In modern school district websites, school secretaries, admin staff, library media specialists and others have the ability to post content to the site using content management systems (CMS) such as Kentico. With a wide variety of content editors and contributors it can be easy to post content just to have a page instead of focusing on what parents, students, staff and community members want and need in a school district site.
Based on surveys with parents and staff in several districts across Wisconsin, HBS has identified the top 4 content priorities – the information that parents and staff most often come to the district website to find. In a future post, we will look at content priorities for individual school sites.
#1 – Staff Contact Information
The ability to search for staff and teacher contact information on the district website is the most common request from parents and staff. A good staff directory will provide profile information such as grade, school and subject along with phone number and an email form. Posting staff and teacher email addresses on the site can lead to spam and should be avoided.
#2 – School Board Meeting Information
While the Board is a separate entity from the District, parents expect to find information about Board meetings on the District website. This is especially important for Districts pursuing a funding referendum or other changes that require community input.
#3 – School Calendar
While a school calendar may be sent home for most students, being able to access it on the website allows parents and staff to check the calendar even when away from home. Some districts offer the ability to download the school calendar events to personal calendars such as on a smart phone.
#4 – Lunch Menus
Similar to the school calendar, lunch menus are frequently sent home with students. But being able to access the lunch menu on the site allows parents to find it when away from home.
To make it easy for parents and staff to find these popular topics, they should be visible and accessible from the District site home page.