New school websites present opportunities … and some challenges

Above: The school websites are getting a refresh

The Northborough-Southborough school district has launched a new website platform that school officials say will give parents all the information they’re looking for in one easy spot. That is, assuming parents can find the new sites.

The website upgrade, which went live just before the start of school this year, included not only a new look and feel for the district and some school sites, but also new web addresses for all ten of the district’s schools.

The old addresses – the ones you might have had bookmarked from last year – don’t work anymore. Combine that with the fact that Google currently doesn’t return the sites in the first few pages of its search results, and that’s making the school websites hard for parents to track down.

Trottier Principal Keith Lavoie said Tech Director Jean Tower is working on making the sites visible to search engines, but in the meantime he’s been distributing the new address in email and other communication with Trottier parents.

Lavoie said while the website upgrade hasn’t been without glitches, the new system has “cool features” that will make the temporary inconvenience worth it. Features like a more robust calendar system and a blog format where he hopes to post frequent updates on school happenings.

Trottier and Neary are the first schools in the district to pilot the new website format. “We’re the guinea pigs,” Lavoie said.

Neary Principal Linda Murdock said posting information on the new website is easier and faster than it was under the old system.

“We’re going to be posting things much more in real time,” she said. “We will have to send fewer things home as hard copies.”

Murdock said teachers are in the process of transferring their pages over to the new system. Both Murdock and Lavoie had planned to use their professional development time before school began to work on their new sites with teachers, but the power outage caused by tropical storm Irene disrupted their plans.

“We’re playing catch up now, but we’ll get there,” Murdock said.

I know some of you parents have had a hard time finding the new school sites this year, so for easy reference, here are the URLs.

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Chris
10 years ago

I do recall getting an email from Jean Tower dated Aug 31 notifying me of the change…so some may have overlooked it or not received it.

Pat Q
10 years ago

VERY useful post Susan………thanks!

mom of two
10 years ago

Thanks for this! We just got an email from the Finn principal and even he had the website address wrong. Oops.

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