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Chambersburg schools' Web site to become 'Web portal'

March 18, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.-The address will be the same, but the Web site for the Chambersburg Area School District will have a new look with more links and hundreds of new pages when it goes online later this month.

By January 2008, the Web site will also have a link to the district Student Information System, which will allow parents to check on how their children are performing in the classroom, said District Technology Director Mark Long.

"It's much more navigable. It's much more focused for everyone ... kids, parents, staff," Long said last week. "We're changing from a Web page to a Web portal" that will provide access to much more information, he said.

The new Web site will be online March 26, replacing the site the district first set up about seven years ago, said Sylvia Rockwood, the director of Information Services. The Web address will remain www.chambersburg.k12.pa.us.

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Probably of most interest to parents of the district's 8,500 students will be the link to the Student Information System. Once that link is included in the Web Site, moms and dads will be able to log in with a user name and password supplied by the district to check on the attendance, discipline and grades of their children, Long said.

The names of the students will come up on the screen and whether a family has one or a dozen children, they will just have to click on a name to monitor their classroom progress.

In one area alone, the Web site should save a few trees.

"We're still doing home room attendance on paper," Long said. Once the site is up and running, teacher's will simply do that on their classroom computers, he said.

The rebuilt home page will have more information immediately available, such as school closings and delays and upcoming events, Rockwood. Forms and applications that parents, prospective employees and others had to pick up and fill out will be available online to be downloaded, she said.

Eventually, people will be able to fill those forms out online, Long said.

"The old page was really arranged by the district," Rockwood said. In designing the new site, she said, the district looked at "who is using the site. We had the user in mind."

People will even be able to see what books are in the schools' libraries, Rockwood said.

Users of the existing site can access about 100 different pages, Long said. The new site will have about 750, he said.

"With the department pages and the teacher pages, there's 625 more pages to be built," Long said. The teacher pages are in the system, templates that have to be completed by the instructors, he said.

"We want teachers communicating with parents and parents communicating with teachers," Long said. "Only a handful of teachers now have Web pages," he said.

Once the Web site goes online, changes will continue to be made, Long said.

"A quality site is never done," he said. "It's a work in progress."

A presentation on the new Web site will be made at the March 28 school board meeting.

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