The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

February 11, 2011

Raleigh schools work to update websites

BECKLEY — The Raleigh County school system hopes to see all individual school websites updated and self-supported by the end of February.

Like many school districts, individual school websites in Raleigh have been varied in content and design and sometimes not up-to-date.

Mary Ann Foster, technology coordinator for Raleigh County Schools, has been working with Edline, a Learning Community Managing System, to create a master template and to ease the stress many schools feel about keeping their online content current and relevant.

Edline, she said, is a user-friendly system that many teachers and principals are already familiar with from using the system’s online gradebook, GradeQuick.

Foster and Robin Dishman, technology integration specialist, have visited all county schools and talked with administration about their online needs.

“We wanted all the pages to be consistent and to have the same feel,” noted Foster.

Currently, several school websites are up and running, including all five of the highs schools, and 11 more are undergoing review.

But these new websites, all connected through the Raleigh County Schools home page, will be standardized in content, easy to update by the local school administrators and function as knowledge and information sites.

The sites, she said, will contain forms that parents may need alongside student handbooks, school policies and lunch menus. There will also be links to W.Va. Department of Education sites like Learn21. It will be a one-stop shop for teachers and students.

“The beauty of Edline is that it is an easy learn,” Foster said. “It will be up to the school to populate their sites and keep it updated.”

Foster mentioned that many schools have departments or sports teams that have or want their own page.

 With Edline, those groups will be able to have control over and manage their site, but everything will be uniform.

Coaches, she said, will be able to update practice schedules or post new photos quickly and easily.

“The beauty is that we can send mass e-mails to all parents or to all teachers within a specific school,” Foster pointed out.

The sites allow administration and teachers to communicate with parents and each other in a streamlined fashion.

Elementary, middle and high school websites can be reached by navigating http://boe.rale.k12.wv.us/.

As Foster and Dishman complete the information migration, websites will continue to evolve through February.

—E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

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