District's Websites Have a New Look 

The websites for Wyckoff’s five schools and the District office have a new look this fall after a summertime transition to a new vendor. District officials say the switchover included a re-examination of online information, which has improved the management and presentation of information on the various sites.

Jason Opremcak, an Eisenhower Middle School technology teacher, has been involved in the transition in his role as the District’s webmaster. He points to the “Parents” tab on the current District website as one example of a richer, easier-to-use “one-stop shop” for information than existed under the District’s previous website. Information located there -- ranging from the school calendar to after-care options to the Wyckoff Education Foundation -- had been scattered across various pages under the old system.

Opremcak says the transition process also revealed some duplicated webpages, some of which were not always properly updated so users sometimes encountered contradictory information. “We’ve now eliminated a lot of that redundancy,” he says.

The new deal, which is with School Messenger of Scotts Valley, Cal., integrates website management with a new reverse-911 communications system sold by the same company. The reverse-911 system is used to notify parents and teachers of snow days, power outages, or other emergency events. It will be easier now to get such notifications posted automatically to the websites as well, Opremcak says.

Interim Superintendent Jeff Feifer says the school district will recognize financial benefits under the terms of the new website arrangements. “School Messenger is cost effective, has more features, and is more efficient,” he notes. One notable feature, he points out, is the capability for a parent or other user to have all the information on a website instantly translated into any of 10 different languages.

Opremcak says another change is the elimination of webpages for individual teachers, which, he says, were often outdated and sometimes a source of confusion for parents. Teachers now have a variety of other ways of communicating about what is happening in their classrooms, Dr. Feifer says, ranging from Google Classroom to email to Genesis comments to Facebook or Twitter. “If parents have questions about how a teacher is communicating, feel free to contact that teacher,” he adds.

Staff members who helped coordinate the switch to School Messenger included the District’s IT manager Priscilla Jurgens and Joe Longi and Stefano Brenna of the IT staff. The staff members who serve as webmasters of the school sites on a continuing basis are:  Kristin Caputo (Sicomac), Marc DeBlock (Eisenhower), Heather Flanagan (Washington), Jodi Levine (Coolidge), Mike Patanella (Lincoln), and Lauren McCarthy.

Posted by thomas.deloughry On 18 November, 2019 at 3:51 PM  

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