Content for Educators- What Parents Really Want to Read on Your School Website

by My Web Writers

Creating a class website is a fantastic way to keep teachers, students, and parents on the same page. Using sites such as WordPressGoogle Sites, and Weebly, you can craft your site for free. Many educators do not have training in web design, but these sites are fairly easy to create and maintain. By simplifying the process and streamlining the content, your website will be a tool students and their parents can use to keep at the top of the class.

Divide Content into Clear Categories

Busy parents won’t want to spend a lot of time looking for information on your webpage. Make sure your content is divided into clear categories. Have different sections for assignments, field trips, extra resources, grades, or fun stuff. Make sure your sections make sense for your class or school. You know how you organize your curriculum and using your webpage to mirror your class will help make the webpage easily navigable. Make sure your design is consistent across sections. Picking a basic template or a color scheme and sticking with it across all your categories will help make your site look more professional and appealing.

Stick to a Schedule

Posting new information on a regular schedule will help parents and students know when to check your site and help keep your work efficient. For example, post assignments for the week on Sunday nights and supplemental resources or fun posts on Thursday afternoons, allowing your class to get a jump on the weekend. Pick a schedule that fits your class and stick to it. Make sure parents know the schedule.  Establish regular patterns of classroom use for the resources your site provides.

 Include Photo Slideshows for Easier Viewing

You can make a slideshow at Photosnack.com for free and post it on your webpage. There are plenty of styles, so you can choose one that works seamlessly with your site design. If your students are minors, make sure that it’s okay with parents that you post pictures. A simple permission form at the beginning of the year should be sufficient. Also, best practice is to refrain from posting photos of individual children or including their last names.

 Organize Volunteers

Especially in an elementary school, the need for parent volunteers can fluctuate over the course of the year. Set up a section of your school or class website where you post dates, times, and events for which you need parent volunteers. Using your website to organize volunteers can take a lot of the stress out of scheduling, which means more involvement and enjoyment for busy parents and less hassle for teachers.

 Digitize the Class Newspaper

If your students write a weekly or monthly newspaper for their parents, post the newspaper as a PDF online instead of or in addition to photocopying it. So many newspapers have digital editions now, your students will feel like real journalists, and parents will be able to keep up with the current events more easily.

Archive Course Materials

Regular use of the class website can help make your job easier in years to come. At the end of the year, move old content to an archive section. Clean out the clutter, but retain important posts such as your syllabus, schedule, assignment sheets, additional resources, and photos. In the future, you’ll be able to easily look back at old materials for ideas or reference and parents of students in your current class will also be able to get an idea of what a year in your room looks like.

Your school or class website should give your class planning and participation a boost, not drain on your time and energy. A clear site design and regular posting gets your site off on the right start, but remember to keep your personality. Parents don’t just want to know what their kids are learning; they want to know you too!

~Kasey

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