Five years ago Microsoft discontinued Front Page, its website design tool.
That was bad news for the Westport School district. As support services eroded, the IT department hobbled along. “It was a time bomb ready to explode,” says Jennifer Robson, administrative assistant to the superintendent.
Through the public bid process, the district sought a new web developer. Project Evolution won the contract. “They wanted entree into school systems, so we got a great price,” Robson says.
Over the years, the Westport schools’ website had grown clunky and text-heavy. “It assaulted you,” Robson says. It sure did — when it wasn’t boring you to death, as the screenshot below shows:
The new site — unveiled yesterday — is much friendlier. The photos are large and strong; it’s intuitive and warmer. And it’s much more interactive.
Roll over any date on the large calendar; you’ll see everything going on in the schools that day.
Drop-down and slide-out menus provide links to areas like curriculum, technology, athletics, libraries, music, food services, transportation, facilities and jobs.
As the district has drastically reduced the amount of mailings mailed and flyers sent home, the website becomes a vital information source. Documents like the Parent Handbook are now posted online.
“It really is a modern website,” Robson says.
In addition to redesigning the site, Project Evolution updated the district’s logo.
“We wanted it to express the essence of Westport,” Robson explains. “We’re a modern place, but rooted in history.”
It took a while. The designer’s original proposal was “an NFL-type logo,” Robson says. Board of Ed staff encouraged them to incorporate “water, sky, history.”
The result is both modern and historic indeed — and rendered in the Staples High School colors:
The new logo was introduced quietly this winter. It’s been in use since then.
Click here for a link to the new website. Then take it for a test drive — and bookmark it, to return often.