04-09-2013 Regular School Board Meeting
Agenda Item #17


Title
District Website

Discussion

Various staff members from ESF have been working towards the development and implementation of a new district website over the past two years. With changes in personnel, a new team was comprised to move forward with a recommendation for the district’s web presence. The revised website team consisted of: Gino Butto, Michelle Irwin, Jason Faulds, Matt Frey, Andrea Young, and Evan Wallace.

The original team had done much of the preliminary assessments, gaining input from stakeholders from within the district as to their needs in a new website. The revised website team re-convened in August of 2012 to review options necessary to implement a new district web presence. In particular, we reviewed the pros and cons of:

  • In-house development versus contracted services
  • Proprietary site (extreme customization) versus utilizing a content management system (less customizable-high usability).
  • Branding of the district through a comprehensive web presence (versus a stand-alone district website).
  • Budgetary considerations and staffing needs.
  • The timeliness of  in-house versus outsourced CMS.

After the analysis was completed the team determined that the best approach would be to utilize a content management system. BPS has a contract currently with Edline (part of Blackboard Engage), providing Grade Book, teacher web pages, and school web pages (currently 35+ schools use Edline for its web hosting). This contract extends to all schools within BPS, including the district at no additional charge. After reviewing the current options available through the free web pages available, the team began further discussions on creating a presence with customized features. The combined features, pricing, and timeliness of implementation were primary consideration related to this recommendation.

          While there are many new features that will be utilized through the CMS website, high functions include:

  • Consistency throughout the district. All schools will share the BPS Brand, but will also maintain some unique features specific to their schools (logo, mascot, colors).
  • Web Hosting: Fully scalable, secure and reliable with everyone on one platform.
  • Designs: Exceptional designs that you can maintain without depending on vendors.
  • Page Editing: Always-available editing tools allow for full-page online editing and instant publishing.
  • Anywhere anytime accessibility: Access content via mobile devices as well as in most web browsers
  • Calendars and Alerts: Powerful district-wide and classroom-centered calendars to keep you in the loop.
  • Single Sign-On:  Only one access point for web masters, administrators, staff and other group members.
  • Permissions:  Granular permissions for managing editing rights, section-level site access and user roles.
  • SIS Integration: Auto-synchronization with rosters and user data makes setup a breeze.
  • Mobile Web feature
  • Language translation at a push of a button

Web team recommendation: Contract with Blackboard Engage to customize the District’s and each individual school’s website and create a new communications “brand” at a non-recurring cost of $24,525.00 (funded by the Office of District Communications, special projects).

 



Recommendation

Implement a district web presence utilizing a content management system through our current contract with Blackboard Engage.



Meeting Date(s)
Consent w/o Information - 4/9/2013

Authority for Action
FS 1001.42

Involves Expenditure of Funds Directly in the Classroom
No

Source of Funding
Other Sources

FY
Amount
Budgeted
Fund
Cost Center
Project
Function
Object
Program
12-1324,525.0024,525.010091220010027720312000

Contact
Michelle Irwin, Director, District Communications, x796