District Website Transition Update

District Website Transition Update

5/20/16 – Teacher Web Page Submissions

Dear Elementary Teachers,

Westside Community Schools is transitioning to a new mobile-responsive website.  The new website will be up and running for the 2016-2017 school year.  As we shared with you last spring, the websites for elementary teachers will no longer be hosted on the District website. 

With the new District website, elementary teachers are NOT required to have an individual website.  However, teachers who wish to have a website must utilize either Westside Google sites (sites.westside66.net) or the District’s Wiki server to create a classroom homepage. By using these two options, we will be able to provide support and avoid the advertisements, web filter blocks and privacy issues that other websites introduce (i.e., workspaces, wix, etc.). For most teachers Google Sites will be the most similar and provide for the easiest transition.

The link to resources for creating these sites is available at http://area66.westside66.org/wcs-website-update/.

If you’ve already created your new website, please go to the link in your email and provide your name, school and the website address in the space provided. Be sure to click on column “E” or one of the other empty fields when you’re finished in order to save your information. The technology and communications teams will take care of linking your site to your new staff page, so parents can access the content. 

If you haven’t yet created your website, you still have plenty of time!!!  Create the new site this summer or when you return to Westside this fall and use the link below to enter your information.  The sooner you create the webpage, the sooner we will link it to your staff page. Please contact the technology or communications departments if you have any questions.

5/13 – Links to Resources

Google Sites:

Google’s Beginner’s Guide to Creating Google Sites

Area 66 – Sites 101

Google’s Google Site Help Center

Wiki:

Area 66 – Wiki 101

 

5/13 – Initial Update Communication

As some of you may know, the district is in the process of developing and deploying a new website. We listened to the feedback of teachers, administrators and community members, and our new site will be more streamlined and offer features such as being mobile responsive making it easier to use on mobile devices such as cell phones and tablet computers.

The new website is currently in development and we hope to have it in place for second semester in the upcoming school year (2015-16). While the district tech team, communications team and building web masters will handle most of the transition, there will be one change impacting all classroom teachers.

Starting second semester next year, teacher classroom web pages will no longer be hosted on the district website. This allows for two things: a more focused and streamlined building site and more choice and personalization for classroom teachers. Further, it will be an opportunity to get a fresh start on your home page – giving you a chance to clear out any old information and put up only what you want! 

Officially Recommended Replacements

To replace these teacher web pages, we are recommending utilizing either Westside Google Sites (sites.westside66.net) or our Wiki server to create a class homepage. By using these two options, we will be able to provide support and avoid the advertisements, web filter blocks and privacy issues that other websites introduce (i.e., workspaces, wix, etc.). For most teachers Google Sites will be the most similar and provide for the easiest transition.

Transition Timeline

  • Beginning now you may feel free to begin constructing your new classroom page on either Westside’s Google Sites or Wiki’s.
  • Google Sites templates and tutorials will be available starting in June as will Wiki tutorials.
  • Office Hours will be available at Area66 if you would like to stop by for one on one help over the summer
  • Specific Google and Wiki training sessions will be offered in the Fall
  • Current classroom pages will be available until the end of December 2015.

 Required Action

  • There is no immediate action required. We wanted to let you know about the transition so you did not spend unnecessary time this summer updating/creating a School Fusion webpage
  • If you would like to get started with a new page this summer you may. A Google Sites template will be available in June, along with online tutorials and resources.
  • If you feel more comfortable waiting until fall to begin the transition you may do so.

Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about how to transition your classroom webpage to Google or the Wiki’s, please contact Area 66 via email.

Matt Lee

Bridget Brown

Erik Clark

Paul Lindgren