BHBL.org as you know it has been given a new life with exciting new features and a completely new look.
The previous site was launched in 2005 and was considered cutting-edge. However, technology over that last 8 years has certainly changed, and the BH-BL district is ready to take full advantage of everything it has to offer.
Today, websites have become an essential news and information tool. Nearly every business, school district and organization has a website—and when people are seeking information, they most often turn to those websites.
“In today’s technology-driven world, a website is the face of a school district and the public’s first impression of us,” says Superintendent Patrick McGrath. “And we want to make a good impression by having an attractive, informative and user-friendly website available to the public.”
The district’s communications office has been working for nearly a year creating a new website that is visually modern and user friendly while keeping the district’s longstanding traditions in place.
Last winter in fact, residents and staff were asked to take part in an online survey to provide suggestions and ideas for the new website.
“We wanted to keep what our users liked from the previous site and address what needed improvement,” says Communications Coordinator/Webmaster Tara Mitchell. “We also wanted to modernize the site by incorporating best practices and include new web-based features.”
The district relied on the BOCES Communications Services to produce a site that meets today’s industry standards for use by viewers with disabilities and by those using multiple web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, FireFox and Safari, and various screen viewers (tablets, smartphones, etc.).
The new site also meets the demands today’s user say they want in a website, that it is: useful, responsive to their needs and easy to navigate, with quality content that is updated frequently with new information.
Among the many new aesthetic upgrades viewers will notice on the district’s new site is the large, full-color photo gallery featuring BH-BL students in action. This homepage feature will change upon refreshing the screen and will highlight various programs and events, such as art shows, drama productions, competitions, and graduation ceremonies. A second, specialized photo gallery feature will enable viewers to click through other slide shows featuring various classroom and school activities that take place throughout the year.
Entire new features have also been added to the website including Parent Today, which provides helpful resources for parents and an extensive budget information page. Other sections of the website have been reorganized and upgraded such as the staff directory, the Board of Education, the academics, the healthy & safety and the publications & forms pages. These pages include helpful forms and publications available for download as well as links to other resourceful outside websites.
Other features include a Google-based district calendar, which is also individualized on each school’s homepage, an extensive A to Z index guide and more cohesive school library pages.
Future features will include video news pages and Building Our 21st Century Referendum pages.
“A good website will grow and evolve with its district, thus
making it an invaluable resource to residents, staff and
students alike,” says Mitchell. “BH-BL’s new website exemplifies
the district’s rich traditions while capitalizing on modern
features and highlights.”