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Hudson School District looks to roll out new website in April

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published: March 12, 2014 12:00 AM

Hudson -- The district is set to introduce its new website in April, after more than a year of conceptual design and training.

"We are hoping to go public with a soft-launch toward the end of April," according to Hudson Communications Manager Sheryl Sheatzley.

The launch, pending no problems, will be after the district sends materials to parents explaining more about, and how to navigate, the site, Sheatzley added.

"We want to emphasize in the spring it is a soft launch," Sheatzley said. "All the main components will be there. And we want to make sure everything is right."

The "soft launch" period will give the district time to add more content and allow visitors to familiarize themselves with the "user-centric" site and navigation, Sheatzley said.

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"It's a gradual content build," Sheatzley said. "And it is very comprehensive with a lot of depth under each menu."

The new site is built with a "responsive design," according Sheatzley.

"Our website it not static," Sheatzley said. "When you are on your iPhone, it actually shrinks the information so it fits correctly."

Staff and community member input was used in the creation of the new site, Sheatzley said.

The site will be ready for individual log-ins in the fall, so users can create their own informational dashboards.

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"We asked parents what they would most like to see," Sheatzley said. "It is very user-based. This is not about what people should know, it's about what people want to know."

With the new site, visitors will find some changes, mostly with the web address.

The www.hudson.edu address will change to www.hudsonk-12.oh.us, according to Assistant Superintendent Doreen Osmun.

"It gives us a chance to maintain a back-up site in case of an emergency," Osmun said. "Our webmail though, will remain the same."

According to Osmun, district email addresses will remain the same.

The district is in the process of training teachers to move information from the current website and add new to the soon-to-be-released site, Osmun said. About 170 teachers and staff members have been trained as of Feb. 27. Each of the nearly 600 staff members will be trained.

SDLqIt is very easy," Osmun said. "It is very user-friendly."

Teacher pages through the fifth grade will be required to contain the educational backgrounds of teachers, teaching philosophy, teacher expectations, personal information and a picture.

The pages will also track "hits" or visitors to the various pages.

The district hopes to have all teacher pages in place by the first day of fall classes in August," Osmun said.

Sheatzley has been leading the project, according to Osmun.

In searching for a vendor, the district wanted a site which could be used by visitors with a varying level of technological knowledge.

"I think there are a lot of things to be excited about," Sheatzley said.

An added feature of the site will be the variety of photographs available to view.

"We want to make sure we excite you and show you how we operate without any words," Sheatzley added.

Each school and teacher will have videos and photos on their sites.

"There are a lot of things to look forward to," Sheatzley said. "And there are a lot of different ways you will be able to go to the website and see what's going on. It will make your life easier ad that's what it's all about."

The core website team included members: Kim Lawson, high school secretary; Marie Sabol, media specialist; Mark Schnellinger, technology coordinator and Andrew Shonk, assistant network manager.

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9435330-541-9435

Facebook: TimTroglenRPC

Twitter: @Trog_RPC

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