School Websites

No credit for the CMS

Even the best school website software is hard to get recognition. This is about the intangible benefits of switching to a new, more powerful, content management system for schools.

Last week I made a really good dinner of mashed potatoes, caramelized onions and mushrooms, a salad and steak. I planned the meal, shopped for the ingredients, and prepped and cooked it.  I had everything ready to go and I asked my husband to help with the steak, he’s good at getting that char in the cast iron skillet and quickly popping it in the oven. As our family started to trickle into the kitchen, they saw him flipping the steak in the pan. I was setting the table. I served the plates, and we ate. After the meal the kids thanked my husband for cooking such a yummy meal. Everyone was in the kitchen to watch the big sizzle in the pan, and from the kid’s perspective, my husband cooked dinner, because that’s what they saw. From my perspective, I did a lot of work that was never seen but facilitated for an easy char and sizzle of the meat, and a delicious meal. 

My school district recently launched a new school website, and I now realize this is a purchase that, just like my meal, gets very little credit. Sure, the families noticed our new web design and the app, but what they didn’t notice was what had taken place behind the scenes because of a robust CMS. The families didn’t see the administration spending fewer hours updating the website, they may have seen their emails being attended to faster because there was more space now to focus on education. On the outside to them, we had just added a drone video to our home page that also loaded quickly on their phones. Because of a new easy school website, communication, alerts, and parent information was finally going to be unified.



A new design for your school website

What the families see - They see a new site that's easy to access from whatever device they are using. They see and enjoy the sizzle of the new drone video of the campus, and they are easily able to find what they are looking for. 

What our administration team experienced - Photos on the homepage are concurrent with current events because they are easy to update. Quick Links are easy to update for important information, as well as our homepage pop-up announcement. The drone video can be changed at any time without having to call tech support. 

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What the families see - They are getting more current information from the channel that they prefer to access. They are also getting more consistent information. For example, if they were to see something on social media, it would be the same thing on the school website. This creates more trust in the school-family communication, and in the end fosters better family engagement.

What the administration team experienced - We notice now all the parents have the same information at the same time no matter where they go looking for it. Because of an easy school website, we are able to create a story and share it on multiple platforms like our social media and the app, and on multiple school sites all at once. There are fewer phone calls, and less confusion especially around COVID policies, snow days, and late start days. 




What the families see - they are able to subscribe to a calendar that’s just relevant to their child, instead of the entire district. They also can see this calendar on their phone, and in the language they need. Because they are now only seeing events relevant to their child, they may consider attending one. 

What the administration team sees - Because our CMS has integrations with our district calendar everything syncs perfectly, and no one has to input information twice. Parents notice we still have a calendar on our site, but they never knew before the amount of effort that went into keeping it updated. Now everything syncs.

Forms w Payments


Forms with payments

What the families see - With the convenience of being able to fill out a form on their phone or computer, in their own language, they are more willing to participate in surveys, sign up to volunteer, and pay for activity fees, or make donations through Online Forms. 

What the administration team sees - No lost cash, no lost forms, easy downloadable excel spreadsheets from form data, no more confusion from parents who don’t speak English because forms translate, no more using kids as cash and form curriers. There’s more family engagement and donations have increased. 

It’s amazing to come home from work and command your smart home hub, whichever brand it may be to, “turn on all the lights.” But that’s because of a rich technology behind it that has a fleet of people updating and monitoring it every moment. Your content management system for schools is working all the time. It may not be planning the dinners, and buying the groceries and prepping the food, but when I log on to update photos, and schedule social media posts for the upcoming weeks, I feel a slight connection and appreciation. 

Over time, the parents had all of the school updates, the calls with questions to the school became less frequent, events had better turnouts, and fewer teachers were being emailed on what the assignments were because everyone knew where to go. And just like my dinner….there was very little credit to our new CMS— but it was enjoyed by everyone.

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