By RANDY TATANO
Special to Atmore News
More than ever, parents want to know exactly what’s going on in their child’s school.
By the middle of March, every school in the Escambia County School System will provide the access.
Each website of the 12 schools is getting an extreme makeover that will give parents a real-time look at their child’s scholastic development. They’ll be able to see test scores, if homework is being completed, and what the students are reading, along with current events at the school and recognitions of excellence. It’s a total commitment to transparency that is the brainchild of Assistant Superintendent Michele Collier.
The colorful, attractive websites, which will go live this month, all have the same format; a simple, user-friendly template that will make it an easy connection for parents while providing a “help desk” for teachers and administrators, along with a simplified work order system for supplies. The sites will also connect to the district’s main website, with an updated calendar each day. Collier says the websites having the same format puts the system’s “We Are One” motto on the same page.
“It’s fresh, new rebranding with our mission statement. Attracting and appealing, while accessible to all,” she said.
Each school will have one person responsible for that school’s website. The representatives recently gathered for a class, during which Collier highlighted their mission – “Remember, you’re telling your story about your school.”
John Stephens, a computer science and business education teacher at Escambia County Middle School, said the new websites make things easier for teachers while providing an open book for parents.
“The new platform is more user-friendly, very streamlined, and makes it easy to reverse mistakes,” he said. “It’s a one-stop shop for communication with parents, so they can stay abreast of what’s going on.”
Rachel Patterson’s Assistant Principal Leslie Sellers said the websites will make it easier for her to connect with parents.
“We’ll be able to send out more communication to parents, and show them more about what we’re doing,” Sellers said. “We can communicate within the classroom with parents.”
Collier said parents will also find basic information on things like registration. They can also sign up for a “notify me” alert which will let them know when new information is posted on the website. Websites include a link to Schoology for parents to check grades. Schoology also emails parents every Friday if they provided their email address.
While this project has been a major undertaking for Collier, she’s enjoyed the process.
“This was fun for me to make things attractive and easy for the user,” she said.