This year I have been given the privilege of managing my school's website. As the Editor-in-Chief of our school's newsletter, this job seemed very fitting. I had many questions at first, mainly about organization and content. What should I include on each page? What kind of content should I post? How often should I post? After doing some research and carefully examining other school sites, I jumped right in.
Click here to view what I have complied so far. This is not by any means a final product. I have learned through this process that this project is a work in progress. My hope is for it to change, transform, and evolve.
Although I look forward to the evolution of this site, here are some elements that I think are essential for any school site:
Faculty and Staff Page-The faculty and staff are at the heart of any school. I like to include pictures of the different teaching teams and staff (i.e. grade level, Auxillary, Special Education, cafeteria and office staff) at our school so that families and the community can see who we are. I took this concept a step further and created a "We Are Thames" video that included several members of our school family. For this video, I had everyone pick a word that represented their classroom or philosophy. I feel that this painted a picture of who were are.
Administrator Page-The leadership has its own page with accompanying mission statements and a brief background. This gives readers a sense of our school culture and approaches taken by our school leaders.
Calendar-This page includes a list of important school-wide events, holidays, Professional Development Days, and Early Release Days for each month. This page also includes a Google Calendar that automatically updates each month.
Announcements Page-This is perhaps my favorite page and the one that gets the most traffic. Here reminders for important school-wide events such as fundraisers, parent and community programs, and school performances are posted. This page also features articles on different projects, field trips, or activities. I like to include videos and pictures whenever possible to give readers a glimpse into our classrooms and the learning that takes place.
PTA Page-I am so thrilled about this page! Our PTA has done a wonderful job of posting activities and special events here. They also publish a monthly newsletter that is available for download.
Here are a few items that I would like to add in the near future:
Grade Level/Class Specific Pages-I would love for teachers to maintain their own class or grade level pages or class blogs. This would be a wonderful way to further showcase what is happening in their classrooms.
Special Feature Videos-My teaching partner and I put together a technology video that illustrates how we use iPod Touches in the classroom. She is interested in creating more videos that highlight different strategies and approaches that are being implemented in our school. I think this is a fabulous idea and am eager to share these!
So here are my two cents on managing my school's website. What else do you think should be included? Feel free to leave a comment and share your school's website!