Clover School District’s redesigned website is getting an A-plus.
“We’re getting a lot of feedback via email,” said Mychal Frost, district public information officer , who oversees content for the website. “Just over a day being live, we’ve already had 77 people sign up to create accounts.”
The district on Wednesday unveiled its new website at clover2.k12.sc.us for the district office and schools.
“As a district, we are strong in academics, athletics and arts,” Frost said. “By choosing this update and online brand, it mimics that with a clean, professionally-designed website.”
Centricity2, the platform the district is using to build the new websites, was named last week as one of the 50 best education technology products for schools.
“During evaluation, which began last fall with teachers and webmasters evaluating four products,” Frost said, “we felt it met more of our desires than other products.”
Previous versions of the district and schools’ websites were created and managed in-house.
“Rather than relying on one person to do websites, now, each teacher can manage their content and communicate with parent-teacher groups,” Frost said. “There will be more content and more fresh content.”
Users can register to create an account to customize their content, such as choosing a teacher’s page and the updates they would like to receive, “which is a monumental change from where we have been,” Frost said.
Other main changes, besides the overall appearance, is a more organized layout with user navigation and a new feature for site search capabilities, Frost said.
Where the old website used different sources to create photo galleries and newsfeeds, Wordpress for blogs and Google for the calendar, “now everything is managed under one roof to provide as accurate and current information online,” Frost said.
All users now may choose to sync school calendars with their smart phones or email service, he said.
“It’s our opportunity to continually model 21st Century learning,” Frost said. “We want to be in the market where students and parents look for information. There is still a need for printed material, but this provides a broad range of Internet accessibility.”
All 10 schools within the district use the same web layout, customized with school logos and colors. Users can access individual school pages by choosing from the drop down menu list at the top left on the district’s home page.
Coming soon, students also will have access to Nimbus beginning Oct. 1, a safe, social learning environment for students and teachers with chatrooms, submit homework online and collaborations, Frost said.
And, the district isn’t done.
“Next we will be developing a mobile version of the website or district app,” Frost said, “to be coming soon.”
The district’s three-year contract costs about $15,000 per year for design, maintenance and support, and districtwide licensing to Nimbus, Frost said.