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New school board website will reach more than ever before 0

By Stephen Uhler, OBSERVER MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST

The Renfrew County District School Board is revamping its website, with the new and improved version set to be launched in January.

This week, the board got a sneak peek at the site, and were walked through it by Roger Chenier, the board’s information technology manager, and Jake Davies, the communications officer.

Chenier said the site is fully accessible and easily adaptable for iPads, smart phones and any mobile device or laptop. It is designed to give a uniform on-line platform for all of the schools and properties under the umbrella of the school board.

The new website is also geared towards those who are visually impaired through a new feature called Browse Aloud.

Davies said he sees the new site as a powerful communications tool, and believes it will reach more people in the Ottawa Valley than their current site does.

The site will be a lot more interactive, with links and feeds from RSS, Twitter and Google, among others, search engines tied to the site to allow for faster searches of archival material, and many other user-friendly features.

He said people will be able to sign up to receive free updates from the school board which would be e-mailed to them, and information from all schools will be posted, including principals’ newsletters, so parents and stakeholders will be able to more easily keep track of the happenings at their schools.

“Every school will be able to put their own logos and feel to their websites,” Davies said, while using the school board’s standardized template.

He said they will also be able to record the number of people visiting the website, and which pages and information seem to be attracting them. This will enable the board to keep track of what people seem to be interested in, so the board can keep improving the site once it is up.

Board chairman Dave Shields said this is an exciting venture.

Shields said the new site offers something they didn’t have before; a strong and standardized on-line presence.

He said once it is implemented, this will be a great boon for the board, its schools and its supporters and families.

Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist

stephen.uhler@sunmedia.ca

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