Described as a largely “static” snapshot of what’s happening in the schools, District 91 has dismantled its website and is in the early stages of designing a new one.
Superintendent Lou Cavallo does not have a firm timeline for going live with a revamped Internet presence, nor have any cost projections been discussed with the school board. But the superintendent is promising a more engaging site that will help each of the district’s five schools distinguish themselves.
“Parents need information. They need to be able to find what they’re looking for,” Cavallo said.
In addition to a calendar of events and contact information, school officials are also hoping to post an outline of the curricula applied in various classrooms as well as a blog for communicating with the superintendent. Decisions on exactly what the content will be are still pending and that process is expected to take at least several weeks. During a school board meeting earlier this month, Cavallo said it could be a few months before the district is back on the Web.
District 91 Business Manager Ed Brophy said in large part the editorial needs will set the price and timeline for the project. He declined to speculate what the redesign might cost.
“I can tell you for certain it’s going to be an investment,” Brophy said.
Cavallo took down the district’s previous site shortly after the school board’s August meeting at which a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2008 was presented. Laws regulating public notice requirements stipulate that school district’s with a website must post their budget proposal as part of a mandated 30-day public hearing process. If the district does not have a website the requirement is waived.
At the time the plug was pulled on the site, much of the information was outdated and the district was already meeting with several design firms.
“In terms of being a means of communication, there really wasn’t much there,” Brophy said. “It was more static than it was dynamic.”
Cavallo said he expects district staff to decide on a template before the end of the month and begin focusing on which information will be posted.