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School Website + PTO = Fundraising Success!
2019-10-08
Football fans

While budgets, schedules, and meetings take up a lot of school administrators’ time, it’s worth noting that there is an untapped resource in your school community that is ready and willing to support your school in helping to face and even overcome its challenges: your students’ support network at home—their fans.

It’s fall and that means it’s football season! Football fans are often called the “twelfth man.” The nickname alludes to the fans’ support as a contributing factor to a team’s success. In unique circumstances, fans could even be called from the stands to fill in for the team when needed, as was the case of now legendary E. King Gill at a 1921 Texas A&M football game. Fans support their teams, and win or lose, it’s a good combination. The game simply wouldn’t be the same without the fans. 

Your school community is full of fans—they are your 12th man. They are found in the homes of each student, in the cars in the pickup line, and behind the permission signatures. Parents, guardians, grandparents, and other extended family members encourage and support students day after day. Whoever they are—and despite their varying perspectives and personalities, this one thing they share—they want their students to succeed. 

So, how do you reach them?

Effective communication is essential to encourage a cooperative community. Your school’s website is one of the best ways to keep parents and your community informed and empowered. 

In this blog, we’ll share some reasons why we think you should consider giving your local parent organization (PTO, PTA, or PTSA) a permanent place on your school website. 

school fans

Open Up Your Huddle With a PTO Page

Your school website’s PTO page can effectively reach out to parents and families. Hopefully, you’re already connecting with your students’ families via your school website. Having a PTO page helps facilitate conversations, opening your huddle and basically saying, “Hey, here is the need, this is how we hope to satisfy the need,” and most importantly, “let's do this together, for the students.”

Points to ponder: 

  • Advantages of online fundraising
  • Safer than students walking door to door
  • More accessible—donations accepted 24/7 online 
  • Less costly 
  • Eco-friendly (less paper, less traveling)
  • Reaches beyond the neighborhood to families and friends far away

  • Effective ways for schools to raise funds 
  • Online donations 
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Content marketing
  • Effective branding
  • Fundraising metrics—progress bar, leaderboard, or scratch card
    • funds raised (show goal and actual)
    • impact raised (i.e., how much $50 can do)
  • Calls to action
  • Social media marketing

  • School fundraising events and ideas
  • Restaurant Night: Arrange with a restaurant to donate a portion of the earnings for one evening, and encourage students and their families and friends to eat at the restaurant that evening.
  • Read-a-thon: Family members and friends pledge donations based on how much the students commit to read.
  • Walk-a-thon: Family members and friends pledge donations based on how much the students commit to walk.
  • Pizza Lunch: Coordinate a lunch where a few volunteers bring hot pizza to the school lunchroom. Let the students know in advance so they can plan to purchase pizza for lunch.
  • Dress Down Day or Hat Day: Schools with a uniform policy invite students to dress casual one day every month for a small donation to the PTO. Non-uniform schools invite students to make donations for the privilege to wear a hat. 
  • 50/50 raffle: Half the pot goes to the winner, and the rest goes to PTO.
  • Grade vs. Grade: Host a week-long event, a run or a walk between the grades or classes, and challenge them to raise more funds than each other for bragging rights at the school.
  • School Art Show: With the purchase of an admission ticket, offer a hosted display of your students’ artwork or charge for refreshments.
  • Bake Sale: The school community, parents, and students bake and sell goods to sell at the school or a local market.
  • Silent Auction: Parents help secure donations from local vendors and businesses to create gift baskets for silent bidding.
  • Box Tops are always a good option and available online now.  
cupcake in bakesale

If you have made space for a PTO page on your school website already and are wondering what your next step could be, we’ll let you in on some ways you can reach out to your 12th man through your school website. You’ll also see how some schools have connected with the community by engaging and encouraging cooperation among families in the school community.

  • Your school image is affected by your fundraising efforts. Be mindful not to burden your 12th man with sales pitch after sales pitch. Schools are not the only ones on tight budgets. Remember that the kinds of fundraisers your school chooses and the way they are run affects your school’s marketing efforts and reputation. Less is more in this case. Select fewer, more profitable school fundraisers.

    Consider your past fundraisers. How successful were they? Has your school done the same thing for years? Is it time to take a new approach or stick with what you’ve been doing? It wouldn’t hurt to survey your parents to ask if it’s time for a change.

  • Effectively using your school website as a fundraising tool has its perks. At School Webmasters, we understand schools need fundraisers to bridge budgetary gaps and cover basic needs such as technology, supplies, enrichment, after-school activities, and more. But parents may not understand the need for fundraisers. Use your PTO page on your school website to share the vision of your school’s fundraisers. Make it easy and even engaging for your 12th man to show their support across the board.

    It’s always a good idea to communicate the reason for the fundraiser as well as exactly how you will use the funds. When families understand about the money being collected, they are more likely to open their hearts and their wallets.

    When you have a fundraiser, make it easy to donate or purchase by letting parents, teachers, and community members pay online! 

  • Getting help with your fundraiser. When fundraising, it’s important to plan in advance and get started early, building a solid group with solid team players of three personalities: 

  • The Boss: someone who will monitor fundraising milestones, be in charge of deadlines, and keep the team and your school community in line with the schedule

  • The Marketer: someone who can connect and communicate via face-to-face apps as well as eblasts and other communications 

  • The Accountant: someone who can count and keep track of money movement

  • Make a connection. Monday through Friday, students and faculty leave their varying support networks at home to spend the days at school. While there, noteworthy, inspiring stories unfold within the classrooms and hallways. As many of the students and faculty and their families in your school community regularly face challenges, big and small, school successes can be of paramount importance in their everyday lives.

    When your school community experiences the support of the PTO and feels an emotional connection to the work it does, they’ll be more likely to get involved and become your 12th man. It takes time and effort to communicate effectively, but connecting with the community by engaging and encouraging your school community is well worth the effort.

Here are some examples of schools that are taking advantage of a PTO webpage on their school’s website.

  • Capitan Municipal schools in New Mexico has an informative PTA page. We like how the school’s PTA succinctly shares the big picture for the school year in a variety of ways. First, the website includes easy contact information for the PTA board. Second, it explains what the PTA does and doesn’t do. And third, it lists the school programs and events that are sponsored and/or supported by the PTA. From just one page, the school community gets information and perspective.

    The PTA at Capitan Municipal schools sponsors events connected to the school for the students, staff, and families. Some of the activities listed on the website include: Bring Dad to School Day, Mom’s Breakfast, Boo Hoo Breakfast, Staff Appreciation Events, Book Fairs, Speech Contests, Food Drives, and Angel Trees. The PTA also supports school events such as the Veteran’s Assembly and Reception, Math and Science Nights, Field Trips, and Positive Behavior Program.

    One way the school could continue to make the most of their PTA page is to list the dates of the events. And, once an event is over, sharing a story about the event and it’s success would be a wonderful way to report on the fundraiser.

  • Harrison High School in Georgia is another good example. Their PTSA website is easy to navigate. Their PTSA makes donating easy and entertaining. Donors are entered into drawings to win various prizes such as Atlanta Braves tickets and more. Also, the web page keeps an archive of Eblasts. Harrison PTSA is certainly seeking to reach out with purpose, check out this flyer

Need More Ideas?

Our best piece of fundraising advice is to set goals, establish realistic expectations, involve the students, and express gratitude for those who help in various ways. If you’re still struggling to decide what to do, use our free Marketing Your School survey template to reach out and get some solid ideas. 

You’re also welcome to check out our Pinterest board for Fundraising Tips and Ideas.

Don’t Have a PTO Page Yet? 

School Webmasters can help. When we design a school website, we provide them with current and relevant information. We specialize in helping you create effective communication strategies to engage your school community. Whether your school has a PTO, rural school association, education organization, sports team, church, PAC, BOCES or educational service center, we can take your school to the next level with a mobile-friendly, responsive school website. 

How We Do It

At School Webmasters, our professional copywriters work with template or custom website designs and then keep these websites current and updated for our clients year after year. No matter what type of school website you are looking for, we’ve got you covered, either with a customizable or a fully custom website design.

We can also help you create your own online spirit store so you can sell school items from your website (t-shirts, mugs, and more)—and you keep the proceeds!

fundraising map

Online Fundraising Is the Way to Go

Many tools are at your disposal to market your fundraiser. Don’t forget your website! Use your school’s website to create a buzz about your fundraisers. Keep your families up to date with all the latest news including event dates, goals, progress, and results. Use graphics on your website to illustrate how much you have currently raised and how far you still have to go. Remember, fundraisers work better when donors understand where their money is going.

Let’s be real. I tear up every time I watch “Rudy.” Somewhere towards the end of the movie, I lose it, partly from the music, but mostly when considering the story I’m watching really happened. About when the leaves on the trees go from varied greens to red, yellow, and orange, we snuggle in for a movie about an underdog transfer student at Notre Dame who dreams of making the football team. Watching Sean Astin play the role of Rudy, I can’t help but feel like I’m in the stands, one of the team’s 12th men, cheering him on. The story of Rudy Ruettiger moves me every time. 

Teamwork makes the dream work. Keep families informed and provide opportunities and reasons to be involved. 

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Instructional Videos—Good for Your Students; Good for Your School Marketing
2019-10-01
Instructional video as VHS

I couldn’t completely grasp my grandmother’s knitting rhythm, but I enjoyed the result: a warm, colorful blanket. I tried to learn how to knit and crochet a few times. My early attempts ended in frustration. Decades later, I finally learned; to the chagrin of my nostalgic side however, I didn’t learn it from her. I learned from an instructional video on YouTube.

As hard as it may be to admit, there are instances in life when the recorded you might just be better than the real you. Thanks to YouTube and other video-sharing apps, an experienced mechanic makes a short video in which he demonstrates a car repair. A dog trainer shares a video where she talks about tips with pet owners. Willing magicians share their tricks. Seasoned educators explain key concepts and skills, and students can watch them—over and over if needed.

These recorded moments are not limited by time and space. They can be viewed anytime, anywhere. And they are. Video sharing sites such as YouTube are high-traffic websites. YouTube is easily considered the second most visited and most popular site in the world.

grandma knitting

In a previous blog, we listed videos as a worthwhile feature of teacher websites. We also looked at how to create videos without breaking the bank

In this blog, we’ll look at the following four key benefits of using instructional videos to reach your students and their families and explain how they can translate to your school marketing:

  • Knowledge retention
  • Mastery
  • Accessibility
  • Evaluability

How Instructional Videos Benefit Your Students & Their Families 

As you use your school’s instructional videos, the bottom line is, you’re going to increase your public relations. Your students will learn better, and you’ll connect school-to-home learning, resulting in healthy connections and more effective parent engagement. 

Let’s look at the key benefits mentioned above. 

1. Videos promote knowledge retention.

female student thinking

Videos enhance knowledge retention via a microlearning approach, covering complicated material and skill application in an effective way. Videos provide students with unlimited access to instruction. Video instruction allows students to fill in gaps and better master concepts. 

From an educational standpoint, using videos in the school just makes sense.

For example, brief videos that demonstrate key concepts give your students a better chance to take in information at their own pace rather than become overwhelmed by the amount of information. The Cognitive Load Theory suggests the value of smaller doses of information sharing. The theory is based on accepted theories about our brains and the way we process and store information. 

Here are some interesting key points from this theory:

  • Human memory can be divided into long-term memory and working memory.
  • Information in long-term memory is stored in the form of schemas.
  • Learning outcomes can be affected when processing new information, resulting in “cognitive load” on working memory.
  • Cognitive Load Theory suggests that due to limited short-term memory, learning experiences ought to be designed to promote schema acquisition by reducing working memory “load.”
  • If teachers are aware of the means by which they teach, not just about what is being taught (content vs. procedural learning) the learning sequence (what is it, how it works, how to use it) and the nature of it (design thinking through definitions and knowledge versus domain-specific knowledge), they are more fit to recognize the less than optimal scenario for students who, according to the theory, are facing extra challenges in their brain. 

As Terry Heick from TeachThought puts it, “We want students to grapple with complexity, but that’s very different than defying neurology.” The goal is not just to share information but rather to encourage knowledge retention, committing concepts and applications to long-term memory.

2. Videos encourage mastery.

student raising her hand

When one of your students is absent, they miss the opportunity to see concepts and principles explained, demonstrated, and applied. Upon that student’s return to class, videos can pick up where worksheets leave off, helping to bridge the information gap the absence might create. Or, when the class as a whole tests poorly on certain key concepts, teachers can use videos to help students and their families better master subjects.

When teachers record brief instructional videos to explain and demonstrate an important concept, students can revisit information they missed due to an absence or when they didn’t entirely understand it on the first pass. 

Videos promote mastery, helping teachers teach. At the same time, videos help save your teachers’ valuable time in the long run. 

3. Videos offer accessibility. 

student working on homework late

Would I rather have learned to knit from my grandmother? Of course. Yet, the instructional video had a lot of something my grandmother did not: time. When the season was right for me to learn, my grandmother was gone. As I began to master the skill, I could review the process anytime, anywhere—even on a long road trip in remote Alaska.

When using instructional videos in varied ways at your school, consider its impact today and tomorrow. Videos support your teachers’ efforts today and beyond. 

Using videos as part of a teacher’s “re-teaching” plan can save the teacher time and energy, especially if making instructional videos at your school is a team effort. The gift of knowledge is available time and time again, and the gap to understanding concepts can be more effectively overcome.

4. Videos offer opportunities to evaluate.

teacher teaching

When educators at your school use videos to capture, demonstrate, and share instruction, it creates an opportunity for self-check and self-mastery. How successfully does the teacher teach the topic? How effectively does he/she demonstrate and apply key concepts? And as videos allow educators to decide what to share and how to share it, we discover another valuable result: improved teaching. 

Maybe someday my grandchildren will watch my old hands move rhythmically as I knit or crochet. They may choose to sit beside me to try to figure out the movements and duplicate them on their own. If they get frustrated, I wonder if someone will be able to direct them to my YouTube channel. Then maybe they can say they learned, even if years later, from their grandmother instead of from a stranger. What will your students say? 

How Instructional Videos Benefit Your School Marketing Efforts 

According to Jim Leedy, Director of Business Development at School Webmasters, videos will soon be everywhere and will be the only content that will be consumed. “Content without videos is going to be ignored,” Jim says.

Videos are accessible from all devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, etc. These days, there are plenty of authoring tools and learning management systems to use. 

Still not sure if instructive videos have a place on your school’s full plate? Consider how these videos will affect your school marketing and public relations efforts. In fact, we can look at the same benefits instructional videos have for your students and families and apply them to your school marketing and public relations.

  • Knowledge Retention
    According to Forbes.com, the three most effective types of video content are 

  • Customer testimonials (51%)
  • Tutorial videos (50%)
  • Demonstration videos (49%)

  • When your school incorporates a tool, like instructional videos, which increases knowledge retention for its students, understanding increases and test scores improve. Grades improve. Students succeed. Student success is not only good for strengthening your school’s reputation, it also strengthens your school band and improves your ability to market the success of your curriculum and programs. 

  • Mastery
    As your school fosters mastery by allowing for individual students to better understand key concepts and principles, they overcome challenges created by absences or misunderstanding. A 2018 study showed video outranks printed books when it comes to student learning. One student said, “When I'm doing my homework, I'll look up how to solve a problem on YouTube.I like it because it's really easy to follow. I can pause it, or I can rewind it if I have a question.”

    Does your school mission, vision, or values attest to valuing the success of every student? What better way to show this dedication than by implementing practices that enable student success? Again, this strengthens both your school branding and your home-school relationships. 

  • Accessibility
    When your school offers information in an attractive, desirable, and maybe even fun format such as instructional videos, your students’ families are more informed. Families who are informed are more able to support their students and their education. When families can offer informed support at home, students succeed.

    And consider the possible reach of these videos. If students searching for videos to help them with their homework find teachers from your school offering assistance, your school brand recognition is strengthened. If you’re a public school trying to compete with local charter and private schools, demonstrating the caliber of your teachers through instructional videos is a great way to market your school.

  • Evaluability
    When schools take time to create instructional videos, they open the school doors wide for their school community to get a glimpse of the heart that drives their school. Schools who share, connect. When schools connect with their school community, support is built. When support increases, success follows. School community successes are good for your school public relations.

From a school marketing standpoint, using videos just makes sense.

Not Sure Where to Start?

First, you’ll need to choose some topics. We recommend asking teachers and staff at your school what they wish the school community understood more fully. From there, ask your students and parents where they need the most help. You’ll have a quality list of topics in no time! 

Next, you’ll need to film and edit those instructional videos. There’s no need to invest in expensive equipment or software. Simple instructional videos can be filmed with a smartphone or webcam and edited with iMovies or Windows movie maker. 

Finally, your videos will need an online home. Here at School Webmasters, we are using, Vimeo to embed all of our school videos. It is in HTML5, so it’s responsive in the page and it doesn't have any ads. There are schools who opt for using Youtube, which works fine and has the convenient feature of adding the necessary closed captioning to keep your videos ADA compliant. Another option is SchoolTube, which has some nice features and doesn't add any other content that you don't want to show. So those schools who block YouTube because of the inappropriate content it delivers, which you cannot filter out, consider SchoolTube. They are adding new features all the time and we're very impressed with what they now have to offer, so check them out!

If your school does choose to go with YouTube, we recommend adjusting your settings so the video does not autoplay on your school website. That’s not ADA compliant, and website visitors don’t appreciate it, especially if it’s not clear where the sound is coming from when they first land on your page. 

Would your school community collectively benefit from sharing what is great about your school right now? Capturing the spirit and soul of your school community is at the heart of telling your school’s story on a regular basis. Instructive videos could assist your school in its quest to connect your teachers to students and their families and strengthen your school PR and marketing.

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Consider Hiring a Professional School Communications Coordinator
2019-09-24
Image of happy communications professional using cell phone

With so many communication avenues at our disposal, this is a miraculous time to be a school leader. With a phone, a laptop, an email, or a social media post, we can tell our school’s stories—with pictures! Parents, students, teachers, and staff can add their photos to our stories or tell their own school’s stories via Twitter, Instagram, Google Classroom, the PTA newsletter, or an email. 

At the same time, with all these school communication avenues, there are pitfalls. The 24-hour news cycle, round-the-clock events, and unforeseen circumstances that need our immediate attention mean we sometimes rush the story out before we have fully considered what we are communicating. 

  • Or, we might put a lot of time into a message that is never read. 
  • Or, we might get caught up communicating with the same ten parents—those we see on a weekly basis—and we forget about the other 5000 parents in our community. 
  • Or, our “crowd-sourced” content might have spelling or grammar mistakes, which are never acceptable from a school. 
  • Or, we start out with a communications plan (“I’m going to do a weekly newsletter!”) but then get caught up with the daily events of the school and let months go by without any communication. 

You get the idea—strategic school communication is difficult. 

That's why hiring a communications professional might be an economical investment for a school district. This might seem like a shameless attempt at job security because I work for School Webmasters—a small business in Arizona that helps schools with communications and marketing by designing websites, helping with ADA compliance, and assisting with public relations—but schools all over the nation are starting to recognize the importance of school communications. 

I live in a town in Connecticut and help School Webmasters with the communications for the school district I live in. I report to my district’s assistant superintendent and with my contact in Arizona regularly. I’m also in regular touch with the nine principals in our district as I try to keep parents and staff informed of all the exciting stories from our schools. 

So what makes a dedicated school communications coordinator worth the investment? Because I work primarily from home, I have the luxury of uninterrupted time to write and think. I go to meetings about once a month, compared to the back-to-back meetings that school leaders go to. My phone never rings with the day-to-day challenges school leaders face such as a parent whose child has been acting out, a teacher who has to go on emergency bedrest, a bus that is broken down and will be late to pick up the students, an unexpected snow squall at dismissal, etc. 

In short, I just have more mental space to think about the message that the district and school want to communicate. My background in journalism means I can make the weekly newsletter deadline every week. At the same time, the school district benefits from School Webmasters’ vast knowledge. The company understands ADA compliance, has social media expertise, and employs website quality control experts who monitor the district’s complicated information on a consistent basis to help keep links current. And, School Webmasters is affordable.  

Image of various communications strategies

Whether or not you choose to hire a professional to help with communication, please consider the following advice when it comes to your school communications. 

  1. Get everything proofread. No spelling mistakes ever. I consider myself to be a good speller and grammarian, an English major with a long career in public relations and journalism. Still, I have been mortified to see a text where I wrote, “I here we’re seeing you later.” My daughter’s fifth-grade homeroom teacher sent a welcome letter and every sentence started with “I will be…” While this is not technically wrong, a quick look or a second set of eyes would have probably prevented the gaffe. Proofreading also helps to catch wrong dates and incorrect information as well as help you clean up your final draft. Don’t think of this step as adding time to your already busy schedule; think if it as good school public relations. Mistakes have the potential to erode trust and confidence in your school district, which takes endless time to fix. 
  2. Attribute appropriately. Whether you’re writing about a recent board of education meeting or a school tragedy, please don’t plagiarize. There are many sources available that can make school communications easier. However, I recommend exercising caution when using open-source material. This doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel every time you send out a letter. It does mean putting things down in your own words or giving credit to your source. For example, if you find communication from another school district that encapsulates your feelings better than you can, try something like: “Finding the right words to express how devastating this event is, is challenging. My colleague Wilma Shakespeare at Blank High School said it best when she wrote, …” It’s okay to borrow, but it’s not okay not to acknowledge it. 
  3. Check media opt-outs. My first day as the communications coordinator, I took the district’s video camera to film an eighth-grade off-site arts and science program. I enjoyed filming the kids working together and was thrilled when I caught on camera a girl in a hoodie saying, “This is so great! I love this project!” When I was ready to assemble the video, I checked the media-opt outs for the class and had to delete almost all the footage I had taken that day. The girl-in-the-hoodie’s parents didn’t want her to be filmed. For school communications, this tip is huge—check media opt-outs first! Teachers should know which students can’t be photographed in their class, and they can point them out to you. 
  4. Utilize all your sources. One of the most time-consuming parts of my job is coordinating. I’m reaching out to principals and art teachers on a weekly basis. From there, I’m communicating with school librarians, classroom teachers, and probably my most important resource, school secretaries. I’m scrolling Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for district news items. Also, I’m in the central office regularly, so I hear district priorities being ironed out and articulated sometimes more clearly than the individual school leaders in the district. Your school is rich with source information—utilize it!
  5. Show the whole picture. It’s important to show the variety of programs and activities your school has to offer. Sure, everyone in the community is excited if the girls soccer team is the state champion. However, If you just focus on one thing—like athletics—you’re not showing the whole picture. Our school’s newsletter has a weekly art gallery, book recommendations, and math updates. I realized recently that we hadn’t done a lot with science and discovered that the annual Physics Cardboard Boat Race was happening that week at our local pool. It ended up being a great newsletter with pictures of our students working together to solve engineering problems and having a blast doing so! 
  6. Establish good relationships with the local press. Even in this day of social media, traditional media relations are still very important to school communications. Many community members, including seniors, still rely on the newspaper to get their news. That’s why it’s so important to have the local school beat reporter’s email on file to tell the good stories happening at the school and also to help in emergencies. 
  7. Manage all your channels. It’s great to tweet the latest victory at your school’s Invention Convention, but don’t neglect your school’s website in favor of social media. Keep communications flowing to the right places throughout the school year. This tip is especially difficult to manage on your own—but you don’t have to

Clearly, there is much to think about when considering effective good school communications—consistency, quality, and authority. I return to my original recommendation: Consider hiring a professional. Our district is committed to being ADA compliant and to getting our website up-to-date. It’s the law, and it’s also the right thing to do. However, it’s not easy. We have been working with School Webmasters to make steps toward ADA compliance. Having experts who have done this before and are up-to-date is helping us tackle a daunting proposition. If you do want more information about what School Webmasters can do for your school communications, reach out to owner Bonnie Leedy

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10 School Website Management Tips You've Never Heard Before
2019-09-17
woman at computer with thought bubble that says school website management

Just like the office of your school or school district, school websites are a hub of activity. The experience your website provides matters—to your visitors and to you. It's natural for your school to put a priority on physical upkeep—and we’re not just talking about current calendars and updated school news.

Is it hard to imagine welcoming visitors, including prospective students and families, to your front office if the whole area were in disarray? While school websites may be designed with good intentions, written with heart, and managed as much as possible, they may be in disarray and not visitor friendly. Your school website may be outdated, all over the place in terms of readability, and a pain for your school staff to manage.

Here are 10 principles you should be practicing along with all those other school website management to-do’s. 

#1. Watch Your Words 

Words matter to communicate information in various ways. Words help establish strong communicative relationships with your school community. There are three core principles to keep in mind regarding words on your website. First, use brief and to-the-point sentences to send your messages effectively. Second, thoughtfully format your text. Third, remember to engage your audience. Let’s look at each point: 

Consider the value of short sentences. 

When sentences are brief, the message is clear. Your school website’s Home page should not be wordy. Clean, simple, welcoming Home pages help direct traffic. Your site visitors can look at the categories offered and head where they need to go. A Home page with concise communication helps your school community find the information it seeks. You have 10 to 20 seconds to capture and keep your website audience’s attention; wordiness will not drive visitors deeper into your school website.

Watching your words on your website shows you value their time. Keep your homepage sentences “short and sweet.”

Thoughtfully format your text.

Unless your site visitor is vetting your school as the place to enroll their children, most visitors to your school website might not stay long. They are likely in a hurry looking for something they’re interested in or need. One way to engage them is to ensure you take the time to format your text properly. Your text must not only read well but look nice on the page too. Font, size, location on the page all matters. We also recommend using no more than two different fonts on your website to keep it consistent and professional.   

Engage your audience.

Take a tip from school marketers, and use calls-to-action (CTAs) to immediately engage your school website’s audience. Deliberate, active language effectively uses this approach. Here are a few examples: 

  • View this month’s photo gallery.
  • Watch the video from our assembly.
  • Read the full story.
  • Sign up.
  • Join us.
  • Subscribe.

CTAs help engage your visitors, driving them deeper into your school website.

#2. Incorporate the Power of Pictures

Images matter as much as (if not more than) words. Imagery is a powerful, deep way to communicate with your school community. Using imagery on your school website is important, easy, and effective in school public relations and marketing. 

The pictures you use on your school website will communicate a story to your school community. What story will you share? 

Consider Paramus School District, one of School Webmasters’ clients. The photos included on their Home page and subsequent pages convey positive stories about their school environment.

For more examples of how School Webmasters uses images to create phenomenal school websites, check out our school website portfolios. 

#3. Network Properly

Your school website not only offers direct connections through text and images, it also connects your community by successfully incorporating links. Links included on your website should be short, offer supportive and relevant content, and be accessible.  

Keep links short.

When your school website includes a link, be sure to avoid hyperlinks that are longer than one line. Including a link is one way to clean up a page and keep content short. For example, instead of including all your policies and handbooks as pages on a website, simply link to the documents. 

Offer supportive and relevant content.

If your school recently held an assembly with special guests, consider sharing supplementary links to related content. Your school community will appreciate it. Supportive and relevant content can also include community links to local businesses or other entities that support your school or that your community would find useful. 

Ensure your school website is accessible for all.

Is your school website in compliance with ADA guidelines? If your website is accessible, you still need to be careful that the pages to which you link are also accessible. Include descriptive alt tags with your links, and never use the phrase “click here.” Learn more about ADA guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium.  

#4. Show Your Visitors You Value Their Time

Each visitor to your school website hopes to find something valuable. When you design your website in an organized manner, visitors can navigate smoothly and not feel they are being given some type of run around. Be sure to perform regular quality control checks to identify broken or misdirected links and old, outdated information. 

In the case of emergencies, your school website should communicate whatever information is available directly to your site visitors. Communication is truly the key. When follow-up information is shared on your school website, it’s helpful to provide a thread of content for your visitors. 

#5. Use Web Analytics

These days, nearly everything we do on the web can be measured. Take the time to be educated in web analytics. Understanding more about the visitors to your school websites helps you improve what you offer them. User behavior can help you identify what aspects of your school website receive the most attention and what does not. It also can help determine when to schedule content updates. Successful school websites are never static. Understanding that what worked in the past may not work now is a step in the right direction to providing your community with a useful school website. 

#6. Don’t Worry about Extending Content below the Browser Pane

When adding or updating content to your school website, you may be tempted to try to cram it all in “above the fold” (i.e. the bottom of the browser pane). Do not succumb to such an outdated sentiment! Remember, scrolling is typical online behavior, and your visitors will not hesitate to read on or scroll further if you’ve given them good reason to do so. Just be sure to regularly evaluate your website content for navigation ease and readability. 

#7. Take Time to Manage Your School Website

The biggest challenge websites face is not the set-up but the upkeep, so you must have a strategic plan for ultimate success

To properly manage your school website, it will need a regular, delegated portion of your time. This can be difficult as core duties and responsibilities of educators and administrators leave little time to do so. Many school websites are set up without enough support to keep it current. In fact, the biggest challenge websites face is not the set-up but the upkeep, so you must have a strategic plan for ultimate success. 

#8. Use Your Calendar

Visitors to your school’s website expect it to be current. Planned, scheduled updates must be a priority. Plan ahead. Consult with those involved in your website management so you can provide regular updates. In the case of your school website, collaboration and preparation are extremely valuable. School websites should not just showcase events and information tied to the past but also current events on campus. 

#9. Realistically Examine Your School Website’s Effective Nature

If your school is concerned with enrollment, then SEO should be on your radar. In fact, every page on your school website should be SEO-friendly. Not all visitors to your website will enter through the front door (that is, your Home page). When content is high quality and targets the needs of the school community, your pages will help drive traffic deeper into your website. 

#10. Be Open to New Ideas

Working hard alludes to getting the job done right. When your school website symbolizes all that is good about your school, it is a good thing. Keep the following in mind when determining the time and effort you invest in your school website: 

Don’t try to do it all yourself.

Get an extra set of eyes to watch for errors, check for issues as updates to your website are made. Problems often surface as your website goes live even if they didn’t show themselves in the staging phases. Check links, images, and texts prior to publishing as well as subsequently. Also, consider what your school community might want to know rather than what you want them to know.

Try new things.

School websites are great because they can always be changed. If something isn’t working, evaluate and incorporate lessons learned into planned updates. It can be difficult to determine what needs fixing without testing things out. Be structured, intentional, and willing to measure your community’s response to everything in your website. Be ready to learn from what doesn’t work as well as what does. 

Conclusion

School websites can be hard to keep current. Your staff may likely be already overwhelmed with their core responsibilities. When managing your school website feels impossible, School Webmasters can help. 

School Webmasters handles all updates, changes, additions, and improvements to your school's website. We perform regular quality control checks and even send out reminders to designated staff members in order to gather the information and write content that will keep your site up-to-date. 

Your IT, teaching, and administrative staffs usually have their hands full with core responsibilities, and expecting them to be designers, writers, and managers of the site's content can be unrealistic. 

Let School Webmasters handle your school website management and provide you with the skill sets you need without overburdening an already busy staff. 

482691
School Public Relations is All About Influencing Perceptions
2019-09-10
magnifying glass zooming in on public relations

It might be time to take the temperature of your stakeholders' opinions about your school. Is it a bit cold out there among your constituents or cozy and warm? You can't change perceptions if you don't know what they are. 

As an educational leader, one of your significant challenges is to develop strategies that deliver a positive message about your school to the community. Good public relations and positive perceptions are critical aspects of a successful school (and a successful administrator). They are almost as important as what happens within the walls of the classrooms. Without buy-in and the trust of your public, it can be nearly impossible to provide quality education to students regardless of the value of your cause. How can you influence public perception? 

#1 Marketing Your School 

  1. First, find out what perceptions exist now. What do people know, or not know, about your school? Gather data from your staff and students as well as the community. You must find out what current attitudes are to affect change (or if a change is even needed). This can be as simple as posting a survey on your school's website and letting everyone know about it. Get Chamber of Commerce or other community organization members to complete it as well. Base your questions on the areas that are in line with your district's goals and mission. 
  2. Once you get a handle on what the attitudes and perceptions are, you can take a more in-depth look at how or where you are communicating those perceptions:
  • Are opinions being formed in the absence of readily available, accurate information (allowing rumor and gossip to run amok)? If so, give strengthening your communication channels top priority in your strategic plan. 
  • Are perceptions (negative or positive) being formed based on comments and opinions shared by staff, parents, students, or media? If so, work on improving trust and communication with your internal stakeholders (staff, administrators, students). 
  • Are perceptions based on personal contact with staff and administration? If negative rather than positive, take a hard look at whether or not you are communicating the importance of customer service with your staff. (How is your staff handling contact with parents, students, and community members?)

Your strategic marketing plan will focus on addressing the following critical questions:

  • What do you want perceptions to be?   
  • How do you want your school to stand out? 
  • What is unique about what you have to offer? 
  • How do you promote your uniqueness? 

Take steps to make sure your stakeholders are aware of the quality work that happens within the walls of your school. If you can communicate that effectively, you will create wholehearted support from parents, which will radiate out to the community at large. Positive perceptions will be established one day at a time, one person at a time. 

Then, if declining enrollment is an issue, consider adding inbound marketing to your processes using the answers to the above questions in your strategy.

magnifying glass looking at customer service

#2 Implement Outstanding Customer Service

Public relations is about your relationships with your public. Duh! But, what you might overlook is that one of the most important touchpoints with your customers is the level of customer service you provide. Excellent customer service is about having happy customers. Ideally, they are happy enough to sing your praises to their neighbors and friends who also have children who will be attending a school. But customer service isn’t just about your external customers; it includes how your staff interacts and treats one another. So, we’ll discuss a few obvious areas and provide links to more detail on how to implement great customer service in your school.

  • What are first appearances at your schools? Those first impressions, if poor, are tough to overcome. Customer service includes how your school maintains the grounds, how your buildings are kept up, how your signage signals your school’s attitudes, and even your parking lots can signal a welcome or unwelcome first impression.
  • Your front office staff often provides that crucial first impression. What kind of impression do they make? This includes how they answer the phone (if they answer it or let it roll to an answering machine). How do they greet visitors? With a sincere smile or an irritated frown? Do office visitors feel welcome or like trespassers? The expectations of school leaders often establish these standards.
  • Your school website is a vital customer service resource in your efforts to meet your customers’ needs when it is convenient for them. Be sure to populate your sites with any required forms parents need to complete; keep it accessible for those with disabilities; make sure it is responsive and easy to use from a phone; and be sure the most commonly asked questions are answered right there on your website.

#3 Message consistency

School branding and marketing consistency mean bringing a specific feeling to your customers through all of your messaging. This consistency includes the tone of your communications, the feeling you generate in your visuals and content, and the frequency in your messaging. A consistent and reliable stream of messaging across all your communication channels builds a strong, trusted brand.

A school brand, or any brand, is not a logo (which is only a visual expression of your brand). It is not a motto or slogan, and your school does not own it.

So, what is a brand? It is what people say about your school behind your back. It is the total of all the associations with your school and your staff. And, while it is not owned by you but by those who interact with your school, every contact matters. Whether that contact is online, in person, what they hear about you, what they read, and what they believe, your school is responsible for managing and protecting that brand.

If you allow multiple people at your school to control your messaging, you will quickly create flaws in your communications and content, which weakens your brand. The more consistent your messaging is, the easier it is for parents and prospective parents to recognize your brand and your strengths (without the need for excessive advertising or marketing).

Consistent branding and marketing messages bring you the following benefits:

  • Brand recognition and awareness: You’ll be easily recognized, will save money, and will build trust. We like to buy from and use brands that we recognize. When we are unsure, we often select what is most familiar. Consistent branding creates familiarity.
  • Memorability: Repetition works in marketing and in the classroom; think flashcards and jingles. The more often parents see consistent and frequent branding, the more memorable your school will be.
  • Increased enrollment: Brand industry experts tell us that maintaining a consistent brand increases value and revenue. We associate a strong brand with positive feelings, and we act on those feelings. So, when you have a respected brand, your school will attract more students, and private schools can even demand higher tuitions based on their brand reputation.

Develop a set of brand guidelines, and ensure that everyone representing your school or referring to your school adheres to them. This includes coaches, teachers, principals, and anyone creating any form of representation, including stationery, websites, logos, mascots, handbooks, uniforms, signage, forms, and so much more. Brand guidelines include standards for tone of voice, social media posts, hex code colors, and font choices. (Brand guideline example)

#4 Be prepared for the next big issue

One of the biggest worries schools face today is addressing the issues around student safety. From a public relations perspective, this includes real threats as well as false alarms. Both require speedy and precise responses. 

In an actual safety situation, the key is to deliver up-to-the-minute information. Parents and the media will expect your school response to be immediate and accurate. A crisis is no time to try to decide what to do next. You must have a clearly defined crisis communications plan in place long before an actual emergency exists. 

Everyone involved during a crisis should understand precisely what is expected of them. Avoid confusion and possible tragedy by making sure your staff knows their part in any school crisis (also should include drills and role-playing situations several times a year). If you need help with this, check out CrisisGo, which has established some effective solutions to get and keep everyone on the same page.

hand prints representing community

#5 Creating community support

Schools are often a central hub in many communities, especially in suburban and rural areas. But over the years, these interconnected relationships have taken more work to maintain. As birth rates decline, fewer and fewer families have connections with the local K–12 schools. It’s becoming more difficult to convince taxpayers to pony up for public school levies, bonds, and tax initiatives all while costs continue to rise, state budgets decline, and fundraisers deliver less revenue.

Building community support takes time and requires consistent, strategic processes. A school can’t wait until the need is urgent. You must plan ahead. Even private schools must attract students from their surrounding communities, so while they don’t depend on ballot initiatives, they do require a strong brand and community advocates.

One way to influence attitudes is to engage your local media. Find out who the education beat journalists are, and offer to provide them with a regular supply of stories. Don’t expect them to find you, but reach out to them. Invite them to attend special events, and show your appreciation for their attendance. 

Suggest story ideas that will resonate with their audiences (which will vary between print media, bloggers, radio, and TV). Consider writing articles for them, and invite them to edit them as needed. Be sure to include photos for them to use. Get to know their needs, and find ways to provide content they can use. Would a weekly broadcast by a school administrator be helpful? Would sending them a copy of your monthly newsletter help keep them in the loop and suggest topics the community would enjoy?

Today’s journalists are wearing many hats, and as print and radio budgets shrink, journalists must cover more and more beats. Become a valued resource, and watch your positive school coverage skyrocket.

Put public relations to work for your school

Public relations efforts are the unsung heroes for creating powerful influence. It takes time and typically isn’t inexpensive. Only the largest of schools, or more elite private schools, typically have a public relations specialist on staff. 

But what if you could change all that? What if you could have an invested member of your community wear that public relations hat for eight hours a week (or more)? Imagine what they could do while focused on creating a groundswell of influence for your school? 

This is now within your school’s grasp. School Webmasters has developed PR4 Schools. We hire, train, and consult with a member of your community to provide public relations services, focusing on the unique needs of your district. Affordable. Effective. Easy to implement. Because we take on the work of making it happen. If you are interested, contact us at 888.750.4556 and ask for Katie Brooks, PR4 Schools manager, to find out how this can work for your school.

480418
Fill Your School with Good Moms (and Dads)
2019-09-03
Image of actress from Bad Moms movie

I thought about titling this blog, Communicating with “Bad Moms.” If you haven’t had an opportunity to see the Bad Moms movies, actress Mila Kunis plays a mother, Amy, whose perfect life falls apart. Overwhelmed, she brings store-bought donuts instead of homemade baked goods to the school bake sale, which triggers one of the “perfect” PTA moms to turn against her. Amy unites fellow “bad moms,” rebels against the perfect moms, and—spoiler alert—becomes head of the PTA. 

While much of Bad Moms could be dismissed as exaggeration, I think the movie hits on a zeitgeist. Today’s parents are trying to have it all—serve healthy food in a fast food world, foster independence but keep up-to-date with their kids’ hourly assignments and assessments, be in the moment but also be on top of last-minute practice time changes, have fulfilling professional lives while managing the homefront. 

Oh, and it’s always your turn to bring a contribution for the bake sale. No gluten, peanuts, dairy, apples, or sugar, but you need twenty crepes by 8 a.m. Even with good kids, healthy parents, and a supportive partner, parenting these days is demanding. If you throw in a challenging child, an elderly parent, a job, a divorce, financial difficulties, or any number of complicating factors, as they say in New York, “fuggedaboutit!” 

Parents are stressed, and like the “bad moms” of the movies, even the best moms and dads in your district act like “bad moms” at some point. So what is the most effective way your school can communicate with the majority of parents?  

When I think about communicating with “bad moms,” I think about what my son’s AP physics teacher said during the September high school open house. He said he’d been passionately teaching physics for over a decade and was occasionally surprised by how frustrating even his top-level students could be. His students missed homework assignments or turned in sloppy work; they occasionally did poorly on tests; they fell asleep during labs; they didn’t read the lab report rubric and then were upset when they didn’t receive an A on the project. 

In short, their effort and physics results were inconsistent. This teacher said that it wasn’t until his own son became a high school junior that he came to realize everything his students had going on in any given day. 

The teacher realized that although AP physics was of great interest and importance to him, it was a sliver in the highly-packed high school junior’s life. He said he realized that his job as their physics teacher was to make his class easy for his students. He put more work into meeting them where they were in the classroom, to remembering all his own kids had going on at that age, and to trying to give those good students their best chance to deserve A’s in his class and do well on the AP exam with their overloaded plates. He was a fantastic physics teacher for my history/humanities/hockey-loving son. 

Father and son writing on whiteboard

I tell this story because I think it’s our job as school communicators, principals, and teachers to meet parents where they are, to make being a parent of a child at your school a little easier, to make them proud to be our school parents, and to remember that their kids’ school is just one sliver of a busy pie. Inconsistent effort or engagement from parents should not be shamed or dismissed as indifference. Sometimes, all they can do is bring store-bought donuts. It’s our job to help them become the best school parents they can be, given the full plate we all have in front of us. 

School Communication Tips for School Communicators

So, as school public relations advocates and school communicators, what are best practices for school communications? Think like my son’s AP physics teacher! 

happy parents waving
  1. Don’t assume parents read any prior communication. If we send a reminder that they need to complete a form, include the form in the email. Include the form even if they said they already completed the form and it’s in the student’s backpack. Even if it’s the tenth reminder, include the form. 
  2. Make the most of the time when parents are in front of you. Arrive at parents night prepared; be brief; be inspiring; and be inclusive. Even if this is your twentieth parents night, you have a horrible head cold, and your dog’s peculiar behavior is worrying you—please put thought into your presentation and be in the moment. In many cases, the parents have arranged a babysitter or taken off work to get to school, so make that night worth it to them. Use this opportunity to set the tone for the year. Prepare and practice. It’s important.  
  3. Assume that when a parent goes on your school’s website, it is the first time they have visited the site. In fact, many of the people visiting our school websites are not yet parents at the school. Often, people considering moving to the district will visit our site to learn more. Keep your school website up-to-date, welcoming, and ADA compliant, and celebrate your school’s successes. Testimonials from teachers and parents speak for themselves. Also, school accolades, pictures of recent musicals and sports championships are all good to have on the Home page. School calendars and lunch information are also essential items and should be easy to find.   
  4. Encourage your “perfect parents” to be patient with those who aren’t as perfect. Develop a good relationship with the PTA, and request they use inclusive language on all communications. Ask that the PTA offer parents last-minute volunteer opportunities as well as long term projects they could do primarily from home. And, ask that they realize many parents can’t help during the day, and to recognize that some parents will be more willing to help if they could also spend time with their children at the same time. Work with your PTA to set goals that inspire parents in the school to roll up their sleeves and help, to show school pride. Remember, we’re all “bad moms” at some point.   
  5. Highlight different students. Sometimes perfect parents raise perfect kids, and it’s tempting to make those students the docents at the art show, the Big Buddies on the school bus, etc. Sometimes we have to nurture quiet leaders, give the reluctant child the microphone during school announcements, and tell their “Bad Moms” what their children did well. If the students need a special outfit to do this, ask them to bring it in the week before, and then remind them until they do. Or don’t worry about the outfit.  
  6. Listen. This probably should be the number one rule. What are the parents telling you? And sometimes it’s important to “listen between the lines”—more on that in a minute.
  7. Finally, assume everyone is doing their best. Just like the AP physics students, “Bad Moms” want to do well and they need our help to succeed. Keep in mind the things the AP teacher recommended, and ask yourself:
  8. How can I meet parents where they are?
  9. What can we do to make being a parent of a child at our school easier?
  10. What do parents need to make them proud to be our school parents? 

A Cautionary Tale

I want to tell my own “bad mom” cautionary tale. After a tumultuous year, my town’s board of education decided they needed a communications committee—an idea that I fully endorse. For a little background, being on our school’s BOE is a very difficult job with meetings every other week at 7 p.m., right when every parent I know (including me) is driving kids to games and practices, trying to serve dinner, helping with homework, putting little ones to bed, trying to reconnect with spouses, walking the dog, or curled up in a ball on the couch. 

Being on the board of education is a huge, and at times, thankless job. And for those of us who can’t make it to the BOE meetings, they are recorded and put on Facebook. In theory, there is no excuse not be caught up on the latest BOE news... except, remember I work, I write, I try to exercise, I have three kids in three different schools, a dog, an elderly father and father-in-law, a husband with a demanding commute and job, friends, and family. You get the idea. 

Anyway, the idea was that the BOE communications committee would have regular open meetings to “listen” to people’s concerns. They met for the first time a couple of months ago during lunchtime on a weekday. This was great because this is when I have more flexibility, so I was able to attend, intending only to listen. I was transfixed by the BOE members’ knowledge of the intricacies of the transportation issues in our district and the difficult local legislation issues. It was fascinating! 

Then, I raised my hand to ask about a decision to replace the part-time school secretaries—who are my daughter’s favorite and this bad mom’s life-line. The response was curt. One member said, “We discussed this very issue at the last board of education round table last week.” I felt very small and probably won’t ever attend another “Communications Committee Listening Event.” 

You get the idea: just assume bad moms don’t read the BOE minutes. And if a question is asked that has already been covered in a previous meeting, try to kindly guide them in the right direction. Remember, as school communicators, we are building relationships with the key stakeholders of our schools. How can we make it easy? How can we create positivity? How can we help them succeed as parents and, in doing so, help our students and school succeed?

I think good moms (and dads) are made, not born. The way we treat our school communications and particularly our daily interactions with parents is an important part of creating a school climate where all parents can be slightly imperfect and still valued. And that’s good school public relations. If we understand that we are an important fraction of our parents’ busy lives and communicate thoughtfully, inclusively, and effectively, we will help create a positive school climate where perfect and not-so-perfect parents stay informed and engaged. 

481991
Does your CMS website software do this?
2019-08-27
Cartoon images of children holding up signs that spell CMS

Salespeople are calling and emailing with the list of great features their “easy-to-update” software platforms include. They have booths at conferences. They mail out brochures. They call again, often at your busiest time of year. If you had the time to take their calls, you’d likely see those touted features are definitely noteworthy and well functioning. 

Our technical capabilities have advanced exponentially in the past few decades. It is quite amazing to me that what once took a mainframe the size of the wing of a building to process data can now be done on the small device in my pocket. Our smartphones are now more powerful than the computers used to send the Apollo astronauts to the moon and back. Mind-blowing!

Today’s technology challenges

But, the abilities provided to us in this DIY culture have brought with it a new set of challenges. One of those challenges is that staying on top of all these awesome technology changes can be a bit overwhelming. 

The very thought of upgrading to a new phone makes me feel a bit queasy. I know what is involved with transferring everything, learning a new system, and relearning processes for my daily activities. It will take weeks before I’m comfortable again. I have so many programs I use daily that it takes another program just to keep track of the passwords to all those other programs.

Don’t get me wrong. I love all my gadgets and the programs that have revolutionized my life. As a woman in the 21st Century, I can raise a family, manage a busy household, run a small company, bake my own bread, be a professional writer, and sew on a quilt—all in one week. My grandmother had far less free time than I do, and it would have taken her a week to accomplish half of these tasks. And my grandmother was no slacker! She would’ve put me to shame if she’d had the same tools at her disposal.

In spite of all this good news, there is a downside when it comes to your school website content management system (CMS). Actually, it isn’t the CMS system that is the challenge; it is the skills, training, and knowledge required to make your school website as effective as possible—even with a jazzy CMS platform. 

What is your school website’s purpose?

Your school website, and basically the purpose of every website, is to serve your customers and your prospective customers. Some of these purposes include the following:

  • Marketing your successes and benefits to prospective parents
  • Informing, communicating, and engaging existing parents
  • Delivering transparency to the public, including community members and taxpayers
  • Providing up-to-date information on school events, activities, programs, and curricula
  • Serving your customers with the resources they need (forms, contacts, schedules, etc.)

Your website is your primary communications and marketing resource. When used strategically, it builds trust and respect and can attract quality staff and influence parent choices for student enrollment.

However, all of these purposes require information your staff must provide. The value of your website comes from the content on your website and the way it is delivered. To represent your school well, here are a few goals:

  • Communications that support your school’s mission and goals
  • Information that is timely and accurate
  • Grammar, spelling, and layout that is correct
  • Content, navigation, layout, and design that is website accessible (ADA compliant)
  • Consistent branding and style guide standards applied throughout the site
  • Strategic marketing efforts that are integrated (inbound marketing, enrollment forms)
  • Writing style and content that matches your school branding and goals

It’s all about relationships!

Communication in all its forms is about relationships. Whether it is developing them, nurturing them, or ending them. In order to be effective, communication should also be strategic and authentic. What does that look like?

graphic image representing relationships

Authentic communication

This one is simple. Just be honest. You provide evidence of your strengths on your website and in social media communications. Be real. When it comes to your weaknesses, again, be honest and let your audience know how you are working on turning those weaknesses into strengths and how you plan to do that. No one expects perfection in all areas, but your honesty about what your school strives to deliver will earn your school goodwill and trust.

Strategic communication

And by strategic, we don’t mean “spin” either. We mean considering your school goals and integrating your communication efforts with those goals. As an example, if you want to earn the reputation as a successful, effective school where all of your students feel valued and inspired to reach their highest potential,  your communication efforts should reflect that.

You’ll share stories of student successes (especially those that show overcoming obstacles and achievings goals). You’ll provide evidence of programs, curriculum, and teachers that lead to student success. Your communication will include information to teach parents ways they can support their student's educational efforts. You’ll want to create an annual plan where you will coordinate content on your website and social media supporting your communication goals for the year. It looks like this:

  • Establish your annual goals (these should be tied to your mission statement).
  • Create a strategic communications plan to include content supporting your goals for each month of the school year.
  • Coordinate content resources by including staff, parents, and students. This may include making assignments to staff for providing stories, descriptions of events and activities, photos, and videos providing interesting and engaging evidence.
  • Schedule posts, articles, events, and stories (with deadlines). 
  • Reward participation. When you get staff, parents, or students who will provide you with the content that helps you achieve your communication goals, reward them publicly, privately, and sincerely. Whether it is acknowledgment at a staff meeting for an excellent news article or story, a handwritten note of thanks, governing board recognitions, or kudos shared over the daily announcements, some form of recognition will encourage increased participation.

In order for this to be effective, everyone must understand and internalize your school goals and mission. Whether this means through annual training or visual reminders through signage, or an annual professional development training topic covering your school’s mission, be sure you are all working toward the same goal—which is to provide evidence of how you are delivering on your promises (your school mission). All of this will impact your school public relations, school marketing, staff and student morale, and even customer service levels.

While you can’t automate relationships, you can create a regular drip of goal-focused messaging that will build and strengthen those relationships. These efforts will have a positive outcome in every area of school communication. But, these efforts cannot be “other duties as assigned” to folks who are unaware of your district goals or your parents’ needs. It isn’t about a CMS platform or technology but about observing, gathering, and sharing the stories that build trusting relationships. 

Build a team

 A recent school/client of ours wasn’t doing a good job of helping us create content for their website and social media. They didn’t have a plan in place to gather stories that developed relationships or demonstrate they were delivering on their mission statement. We take care of all the posting, proofing, editing, ADA accessibility, and maintaining intuitive websites for all of our clients, but we still need the raw content that will engage parents and community members. However, an effective salesman convinced them that having a new, cool app platform that pushes notices to parents, would be the silver bullet and improve their communication efforts. It wasn’t.

graphic showing figures stacking blocks and working as a team

No matter how cool your technology or platform, it won’t have an impact if you don’t have dedicated resources gathering the content that builds a solid communications effort. Spending more money on a new platform won’t change a thing. It might make posting simpler, but without content and a strategy, nothing changes.

So, create a team within your school that drives and supports your communications efforts. Either hire or outsource the skill sets needed. Those communication skill sets should include the following:

  • Visually appealing graphic elements that support your content’s message (graphic design skills)
  • Engaging content that tells stories and uses a conversational and inviting style (writing skills)
  • Website accessibility maintenance with each post, including PDF attachments and required off-site links (website accessibility training)
  • Website proofing for grammar, spelling, broken links, layout issues, contrast problems, style guide consistency, and outdated information (copy editing)
  • Content and story gathering year-round (everyone who witnesses those great stories worth sharing—staff, parents, students, volunteers, alumni)

If you don’t have the resources (or funds) to hire for the skills sets we listed above, we can certainly do this for you and have been delivering these services for nearly 17 years now. But, as proud as we are of how we help our schools, we can’t do it unless they share the great things happening at their schools with us. That is the fodder fueling great results. 

Whether it is to improve a school’s marketing to increase enrollment, build a respected, trusted reputation, deliver outstanding customer service each day, or engage students and parents in the educational process to turn out successful and contributing adults, it is that glimpse inside the walls of your school that will convert and convince. This is what builds relationships, and that’s what matters in the long run.

Whatever CMS system or platform you use, put a strategic communications plan in place. Website management is a critical step in any communications strategy. 

If you need help, it’s what School Webmasters does. Let us know what platform you use, and we might be able to support your existing platform. If your website is in need of a redesign, we’ve got you covered there as well. Just request a quote, and we’ll call you to discuss how to affordably and strategically improve your school’s communication and marketing strategies.

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The Transformation of School Websites from Concept to Reality
2019-08-20
butterfly image

Recently, my daughter’s second-grade class participated in a project where the class observed the life stages of the butterfly. She eagerly shared her experience with our family on a regular basis. I’m grateful for teachers who take time to take education up a notch through hands-on learning.

The change occurring between the caterpillar eating a leaf and the butterfly visiting flower patches is always amazing. Their life begins as barely a literal bump on a log, or leaf rather, but they are destined for greatness. 

Similar to the butterfly, the transformation of a dated school website here at School Webmasters is extraordinary! Just as the butterfly has various stages it passes through before it takes its ultimate and beautiful form, website development at School Webmasters is distinct, innovative, and beautiful. 

The School Website Journey from Concept to Reality 

Unlike a butterfly born preparing to transform, schools aren’t always sure what steps to take in order to maximize their school website’s potential. 

Perhaps a school feels like something is missing on their website. Perhaps the current school website is crowded and outdated. Maybe your school website isn’t responsive, accessible, or ADA compliant. Whatever the circumstance, the option to task a school employee with making all the needed changes and updates to the school website just isn’t feasible. 

When a school or district is ready for our help at School Webmasters, we are ready for the challenge. Follow us in this blog as we take a sample journey of a school’s website from concept to reality. 

How Long does Website Development Take? 

A butterfly transforms inside its chrysalis between 5 and 21 days. At School Webmasters, a website transformation typically takes between 5 and 8 weeks, while various teams work to help the school align expectations, goals, and communications plans. This time frame varies depending on the level of site complexity and your school’s responsiveness to requests from our project coordinators.

Our Level I standard template sites and Level II customized template websites transform quickly because most of the design work can be done with fewer dependencies on school staff. If your school selects a fully custom, premier school website design, the process requires a bit more time and input on your part. All School Webmasters websites include everything from photos that reflect your school’s brand and personality to professional copywriting. 

The process goes much more smoothly when a school knows what it wants, and responds quickly to questions. 

Phase 1: School Questionnaire and Project Management

Before getting started, we want to know what your website dreams and goals are so we can make a plan to bring them to fruition. 

Your project coordinator will send a questionnaire for you to fill out, which will aid in smooth website development. The questions prompt answers that help us understand what you are looking for regarding both content and design preferences. 

Representatives from the school involved in the website development project will meet with their project coordinator, who will be their single point of contact throughout the process; the project coordinator will be with them every step of the way. 

The project coordinator helps schools answer important questions that lead to an impressive new school website. Here are just a few questions we ask: 

  • What does your school hope to accomplish with a new school website?
    Determining the school website’s primary purposes helps us create the perfect website for your school. Your new website will help you achieve your communication goals in various time-tested ways. And if the school website needs to be ADA compliant, School Webmasters is a master of that too.
  • What pages does your school need?
    Beyond a Home page, there is a wide variety of potential pages to help schools offer valuable and useful information. For example, typical pages include About Us, Events, Programs, Faculty and Staff, and Contact Us. If you’re not sure about this question, never fear! Your project coordinator will be there to help you.
  • What type of calendar would be the best fit for the school?
    There are a few different calendars available from School Webmasters, and what works for one school doesn’t always work for every school. Depending on your various departments and your athletics or other programs, your project coordinator can help you determine what kind of calendar will best fit your school. 
  • Will the school be using stock images or their own photos?
    Our graphic designers will use either, according to your preference, to ensure the school’s website makes a statement.

Phase 2: Design

Butterflies don’t get to choose their patterns and colors but schools do! Along with the school questionnaire and general inquiries, your project coordinator will help you select a design from School Webmasters’ library of options unique to our company. We also help when schools select the custom website option to build a one-of-a-kind prototype. 

Check out some examples on our portfolio page for some school district websites.

Phase 3: Graphic Design

Ever been amazed by the colors and designs in nature? Our graphic design team comes close. Schools that choose School Webmasters for their website development and management choose a company dedicated to website design that reaches audiences on multiple levels. Our graphic designers work tirelessly to make every page of your school website pop. Pictures and images tell stories too and truly speak a thousand words, at least! 

Once you approve the design prototype, our graphics team gets to work customizing your entire website with the creation of new graphics throughout the new site. The team makes the site unique, attractive, and ADA compliant. If the school wants to use their own images, School Webmasters can help you choose the best ones with a list of recommended photos that will really make the school website stand out. 

Phase 4: Copywriting and Site Maps

For the butterfly, things are happening under the surface. For the school website, the project coordinator is hard at work gathering information and communicating with the school regarding various needed information all while coordinating with the various School Webmasters teams. While your graphic designer is designing the school’s website, one of School Webmasters’s copywriters is hard at work, pouring over your school’s old website and the newly-collected information you sent to the project coordinator to compile and write compelling content specifically geared toward your school’s target audience.

Just as we don’t encourage our kids to put dirty socks on clean feet, School Webmasters copywriters don’t copy and paste your old website content to your brand new website; this is something you won’t get with most other website developers who plug your old, outdated copy content into a new design. Our copywriters rework a school’s existing copy to make sure it’s professional, welcoming, and current on every page. 

School Webmasters’ best practices and years of experience ensure that our copywriters write copy that is centered on information that will help the school or district answer key questions people might ask. From an orderly site map, the site is concise, organized and intuitive to navigate. Then, we check and double-check every school’s new content prior to passing it on to the next step in the website’s journey. 

Phase 5: User Interface Design

Towards the end of metamorphosis, the butterfly is visible inside the chrysalis. It looks like a butterfly! At this point in the website design, the end is in sight! Once a website reaches this point in its journey, School Webmasters’ user interface designers put the text from the copywriting team and the graphics from our graphics team together with the wireframe design the school has chosen. They make sure your new website is responsive (it will look great on a desktop, tablet, or phone) and ADA compliant. 

Phase 6: Going Live and Server Management

When all of the changes are complete, the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. And now it’s also time for the new school website to emerge. We’ll give you the information you need to take the website live, and you can decide when to flip the switch. School Webmasters gives each of their school websites a safe and protected home on its fully managed cloud servers. If something goes wrong with your website, School Webmasters will take care of it. The school can rest easy knowing that there will be 99.99% uptime and backups will be managed and fully redundant. It’s all managed offsite so the school can rest easy.

The whole process might seem extensive, but our team of amazing professionals is up to the task! School Webmasters has been transforming school websites for over 15 years. We’ve made this transformation trip more than a thousand times! 

As the butterflies emerged from their cocoons in our daughter’s class, the students witnessed a series of miraculous transformations of design and color. While the cocoons provided privacy for each butterfly, nature took its course—and what a sight!

Just as the caterpillar is destined for greatness, every school deserves to be able to communicate all that is helpful, beautiful, and inspiring about their students and school community. 

The transformation of a dated school website here at School Webmasters is truly extraordinary—especially considering the various phases of development involved in creating a new school website here at School Webmasters. What our company offers is distinct, innovative, and professional. And, we think that’s pretty amazing!

So, if you’re ready to find out more about how your school website can be transformed into something extraordinary, just give us a call at (888) 750-4556. 

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Celebrating Students' Successes in Schools
2019-08-13
successful students

Doing well in school, more often than not, doesn’t come easy. Most times, it requires an added measure and even sometimes an enormous amount of effort. Week to week, students in your school or district attend class, participate in discussions, work on homework, and complete various projects. In general, students seek to accomplish what their teachers expect of them. Similarly, teachers work to fulfill their responsibilities and duties. 

Time after time, whether large or small, efforts are followed by success. So, when do such successes deserve a momentary pause of recognition? 

In 2009, Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn conducted a literary and anthropological experiment now known as the Significant Objects project. In it, they demonstrated that the value of any object is directly connected to a narrative and is measurable. In short, they showed that most definitely, stories add value.

History is full of real-life examples where stories have added value to objects or situations. Newsies, the Broadway musical, is a classic production based on the real-life challenges young people faced in the big cities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many young boys and girls in the late 1800s stood on the corner blocks of big cities like New York, shouting the day’s headlines to work out a meager living. It took a daily effort, selling papers, capturing the moment to ultimately get what they needed to survive. After all, news today is history tomorrow. That’s still true today, isn’t it?

Newspaper boy

As a school administrator, how do you view your role as a school leader? Is it comparable, in part, to a newsboy or newsgirl trying to get your community’s attention about what’s going on at your school? 

As a school administrator, one of your roles includes capturing and recognizing noteworthy moments. Considering the size of your student body, this may feel quite daunting. Sometimes you’ll want to share the successes and recognize a specific student; other times, you’ll want to acknowledge a group of students. It’s worth noting that a school that takes the time to recognize individual noteworthy efforts sends a strong message to its school community that the individual matters. It’s not all about educating the masses, but each student. 

In this blog, we will consider various ways you can share your school’s success, thereby adding value to your school.  

Let your community know about your school’s successes

These days, letting your community know about the great things happening on your school campus is not merely a nice-to-do; it’s a necessity. Your school’s stories, the ones you tell and the ones you don’t, establish your school brand and reputation. It is directly connected to how successfully your school naturally attracts new students as well as how successfully you maintain your current student population. Your school brand and the stories you share about your school is at the heart of your school marketing effort. Outside sources will always have something to say about your school, positive and negative, so, be sure you are in the ring. Share your school’s successes through stories and other means. Here are a few questions to consider.

Do your students talk to their families about school news and events?

How well are your students’ families getting the message at home? How would you rate your school’s connection to the homes of your students? Parents are more likely to engage with the school when their child acts as a school ambassador. What motivates your students to share news from school? 

What success stories have been recently featured in your school newsletter or school website? Consider a feature specifically for recognition on either platform. Gathering and sharing personal testimonials from students, staff, and parents about your school community has a lot of potential. If someone has had a positive experience at your school, consider inviting them to share it in your school newsletter or on your school website. 

There are many successes on your campus. As you read this, you are probably thinking of a number of student, volunteer, or staff successes deserving of recognition. Perhaps your hockey team won a tournament or your AP Biology classes just returned from a road trip to the coast or an island nearby. Start brainstorming and make a list right away. You’re on a roll!

Would your school’s parent organization consider helping the school with a student-of-the-month program? 

Regularly recognizing students is a fantastic way to add value to your school while, at the same time, help your students feel valued by your school. As a parent, my loyalty to a school deepens as I am an eyewitness to the big and small ways my child’s school recognizes my child’s successes as well as those of other individuals within the school community. 

Sometimes schools might involve the PTO or other school community groups to help them run this program. Some schools may use hallway window boxes to post a group of individual student photos with get-to-know-you questions and answers that shed light on the student’s personality and interests. Other schools may feature students-of-the-month on the school’s news channel.

Who should you recognize and how should you do it?

Some schools may choose to select students based on merit and nominations from their school community. Or perhaps there is a suggestion box in the office to receive nominations. Maybe your school has a reading incentive program for young students or other academic milestones from which you can draw the recipients.

How you decide to do it is completely up to you. The important thing is to just do it. Recognition rewards might include a simple mention of the student or staff member over the school PA or in the school’s newsletter or website. Or perhaps you give a small material reward for the recognition. For example, students-of-the-month could receive a $5 gift card to a local store or business, with all nominees receiving a note of recognition and a pencil. Try holding regular assemblies parents can attend to see their children being recognized for tackling and conquering learning challenges. The possibilities are endless. Did this spark some ideas? Write them down and get started.  

We recently ran across a school who was doing a great job of gathering stories from students, teachers, and parents by adding forms to their website, making it easy to submit success stories. They collect both written and video stories and each month they feature some success stories from alumni, students, and parents. They have managed to engage their community in an entertaining way and these stories and videos help them market themselves and their successes without the cost of ineffective advertising. North East ISD in San Antonio is doing exactly what we've been recommending to schools for a decade. Kudos to them. We recommend other schools should do the same!

What role does social media play in sharing your school’s successes?

Technology is great in so many ways. Sharing images as well as the printed word once took a lot more effort. Now it’s easy to get messages out quickly. Effectively using social media is a great way to drive current and prospective students and their families to your school website. Social4Schools has helpful suggestions for strengthening communication lines within your school community using technology. 

Do your students’ families feel welcome on your campus?

Feeling welcome is a big deal in any industry, including the education industry. How welcoming is your school for your school community? 

Finding ways to open your school to your school community is important. Doing so not only enriches the community but has the potential to build loyalty and connections among students, faculty, and parents. Parents and families will feel much more comfortable and welcome in a school they visit for positive encounters and activities. When your school or district offers various opportunities to open your school to the community throughout the school year, drawing in students and their families before, during, or after school, your school organically shares what is great about your school. There are so many ways you can do this. Write down your ideas.

good news

Does your honor roll program inspire your students to aim higher?  

Having a routine for recognizing good grades as well as citizenship is worth the effort. When students are personally recognized for their efforts, it helps them and their parents feel not only proud but happy to be at your school. Could your honor roll recognition be better? Do your students and school community know what it takes and feel inspired to qualify for the honor roll? 

How else can you deliver the message?

The list is long when it comes to various ways you can communicate with your school community these days. You can share your school’s successes in person, via the internet or by more traditional methods like school newsletters or newspapers. 

Just as doing well in school doesn’t usually come easy, neither does recognizing your school’s successes. It will take effort, forethought, and consistency. Is sharing your school’s successes worth the effort? We hope you see that it most definitely is. As students and other members of your school community overcome the challenges they face, whether it’s a math problem or a problem with bullies, taking an active role in sharing your school’s success stories and the characters in those stories will strengthen your school brand and your school in general. It’s imperative to make the time to share those moments with your school community. 


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School Websites: What's the Big Deal?
2019-08-06
dill pickle with thought bubble that says What's the big flippin' dill

One of my family’s favorite magnets ever to grace our refrigerator was a large cartoon pickle with a conversation bubble saying, “You’re a big, flippin’ dill!” I love a good pun. 

Sure, it might be easy to overlook and underestimate the power of this simple magnet and its message. However, often, when something great happens for someone in the family, we remind them of this quote. The magnet’s influence and humorous message continue to foster positive vibes in our home. 

Your school website can and ought to be like this amazing magnet—a big deal.

Yes, your school website occupies a small space in the grand universe of the internet, but it still matters. Sharing practical advice on our blog about how schools can improve their communication with their school community is our passion. School websites can communicate and reach out to your school community in various ways.The very word communication evokes images of community and loyalty, and we think all of that is really a big deal for your school. 

In this blog, we will look at how school websites help you reach your school communication goals.  

4 Communication Goals Your School Website Can Help You Reach

#1: Improve Customer Service

What school isn’t trying to improve relationships with parents? One of the best ways to use your school website to reach your communication goals is to provide outstanding customer service. Your school website has amazing potential to serve your community in big ways. As you consider site visitors such as staff, students, and parents, consider why they are coming to your website. Are they looking for something in particular? Is it easy to find it? A professional, welcoming school website will work wonders for your school. Your school website can set a standard that your school aims to answer questions, resolve concerns, inform the school community, and that, man! Your school is a big deal! 

Here are more tips on improving customer service and rolling out the red carpet at your school!

#2: Provide Information

Even for schools that don’t emphasize communication, providing information is still a priority! Your school website should act as a portal for accessing various and vital information. Have you ever visited a website that seems neglected? Providing crucial information on your school website allows your school community to be informed. Parents will appreciate the ease of access to information. You will earn their trust. Schools who use their websites to share current and needed information not only build trust, they save time and effort. 

Often if a school website has been neglected, it’s because someone at the school doesn’t understand why they need a website in the first place. Read more to understand the job your school website fills

#3: Save Your Staff Time & Your School Money

Have you ever thought of saving your staff time as being one of your communication goals? It should be! Teachers are busy, and anything you can do to save them time is valuable. And yes, your school website saves your staff time and your school money. As you share information regularly and consistently on your school website, your community will quickly learn where to go when they have a question. An effective school website saves someone in your school community from making a phone call or writing an email to your staff and faculty. That means a decreased amount of individual questions. You can’t eliminate all phone calls; however, your communication goals should be aimed at time efficacy as well as hospitality. 

Read more about how your school can do more to reach your school communication goals with half the budget

#4: Improve Your School Public Relations

Your school website builds excellent public relations. Attractive school websites get noticed. They are pleasant to visit. Your school community won’t dread going there to “dig” through all the fluff to get to what they need. School websites should include board agendas, links to school report cards, important job announcements, openings, vendor information, etc. 

Read more about how a school website can help a struggling school.

So what does your website need to help you meet these school communication goals? 

12 Ways To Use Your School Website To Its Full Potential!


  1. News pages

    News pages help communicate the latest events to keep your school community informed and aware without crowding your website Home page. School websites with news pages should typically feature a “What’s New” section on the Home page, usually in a sidebar. A News page is a great way to share current events and successes and visual elements like galleries, videos, and slideshows. At School Webmasters, we design news pages for our customers to include a format for easily sending out newsletters or messages electronically to your uploaded email lists, helping your community stay involved and informed. 

  2. Interactive calendars

    School websites with interactive calendars help busy, on-the-go school communities. Interactive calendars help your school keep parents and the community informed so they never miss an event. School Webmasters’ school websites are fortunate to have feature-rich interactive calendars, thanks to our partnership with Trumba. Website visitors can sign up for email reminders for upcoming events. The school can send out online registrations or invitations. We also create customized calendars specific to sports, band/orchestra, staff development, and other areas to help simplify calendars based on areas of interest. 

  3. Photo galleries

    Pictures are a powerful and effective way to communicate. School websites with photo galleries displaying various events, activities, clubs, sports, classes, and more build your school public relations as well as your school brand by widely sharing all the good going on at your school. School websites can include galleries where visitors can click on the thumbnails to view larger images. Photos can also be displayed in a slideshow format to highlight memorable events and moments at your school. (Reminder: Keep ADA compliance in mind when using slideshows!) This aspect of a school website really enhances your school’s personality as well as draws interest from your community. 
  1. Quick links

    Your staff, students, and parents will thank you for offering convenient, quick access links to frequently-used content. As you offer such resources, communicate with your school community about the availability of such links. Just imagine the simplicity of explanation if Ms. Smith calls looking for the lunch menu and you can say, “On the Home page, find the parent quick links. Four links down is the lunch menu.” They will appreciate you as your school website becomes a hub of activity. 

  2. Online polls and forms
    Online polls are effective and affordable. They allow you to gather data from site visitors using dropdowns, content fields, and radio buttons to populate convenient forms such as questionnaires, permission slips, polls, surveys, and applications. School Webmasters’ websites also include an option that lets you post your current school forms online so parents and students can fill them out and send them electronically to the school. 

  3. Staff directories and profiles

    Effective school websites include your school staff’s information, including emails, contact preferences, phone extensions, and photos. Personalized profiles help your school community know more about your fabulous faculty and staff. 

  4. Documents and links

    All of the school documents you use readily should be available from the school website. PDF Documents linked to your website such as lunch menus, student handbooks, athletic schedules, etc. should all have a place. And don’t forget, as these become outdated and the information changes, be sure to remove or edit them. Some documents will remain the same year after year but others will not. The quality control team at School Webmasters helps make sure the links and documents on your website are current—just one of the many benefits of our website management service! Sharing important links and documents on your school website saves staff and site visitors time and provides a fantastic, go-to, convenient resource online. 

  5. Embedded video

    Including videos of various activities or messages are popular ways of communicating to your school community. At School Webmasters, we use Vimeo as our video web host. Videos are embedded right on your website, and Vimeo provides reliable streaming, responsive design, advanced privacy settings, and a targeted audience. 

  6. School blog

    Telling your school’s story on a blog connected to your school website is a powerful way to more effectively direct your school’s reputation and what people are saying about your school. School Webmasters is a proponent of school storytelling. We believe in the power of stories and their ability to bring our communities together. Are there specific topics that directly concern your community? Address them in a school blog. With a blog created within your website, you can easily access and manage posts. Blogs are not only a great communication tool, but they can be a great inbound marketing tool

  7. Emergency pages

    When disaster strikes and you need urgent website notifications, you school website should provide necessary communication to those who need it via an emergency page. Whether the emergency involves weather closures, lockdowns or other urgent matters, it’d vital to have the vehicle that will let you communicate. Don’t leave your school community in the dark. 

  8. Secure log-in pages

    Often, school websites need staff-only/private areas that aren’t accessible to the public. These pages require secure log-in access to a certain group of users. School Webmasters websites have three levels of secure usage: Users, Super Users, and Admin Management.  

  9. Social media feed

    Your social media pages and your school website should work hand-in-hand to foster a foundational culture of community. Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as links to other social pages can be on your website’s Home page to increase engagement with your school’s followers.

  10. screen shot of Paramus School website

    Is your school and school website a big, flippin’ deal? We hope so. And if not, start using some of these features, and make it a big deal! If your school website needs some freshening up, contact us! What are your school's communication goals? Every school has its challenges as well as its strengths, but each is in the business of giving our youth the gift of education. No matter how you slice it, that’s always a big deal. 

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