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Presenting A New Web Image

The Brookhaven School District has receiveda facelift on the web.

    As a new school year has begun, the district has also rolled out anew and, school officials hope, improved website.

    “People have been complaining about our website for years,” saidJoAnna Sproles, the district’s public relations coordinator. “Wehope this site addresses many of those complaints.”

    The most immediately striking change is visual: bolder, brightercolors dominate the site.

    But under the cosmetic alterations sits new technology.

    The district’s site, at www.brookhaven.k12.ms.us, now offers RSSsubscription. Parents (or interested community members) cansubscribe to receive notifications by e-mail when new information,articles, or events are posted to the webpage.

    Another new page on the site targets seniors and their parents. The”Seniors 2012″ page will be updated through the year withinformation on scholarships for college-bound students and prom andgraduation information.

    “That will make a lot of moms and dads happy,” Sproles said.

    Sproles said parents will now have quick and easy access to theinformation they need, like graduation dress codes.

    “If you’re a guy and don’t have the right color pants on, you don’twalk,” Sproles said. “Parents need to know that.”

    One feature carried over from the previous site allows parentsaccess to student academic information. Through the InformationNOWPortal parents have web access to grades, attendance statistics anddemographic information for the school.

    Sproles hopes the new website will encourage teachers to furtherutilize their teacher web pages.

    “The whole thing was kind of drab,” Sproles said of the old site.”That discouraged participation and updates.”

    Each teacher is required to have a web page through the district’ssite, and is encouraged to update weekly. The frequency and thenature of updates varies widely from teacher to teacher,however.

    The new website makes page updates user friendly, Sproles said,which she hopes will encourage teachers to make those updates morefrequently.

    The site is not a finished product. The district invites feedbackfrom parents as to how the site could be of greater benefit.

    But with the site now in the revision process, Sproles has her eyeturned to other technological frontiers. She aims to have adistrict Facebook page ready to go by mid-September.

    “Not everyone will check the website, but a lot of people havesmart phones and can check info that way,” Sproles said.

    Frequent Facebook wall posts will not be the goal, however. TheFacebook page will not host discussion of district activities, butrather be a further means to communicate district news.

    School officials will use Facebook (and eventually Twitter) forannouncements, weather updates, school closings and things of thatnature.

    Sproles said she also sees Facebook as a good medium to promotefundraising drives at individual schools.

    The new website was a goal of Dr. Lisa Karmacharya, who began asdistrict superintendent in March.

    Karmacharya has touted improved communication as something shewants to implement and wanted a new website ready by August. Thecompany PowerIT constructed the site with the district’s input.