Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Websites for School Districts

A few people have asked me why a school district would need a website like the ones we create rather than the website it already has. Here is our sample website: Anytown School.

First of all, many districts with Spanish-speaking parents and parents who speak other languages don't have websites that have the capability to display the content in another language. For example, I went to the Lincoln (Nebraska) Public Schools website. Although it has a large ESL population (more than 75 teachers), its website does not have the capability to display in languages other than English. http://www.lps.org/

Other districts have websites that allow for a Google translation of the web content. I went to the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Area School District website. I scrolled to the bottom of the page and went to the area that says "Select Language." I selected "Spanish." There are three problems with this: 1. The parents might not know that they need to scroll to the bottom. 2. The parents might not be able to read "Select Language." 3. They also might not be able to read "Spanish" and select it.

If they do get to this point, and they go to Contáctanos, they end up at this page: Contact Page for St. Cloud Schools. Imagine that you are a non-English speaking parent, who would you call on this page? I also called the number on the main page: Main Page for St. Cloud Schools. It is in English with no options for other languages. The St. Cloud Area School District has 1,100 ESL students. Google translations, by the way, are not accurate.

If you look at our sample webpage, things get much more simple. Go to http://www.anytownschool.weebly.com. If you were a parent who speaks Spanish, would you know who to call? Ary, who would receive the phone call, speaks Spanish and would handle the problem ASAP. There are also announcements at the bottom. We can also add forms and other information to this page in case it doesn't make it home with the students. We would also promote this website by calling parents so that they use it. A school district could still connect its site to our site. All of the Spanish on our site would be accurate and written by a native speaker.

Let us know if you would like a site like our sample website. It comes free with the $12/month/student plan.

Thanks for reading,

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