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Oak Harbor School District Web site redesigned

Parents will now have one place to find a wealth of information about the Oak Harbor School District. 

The school district’s newly designed Web site provides more information and is easier to use for school district staff. 

The updated Web site, which was recently published, includes information about grade and graduation requirements; a newcomer’s page to help ease the transition into the Oak Harbor School District; budget information; school news and a link to the district’s Family Access system.

Joe Hunt, school district communications director, said the site focuses on informing newcomers to the district. He said the Web site provides a first impression for the school district and the city.

Hunt said there are 250 pages in the school district’s site. He expects that number to double in the next year or so as more teachers publish on the site.

The old site featured a banner that changed fonts every time. It included links to the district employment page, Schoolgifts.org and to the various school sites.

Hunt said the old site was becoming difficult to maintain and schools that didn’t have anyone knowledgeable in computer language couldn’t fully develop a site.

School officials also found out teachers wanted a site that they could access and easily publish Web pages on. 

“The idea was to stop in our tracks and develop something for the schools,” Hunt said during the April 25 school board meeting where he presented the new Web site.  Every school in the district will have their own Web site.  Several of the schools, such as Oak Harbor Elementary and North Whidbey Middle School, already had well-developed Web sites. Hunt said the school district’s site will simple link to those sites.

The school district is using a database Web system. That allows teachers and administrators to easily publish information.

Hunt said teachers really wanted something easy to use to help get information out to the community. He estimates it will take 15 minutes to show teachers how to publish on the school district’s new Web site. All they have to do is cut and paste information from a Word document to publish on the Web.

To design the initial template, the school district contracted with Vantage21st, a Sedro-Woolley Web design firm. That contract cost $15,000. 

You can reach News-Times reporter Nathan Whalen at nwhalen@whidbeynewstimes.com or 675-6611.

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