In today’s Internet savvy society, sophisticated school websites are increasingly becoming the norm. To stand out from the masses, a school website should have compelling content and visual appeal, be engaging and informative, and reflect the spirit and activities at the school. Creating an interactive online presence that appeals to parents, students, faculty, and the community encourages involvement, strengthens community and fosters loyalty. With the help of a school administration software program that includes a website content management feature, your school can achieve a secure, customized and user-friendly website. Below are a few tips to make your website compelling and effective:
1. Format: Make sure your website font sizes and colors are easy to read. The style should be consistent throughout the entire website and look similar to standard school documents for consistency and brand recognition.
2. Homework Board: Allow teachers to post homework assignments and class updates online. This offers parents a glimpse into their students’ coursework, while offering students access to assignments from missed classes.
3. School Supply List: Post a list of items that students should have access to, whether in their backpacks, lockers, or at home. Leave the list posted all year long as a reference and update it as needed.
4. Student Project Showcase: Show off your talented students by displaying impressive work such as a video report or a touching poem. This shows parents and the community the caliber of students at your school and offers students an added incentive of public recognition.
5. Parent Resources: Equip parents with the latest education and parenting-related materials, from a class syllabus and student/parent handbook to recommended reading to a community directory. By communicating directly to parents and families, you will set the benchmark for bringing education from the classroom into the home.
6. Master Calendar: Include a master calendar with school events that include sports games, back to school night, guest speakers, report card release dates, and more. Don’t forget to update the calendar regularly to drive parents and students back to your website for the latest news and information.
7. Contact Information: Access to a list of teacher, administration and faculty email addresses is essential for open parent communication and relationship-building. The more engaged parents are, the more connected students will likely feel to their school and community.
8. Alumni Section: Whether you are an elementary, middle or high school, you should include an alumni section to show the success of graduates who gained a valuable education from your school. This section can also serve as a forum for alumni to connect and show their support for school activities and fundraisers.
9. Pictures: Nothing makes a website more personal than photographs, videos and podcasts of students and teachers who are enjoying their experiences at school. Parents and students alike will be eager to check back to your website frequently to view photos and recordings of classmates and teachers.
10. Online Registration: Drive participation and support of school activities by offering parents, students and community members convenient online access to register for school plays, dances, events and other programs. With school registration software, this feature can easily be added to your site with secure registration and payment processing.
11. Online Store: Offer parents and students an opportunity to shop online for everything from school t-shirts and supplies to event tickets and recommended books for sale.
12. Fundraising Tools: Provide an online donation option for parents, community members and alumni to donate to school fundraisers while they’re on your site reviewing information, registering for an event or shopping at your online school store.
What’s important to remember when creating your school’s website is to explore school software systems that allow you to incorporate creative, interactive tools that drive parents and students to your site frequently, improve operational efficiencies, and foster community involvement and student, parent and teacher interaction.