Introducing the new Open Classroom website

Introducing the new Open Classroom website

I’d like to introduce you to the new website. Here it is:

 

We’ve been working on this over the course of the last year, listening to some of the feedback about the site & getting around it, and gave the site an overhaul to support modern browsing trends and allow it to support our growing community. So, what’s new? Here are a few of the new features of the site:

Mobile-friendly

This redesign marks the first time the site has been truly responsive — that is, the layout adjusts based on the screen size of the person viewing it. In the past we’ve used mobile-specific views that have stripped out or made inaccessible certain content. Now, you will be able to see all the pages of the site no matter what device you’re using and the navigation menu changes to a dropdown that is optimized for phones.

 

Simpler navigation

The biggest critique of the site was finding stuff. Many times, we heard that something wasn’t (or should be) on the website when it actually was there already. We tried to make things simpler by providing multiple links to pages on the site with menus tailored to who you were or what you were looking for, but this ended up being more confusing, with many frequently-visited pages buried in sub-menus. The new menu system is (we hope) simpler and more direct, with “mega-menus” beneath some of the top-level items that have a lot of related pages.

 

Focused pages

The new site introduces several new pages for content that is specifically focused for the different groups of people who will be visiting the site. This was a challenge since the site serves not only the current community of Open Classroom students, parents and faculty, but also alumni and visitors wishing to learn more about the school. As such, it’s been divided with those three groups in mind.

The home page is primarily directed toward first-time visitors wishing to know more about the school or the community. Underneath the content and video, there are three widgets which will be updated with information for the different audiences of the site.

The Learn more widget is for visitors wishing to learn about the school but don’t necessarily want to click the big Apply Now button right away.

The Alumni & Friends widget takes visitors to the new alumni page, with news and events relevant to Alumni and friends of the Open Classroom.

The last widget is for current families. Currently it links to the online registration form at Barb’s request. In the future, it will house any news or information that Barb wishes to share via the website or link to the new page for current families (clicking the Community link will also take you there):

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In the next few weeks, we’ll be updating the Steering page to keep a searchable archive of Steering Minutes and Agendas as well as an updated Library page.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the site, let the web committee know by filling out the form on the Contact page.

One last thing…

We’ve had many requests for new/updated pictures for the site. If you have some you would like to share, and visible kids in the picture(s) have been cleared by the media release forms submitted at the beginning of the year, you can now let the web committee know so we can work on building a new collection of more recent photos to use for the site.

We want this to be your site as much as anything else. If you, your committee or your class is doing something awesome that you’d like to tell people about, let us know! There are amazing things happening at the Open Classroom every day; I’d love to see all of them making it in some way or another to the website.

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