Hudson -- The school district's website may look a little different in January when parents, teachers, students and staffers log on.
The Board is considering a $30,000 upgrade of its current site, which Superintendent Phil Herman called "not user centric."
Hudson Communications Manager Sheryl Sheatzley, who has spearheaded the website update project since last year, gave a presentation to Board members Aug. 26, updating them on the progress of the proposal. The upgrade should be on the Sept. 9 Board agenda for a vote, according to Sheatzley.
The $30,000 price tag would include a one-time $13,500 start up fee and seven-site fee licenses totalling $16,900, Sheatzley said. The licenses would be good from Oct. 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. After that, the district would be eligible for a 40 percent discounted hosting fee.
The district currently spends about $1,000 a year to operate its in-house website, Sheatzley said. However, the site, last updated in 2004, is "cluttered and hard to navigate," she said.
"The information is there if you really want to navigate it," Sheatzley said. "[But] we realize that is not what we want our public to go through to find the information."
A committee made up of 12 staff members researched a variety of web-hosting companies and decided on Schoolwires, according to Sheatzley.
"We wanted a site clean, and easy to use," Sheatzley said.
Board President Dave Zuro said he would also like to see an electronic suggestion box added to the site.
Board member Gary Mushock said he believed the price to be "fairly reasonable" for the "robust" service the company will give. If approved, teachers will be able to easily set up individual websites for their classes, Sheatzley said.
"Your website is your window into the world right now and is the central hub for your communications and what you can put forward to your community and other visitors coming into your site, as well as parents, who are going to drill even deeper onto that site," Sheatzley said.
The proposed site will have features to allow syncing of district and parental calendars, and a social media component and parental dashboard, Sheatzley added.
"It is definitely a flexible platform," Sheatzley said. "There are a lot of ways to make this site your own."
Sheatzley said she will also propose the Board hire Jason Parry, who has worked with the district before, as a web consultant. Parry's consultation fee would be $90-per-hour, not to exceed $2,000.
Sheatzley does not believe the price will come close to the $2,000 cap.
Schoolwires, Inc. has been in operation since 2000, according to the company's website and provides services to more than 1,500 educational entities, including K-12 school districts and schools in the United States and China.