Creating a school website that becomes a communication and collaboration platform is one of the most important steps you can take to build and strengthen relationships with your students, parents and community.
A school website is your identity even when you’re not around. It gives others the opportunity to learn more about district and school initiatives and keep up with announcements in a way that is easy and accessible. More than likely, your school already has a website. Is it providing all of the benefits it can to the unique needs of every visitor?
Where to Look First
As you begin to assess the current state of your website, pay close attention to the design and the structure of the website. Here are a few questions to ask:
- Is your content laid out efficiently, allowing visitors to find what they are looking for quickly and easily?
- Is there good use of images and other multimedia content to encourage visitor interaction?
- Will visitors leave your website with a greater knowledge about your school than when they arrived?
Taking it a Little Further
Once you get through your first diagnostic, the next step is to do a deeper dive into the content you provide on your website. Consider these questions:
- How current is the information on your website?
- How frequently do you update the information, and do you have a schedule in place to keep the content up to date?
- Is the information you provide on your website truly the information your parents and students expect to get from your website?
When used effectively, your school website has the potential to be a very powerful tool. The relationships with parents and students are some of the the most important to your school. Having a website that is mindful of the needs of students and parents gives your school an opportunity to foster relationships in an indirect way, which means even stronger support from parents and a better support system for students.
Start to think through these pre-assessment questions and determine whether you are using your website effectively, or if you should give it an update or even a complete overhaul.