Grand Rapids, MI, July 18, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Durand Area Schools is a model district, and much of its success has to do with the support of its community. In times of tightening budgets and shrinking resources, Durand has been able to improve its physical buildings as well as improve how the district communicates with students, parents, teachers and residents via its website.
Serving Durand, Bancroft, Lennon and the surroundings, Durand Area Schools is responsible for the education of nearly 2,000 area young people, but the reach of the district goes beyond even that. "We are an important resource for the entire community. For example, we host a number of events each year focused on connecting students with our senior citizens," says Superintendent Cindy Weber. Durand's new web site (http://www.durand.k12.mi.us) reflects the diversity of people interested in communicating with the district, with specialized pages for alumni, senior citizens and the community at large.
The new website project caps a period of growth for the district, which included a number of construction projects dedicated to improving an already strong district. "There is no question that we provide students with superior educational opportunities. Our facilities, staff and approaches to curriculum are among the best in the state," says Weber. "The older version of the website, however, did little to advertise that fact. For a district on the move, the website was decidedly static."
To create a dynamic website, the district turned to Grand Rapids-based Foxbright, a company that specializes in communication management for schools. "Foxbright's content management system (CMS) has allowed us to create a network of content updaters throughout the district. In fact, each building has at least one web manager, who can update pages relevant to that building. Of course, teachers can have and update their own classroom websites. I am delighted," says John Ross, Director of Technology.
Using the CMS, not only can a large group of people now update content quickly and easily, but also do so without affecting the overall look and feel of the website. "I love the new site," says Superintendent Weber. "It is striking and professional, and it creates an image of Durand that reflects the quality of the work we do here. Now parents can get fresh, reliable information any time of the day or night. People who are investigating Durand for a potential move can get a real sense of the benefits our district offers students. I've heard from a number of people about how much more useful they find the new website."
"We have a truly talented and dedicated instructional staff," says Ross. "They have really embraced the website, and quite a few worked on it over the summer. That says a great deal. In the 2008-2009 school year, I expect more and more improvements to the site, so we can offer an even greater depth of information on scholastics, athletics, and community events."
Both Weber and Ross worked closely with Foxbright from the beginning of the process. "They were completely supportive of our goals," says Weber. "Their interest was in helping us develop the most useful, most professional web presence we could, and they succeeded admirably."
"Durand Area Schools truly is a model for other districts," says Rob Huisingh, Foxbright Partner - Business Development. "They care very much about their mission, and they understand that their website can play a very important role in reflecting a positive image, as well as serving as a vital instructional and communication tool."
About Foxbright: Foxbright specializes in helping organizations leverage the internet, Web strategy, tools and technologies; because communication matters. For more information, please visit www.foxbright.com .