Sunday, January 15, 2012

Showcasing My School

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.

Future Additions

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!


  1. Hello, my name is Jami. I have been assigned to follow your blog during the Spring Semester of EDM310 at the University of South Alabama with Dr. Strange.

    Managing the school website I'm sure is not an easy task. I am certain that in the end your administrators, staff, and parents are grateful to have such a resourceful tool to refer to during the school year. I think that You have done a great job with the Thames School website. I absolutely love the welcome page! The use of the videos were a great way to show who and what goes on in the school. For someone like me who will be moving soon, it's important for me to know and get a better insight of the school that my child could possible attend. If I were considering putting my son at your school I would be very satisfied with the information provided through the website and would have gather enough information to have a better sense of the type of learning environment that my child would be going into. As a parent and a former teacher, I think it would be great to have specific pages for each teacher. When I taught for 2 years I had to maintain a class website. It really helped the parents see what was going on in the classroom as well as give them any information they may need about particular assignments and such. School websites are very useful if they are kept and maintained regular. I think that you have done a fabulous job!
    Jami Martin's EDM310 Class Blog

  2. Hi my name is Audrey Mitchell. I am taking EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. This blog captured my attention greatly due to the significant need for a blog like this at each and every school in the United States. It is extremely important for parents to play a huge role in their kids education and I believe this would successfully help them to do so. Technology these days has done wonders with education. With my mother being an elementary school teacher I have been able to see this through the use of smart boards. This is why the use of Ipod touches at your school has caught my attention. I was wondering if you all only had a select number of them that you used with the children or are there enough for each child in the class room? Also, what kind of activities are you able to do using the Ipod touches? I will be summarizing my visits to your blog on my personal blog on February 12,2012. You can also keep up with me on my Twitter @AudreyMitchell3, and my class blog Thank you for your time.

  3. Jami,

    Thank you for your input! I have put a lot of love into this site and want to show the world how great our school is. I always enjoy seeing what is happening in our classrooms.


  4. Hi Audrey,

    Thanks for stopping by! The uses, implications, and possibilities of technology in education have been a recent passion of mine that was inspired by my Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter. Our school was the first in our district to have several class sets of iPod Touches. As you can see from the video on our school's homepage, we use them to practice different skills via educational apps to recording students reading to develop fluency. I am interested in utilizing the video features and having my students create their own videos for the near future.

    Thank you for sharing your blog. I will definitely look you up on Twitter.