How to Build a School Website

by Contributing Writer

Hosting a school website can be a great bridge to bringing together educators, students and parents. School websites can show a variety of information that used to be issued on paper and provide a much-needed online presence in the Information Age.

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Establish your goals. What are you looking to do? Disseminate homework? Create an online forum where teachers and parents can communicate? Keep the school calendar current? All of the above? Before making any decisions, be sure you consult your educational hierarchy. Check all policies concerning the Internet and its use for school business. Make sure you've answered all questions from the school board regarding what you're doing and what their vision may be for the website.

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Explore your design options. There are a variety of websites that provide online templates that are ready for use. The only thing left for you to do is personalize it to fit your needs. One of these sites is Freewebtemplates.com. It provides some impressive, yet simple, websites free to download. Microsoft Publisher also comes with ready-to-use web templates. If you're building your school's website from scratch, consider some of these software options: -Macromedia Dreamweaver -Microsoft Frontpage -Microsoft Publisher

3

Prepare your design, location and files. Know what the school logo is and where to get all your information. Be sure to locate the server that your school website will be on, who's in charge of the server and how big the site will be. Get a clear understanding of how much space you will have for your website. One good idea is to browse other school websites to get a good idea on what you would like to do. Make your design something simple at first. Use your school colors to give it a personalized look Place a sidebar with links to the school logo at the top of the page. Some people can design complex websites that either take too long to build or take too long to load. Create your school website so that it's user friendly for students, parents and teachers.

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Remember the most useful information is information that can be integrated among parents, teachers and students. Some examples of different items to put on your site is: -School theme, mascot and motto -Parent-Teacher Association information -Brief history of the school, the district it's in, and the community where it's located -School board news -Link to the city or county's main public school website -Events, announcements -A Teacher' Page by grade with pictures and contact info -Staff page for contact information -What is needed to enroll your child -School calendar -Cafeteria menus -Fun links for students -Page for homework assignments (if teachers request them)

Items you will need