Charter schools represent a wide variety of educational benefits and their popularity is growing in the United States. They give parents more options and offer students increased innovation, improved achievement, and healthy competition.
When it comes to competing with other schools, importance of a website is taken lightly. These days before a parent physically sets foot on a school campus, a virtual visit through online happens.
A website is often the first point of contact parents make with a school. No matter a business or organisation, a website should work for them and not against them, and charter schools are no different.
If parents don’t like what they see, it’ll create a bad impression and affect the overall reputation, and popularity of the school. So to be on the safer side, getting help from a web design company that specializes in Educational website design will be beneficial.
Before you get help, it is good to do some research of your own to know the must-have of an effective charter school website.
Charter School Website Functionalities
Here are the top features a charter school website must have.
1. Online Academic Calendar
An organized academic calendar schedules information such as registration dates, class start/end dates, add/drop deadlines, exam dates, special events, and many more.
The regular weekly, monthly, daily updates from the calendar serve as an information source for parents, students, and staff.
Few Ideas to Build User-friendly Online Academic Calendars for Charter School Websites
- Build an attractive layout with user- engaging images
- Create calendars on the main page – the best way to showcase the events to the website’s visitors
- Provide printer – friendly calendar versions
Here is how the Palisades charter high school has designed its online academic calendar.
By integrating WordPress based calendars like The Events Calendar or by getting help from top website design service companies like ColorWhistle, you can keep the students and their parents more engaged.
2. Contact information
According to SamuraiExperts, 64% of website visitors look for a company’s contacts on the homepage.
Most of the charter school websites include the postal address, main phone number, and email. But, contact details of every department must be listed so that parents can speak to the right person directly without getting transferred.
Plus, embedded Google Maps must be added so that first-time visitors can get directions without any problem.
Take a look at this Parnassus Preparatory school website to learn how to make the best use of the contact section.
Best Ways to Optimize Contact Information on the Charter School Website
- Place the contact details in the header and footer of the website
- Include features such as parking lot availability, Google Maps, and more with user-understandable pictures
Appropriate contact information provides an hassle-free experience for both existing members and new visitors to reach the school for open house meetings, fees payment, etc.
3. Online Curriculum Guide
Having an online curriculum guide will help parents to get involved in their children’s studies. Most of them make it available in their school VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) but, making it available on the charter school website will be more convenient.
Here is a charter school that has a curriculum guide on its website, click here to have a look at the website.
Few Ways to Optimize the Online Curriculum Guide
- Include the detailed teachers’ list so that parents can easily follow up with the teachers to know about their child’s academic progress
- Add a spotlight to showcase the talents of students like student of the month, teacher of the year, athlete of the week, notable alumni, etc.
- Create stunning imagery and video footage to reveal the vision & mission of the school to the parents and new visitors
4. Responsive Website
According to a study held by IDG Global Solutions, 77% of people are reporting that they use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business.
When building websites for your charter school, just be vigilant in designing mobile responsive websites.
Few Benefits of Developing a Mobile Responsive Website
- Developing cost is comparatively low
- Engaging parents & students turn to be easy
- Easy to reach the audience in any of their preferred device, Android, iOS, Windows, etc
Goethe International charter school is highly responsive across all devices. Below we have added the screenshot of how the website looks on various devices.
5. Visually Appealing User Interface
It goes without saying that all the web pages must be attractive and easy to scan. Content of the site must be simple to read and they must get to the point. Also, use the best color combination for text and background to avoid eye strain.
Charter schools have become a widely used alternative to traditional public schools. So make your charter school website attractive and professional as possible. Always keep in mind that your charter school website must be a reflexion of your school.
Sterling Montessori has an awesome interface. Click here to take a look at the website.
6. Online Enrollment System
In today’s digital world, technology has become a great asset. On that scale, the online enrollment system is an effective medium for schools to give instant responses.
Few Advantages of Having an Online Enrollment System in Charter School Website
- Easy to have an organized follow up with the enrolled parents and students
- Reduces paperwork
- Helps to keep students records safe and secure
- Provides convenient ways to communicate with the parents
Here’s how Today’s Fresh Start Charter School has designed its online enrollment system.
As high-level advisers in digital marketing services, ColorWhistle understands about a school’s online needs. We know the difficulty associated with representing a school via different digital platforms, as schools can’t spend much time on it. However, we strongly recommend that you set some time aside for it. The world is becoming digital savvy and if you cannot keep-up, you’ll be left behind.