Heidi Embley, ASD spokesperson, said “it’s totally rebuilt and much cleaner for parents, students, and school district staff.”
Over the past year, the ASD web staff has migrated much of the content over to the new site and focused on pages where parents and students visit most, such as the school calendar, food menus, and buses.
“The site will direct people to portal areas directed towards specific target groups, instead of visiting a home page full of hyperlinks.” Ben Harris, ASD Web Content Technician, said.
ASD will roll out the next phase throughout the school year, which will bring in more school departments under the new content management system developed by Terminal Four that has other education clients, including Oxford University, Loyola University Chicago, and Columbia University.
By the next school year (2013-2014), ASD said it hopes to convert all schools in the district under the new system, which would be the third phase in the digital plan.
However, the former page has thousands of pages and hyperlinks, and Harris said “some pages will still look the same with slightly different window dressing.”
The site will also feature some changes for Zangle, the student information system, used by parents and educators.
Embley said parents can now pay for student school meals with credit cards online through Zangle, instead of waiting to pay at school, and it can track lunch payments.
The site will also feature ASD-TV, which streams the district’s education station online, which was previously only available to cable subscribers.
“This is a great opportunity for the entire community – not just cable subscribers – to take advantage of the programming that ASD-TV has to offer,” Heather Sawyer, executive director of ASD Communications, said. “ASD-TV features outstanding programs created within our schools, school board meetings and educational shows that cater to both younger and older student audiences.”
As for school closure warnings, the district will continue to use its social media presence on Facebook and Twitter as several means to inform students and parents.
Harris said there will be an “obnoxious red banner when needed and hopefully, there won’t be any school closures in August.”
ASD classes begin August 22 for grades 2-12 and grades K-1 begin August 29.
Email Neil Torquiano
Editor's Note: ASD said Phase II doesn’t have a timeline, it will happen as content is completed during the school year, instead of a November date as originally reported.