Jason Crawford talks about why his district wanted to rebrand its logo ahead of Kansas K-12 enrollment changes

“A small aspect of what was the rebranding process but it’s much greater than that it’s about recruiting effective staff it’s helping us tell our story when I arrived at the district it was very diluted we had multiple j w’s, we had multiple logos that were not vectors that were hard to replicate. Others would say you know what that tiger looks a lot like a local restaurant here. We had to dig through a lot of that and we tried to do a lot of history and understanding and we listened to the community. We had paid surveys online. We brought in focus groups. We knew how sensitive it would be but we really wanted to keep our efforts focused on students,” Jason Crawford, USD-340 Superintendent.

They also say rebranding is part of a bigger picture.

“The one that we got with creative was much more than a logo rebrand it was a comprehensive plan. It’s looking at all aspects of the district,” says Crawford.

The district argues that they never had a consistent logo or ownership of any.

“Everything here is all factual and informational it’s all stuff open. There is transparency. There absolutely is. It might not be to the level that you want on this particular issue but we are following every single rule that we were required to follow and going above and beyond,” says Jefferson West High School, Dave Jensen, School Board President.

But upset community members say they are unhappy with how the district’s money has been spent.

“We would love our community to be able to vote to have a voice, take our current students, take our staff, take our parents. You should be responsible to stakeholders to because this is going to have a future cost to the district of rebranding everything. So we just want you to be responsible with our money and we want to know that we are being represented. So I want that to happen and I think everyone in this room that has a question would like to see is a vote then we’ll know if it’s accepted by the people,” Dawn Chase, a concerned community member.