By Barbie Porter
The Frazee-Vergas High School web page recently received an overhaul.
Gretchen Norby, the district’s IT director, said the idea of creating the website in house came about as the platform the school uses became more advanced. She explained Google provides schools with applications and workspace for free. About five years ago a free website was also offered.
“At first it was very basic, but it has come a long way,” Norby said.
Previously, the district contracted with a local site builder. By taking on the task of building the website with employees already on the IT payroll at the school, the district saved about $13,500 annually. The change also afforded the ability for quick updates.
However, the change was not as simple as Norby made it sound. A lot of time, effort and collaboration went into making the site. Prime targets were to make navigability easy and to providing those that utilize it with pertinent information about the district.
A highly requested option the district was able to provide is offering a live stream of activities. She explained on the main page there is link that takes visitors to the district’s YouTube channel where activities are streamed.
Another major change those visiting the website will notice is the expanded staff directory. Norby explained each teacher was provided individual web pages. The purpose of that change is to allow better connections between parents and their child’s teachers. It will also allow teachers to get information to web their students as needed, as well as expectations and learning outcomes that need to be mastered to earn a passing grade.
The work on the new website began last summer and went live this past February.
“It is a work in progress,” Norby said. “In the future we hope to include our medica classes.”
She explained the class dives into creating and editing videos and they would like to add some of that media to showcase and promote the school activities.
“We want also celebrate what is happening in the district,” Norby said. “Recognizing those good things is so important.”