Parents, students, staff and visitors to the Elmhurst Community Unit 205 School District’s crisply redesigned website are experiencing easier and more intuitive access to the information, resources and people they need. They can learn about schools and programs, see upcoming events, access calendars, download forms, contact staff and view the District’s mission and vision statements.
“More than just a way to check what’s for lunch, the overall layout, graphics and photos on our site are designed to make all families feel welcome, to capture the energy and excitement of our staff and students, and to convey our commitment to provide the safest and best environment for student learning and personal growth,” said Melea Smith, District 205 Director of Communications and Public Relations.
Hosted and designed by the communication management system, School Loop, the District website acts as a 21st century virtual “town square,” aggregating news about topics such as the new Focus 205 community engagement initiative, back-to-school updates and the Mobile Learning Implementation that is allowing students in grades 6 through 12 individual access to a Chromebook computer every day.
From the homepage (www.elmhurst205.org), parents may also access District 205’s Virtual Backpack page, easily sign up to receive Talk205 weekly email messages, learn about District 205 Foundation happenings and peruse the latest news items. With just a click, visitors who speak one of 100 select languages can have the entire site translated for them by Google.
“Engaged parents are critical to our efforts to improve already-high student achievement and support learning and personal growth inside the walls of our schools and beyond,” Smith said. “Learning is 24/7 and our website reflects that belief by demonstrating our commitment to using today’s technologies to provide easy access to critical tools and resources both at school and at home.”
Parents considering enrolling their children in the District can easily drill down to the school sites — which feature a navigational cross platform — to learn more about each school’s teachers, academic standing, range of available clubs, sports and other options. Similar design changes to school sites will take place throughout this school year.
Schools play a central role in the Elmhurst community, and their online presence remains a powerful tool for communication. A website that reflects the District’s mission, goals, values, and high academic standards is as crucial to its professional success as to any other service-based, digital-age enterprise.