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Local News

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 to launch revamped website

Mobile app, individual teacher sites in works

CRYSTAL LAKE – A new website rolled out Friday by Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 is meant to be a go-to source for parents, students, staff and the community, even if they're on the go or don't have Internet at home, the district's spokeswoman said.

The district hired School Wires for about $70,000 this past December to overhaul and host first the district and individual building websites, and then a mobile app and individual teacher sites.

That first step wrapped up this week, spokeswoman Denise Barr said.

Barr, who was hired in July 2014 as the district's first coordinator of community relations, aims to keep the websites updated with need-to-know information designed to replace the handouts sent home in students' backpacks (although not always making it there), as well as photos and videos showcasing what the district's schools and students are doing.

"We want to use the website to tell the district's story," Barr said.

The redesign was the result of feedback from parents and other users that the website was difficult to navigate and clunky, Barr said.

The new version is meant to be more user-friendly and engaging through updated and reorganized content, improved navigation and the use of photos and video, she said. It also is mobile-friendly, an important feature for on-the-go families and those without Internet at home.

Barr will demonstrate how to use the new site at upcoming parent nights.

The revamp isn't over yet, however.

A mobile app is set to be released, Barr hopes, in January, and individual teacher sites will follow at some point.

A new dashboard feature will allow parents to customize the content they view, such as their child’s school calendars and homework assignments, and to sign up to receive important updates from their child’s school.

The website will serve as another tool to build relationships among the students, parents and teachers, Barr said.

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