Have you heard about the new / old idea called "community schools"? The idea is actually very simple. What happens is that both public and private groups use schools to bring support services closer to where both students and residents live. This is done on a year round basis. If done correctly, this kind of school can help to boost student performance.
A great deal has been said, much of it by me, about how to transform a school’s existing website into a more powerful and effective communication tool. However, what never seems to get a lot of discussion is just exactly what needs to be done if there is no existing web content for you use when building the new website.
If you are a superintendent of a school district of any size, you've got a real problem on your hands. It is your responsibly to make sure that a lot of students are successfully educated in a safe and supportive environment for the 9 months that make up a school year. In order to be considered to be a successful superintendent, you are going to need to have the support of the parents of your students. However, to get that support, you need to know what they are thinking. Outside of becoming a mind reader, just exactly how are you supposed to do this?
Back to School
Ah the first day of school -- it’s enough to get any school district superintendent to tear their hair out! You’ve spent perhaps a full month trying to get each one of the schools in your district to get their act together and have all of the things that will be needed for the first day of school in place. However, as we all know, things never seem to go like they should and chaos and confusion seem to rule our worlds as schools starts up for a new year. If only there was some way that our school web sites could help to make things just a bit easier…
The schools in your school district probably all have a website today. That’s just wonderful. Who created those websites? Do you have any records of that person or company being asked to create a website for your school district? If you decided to redo the websites in your school district, could you reuse the content that your schools have already created or would you discover that the school district really does not own the content on your websites?
The school year is over, did your school website make the grade?

This is the time of the year that school district administrators and school principals can sit back and feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with successfully making it through yet another school year. However, this happens to also be the best time to take just a moment or two and review how things went -- what went well and what could be improved for next year. For that matter, how did your school district and school’s website do -- did they get a passing grade?
In the era when the websites that your schools used were poorly designed, poorly organized, and contained out-of-date information, parents of your students probably didn’t use your websites. However, we are entering a new era when school websites can now be created using tools such as the GSL Solutions' The Digital Bell service. Now that your schools all have high quality, modern websites, how are you going to teach your student's parents how to use them?
The Pinellas County School District realized that they had a problem on their hands. As with almost every school district, each one of their schools had a website, but they were not helping to foster a closer relationship between parents, teachers, and the school district. Something had to change.
Welcome to the Internet age -- say goodbye to newspapers. Those old dinosaurs have no place in our modern alway-on, hyperconnected universe that is filled with Tweets, pokes, and Snapchats. Or do they? I would have thought that the door had been shut and the lights had been turned out on the newspaper era if it were not for a very interesting event that happened recently at a high school. This high school is currently using The Digital Bell service to deliver a high quality interactive web experience for their school. The students at this school did something that was entirely unexpected.
So there you go: your school has a shiny new web site! With a little luck your school’s website has been created using GSL Solution’s The Digital Bell service. If so, then you already have a fully functioning website that has been delivered to you loaded with information based off of what your old website had. However, time marches on -- you are going to want to add new content to your web site. What’s the best way to go about doing that?

What’s A School District Webmaster To Do After The District’s Website’s Been Outsourced?

It turns out that school district webmasters become even more important after outsourcing.

In many school districts, there is a single individual who has the title “webmaster”. This person has the enormous responsibility to make sure that all of the websites that the school district uses are both up and running and safe and secure. No matter if the school district has 4 sites or 204 sites, this is a full time job. With the arrival of firms like GSL Solutions that can provide a school district with a complete content management solution using school websites that are now located “in the cloud”, is a school district webmaster even needed any more?
Hey school superintendents, just exactly what would it take to convince former President Bill Clinton to visit your school and deliver a speech? Clinton attended “signing day” at the LEAD Academy charter high school in Tennessee at the request of LEAD founder, Jeremy Kane. This day was a celebration because the 44 students who will be graduating from the LEAD high school had all received letters of acceptance from 4-year universities (some had received acceptance letters from multiple universities!) These students had come from challenging family and environment situations and had overcome many odds. Now they have bright futures to look forward to.
Have you been in a school’s main office lately? The one thing that you’ll notice if you ever are is that the phone never seems to stop ringing. The office staff look at each other each time that the phone rings as if to say “I believe that it’s your turn to answer the phone.” Let’s face it, this is an ongoing distraction and there needs to be a way to make it go away. It turns out that every school already has the solution on hand -- their website.
Nobody ever said that being a school district superintendent was going to be an easy job, but boy-oh-boy they never said that it was going to be this difficult! Trying to manage a modern school district is very much like trying to herd cats: every school and every principle seems to have their own ideas about how to be successful. How are you ever going to lead your school district to success?