School District to unveil updated website in mid-August

By Lana Clifton

With the assistance of Flex 360, a website design company out of Little Rock, the communications department of the Bryant School District will soon launch a new version of the district website. On Monday, July 19, Communications Director Jessica Bollen addressed the school board at its regular monthly meeting to go over some of the features of the new site.[more]

According to Bollen, they redesigned the website to increase the ease of navigation and make popular sections of the current website more visible and accessible. Bollen also said the individual school websites would have the same navigation format as, and a similar look to the district site.

One change to the site will be to the news section. Currently the website can only show one article at a time. Bollen said this has caused problems communicating upcoming events. The new site will allow more articles.

“In less than 30 seconds, visitors to the site can view five highlights,” explained Bollen.

The popular link to school menus will be more prominently displayed with the new design, and the current drop down menu used to access individual school sites will be replaced with a permanent menu that will be highly visible on the main homepages.

Bollen also said an online awards section, “an online trophy case,” will be added. This new feature will refresh to a new award every time you open the site.

Bollen said this new website, along with modifying district and school logos, is all part of an effort to update the district brand as recommended in the results of a communications audit that was performed last year. The new website is scheduled to roll out during District Development Days on Aug. 16.

Bollen said the new logos were designed with input from a faculty focus group and the professional opinions and design from Flex 360. The new district logo will retain features such as the motto, “Educate, Motivate, Challenge,” and the columns. Fonts were changed, however, and the overall logo was given a cleaner appearance. A wreath of leaves was also added behind the pillars.

Flex 360 also changed school logos to have a uniform appearance. All logos were changed to a vector graphics format to make them easier to use and to allow them to be enlarged and reduced in size without losing the integrity of the design.

The board also received a technology update form Mark McDougal, the district’s technology administrator. McDougal informed the board that his goal was to help the district technology department move into the direction of a business.

“We do kind of walk a tight line between education and a business world,” said McDougal. He added that they were “keeping basically a large company up and running from a technology standpoint.”

To accomplish this goal, McDougal said some personal restructuring and some changes in job descriptions and positions would eventually be necessary. He said he wanted to focus on long-term help and achieving things the district needs and will need as more computers are added.

In other business, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Support Services Don McGohen brought a petition for school transfer before the board. The student requesting the transfer was scheduled to begin sixth grade at Bethel Middle School. She had attended Paron Elementary in fifth grade. The parents made a school transfer request to allow her to go to the Perryville School District. The request was not turned in before the July 30 deadline for school choice transfer requests, making it a legal transfer request. According to McGohen, legal transfer request require approval from the exiting and entering districts whereas a school choice transfer only requires approval from the entering district.

Superintendent Randy Rutherford suggested the petition be brought before the board for approval or rejection to bring their attention to a possible problem with enrollment at Paron Elementary. Rutherford said there were 85 students at Paron Elementary in the 2009-10 school year, and expected enrollment in the upcoming school year was 70 students. According to Rutherford, there is some suspicion that when middle school and high school students transfer to schools outside the Bryant School District, their younger siblings do as well. He said he was concerned that if Paron Elementary continued to lose students, the district wouldn’t be able to keep it open.

According to McGohen, the policy of the school board for the last five years has been to reject transfers out of the district except in cases where a junior or senior moved into the district and wanted to continue attending in his or her previous district to graduate with that class, or with the superintendent’s recommendation.

In this case, Rutherford recommended the board reject the transfer. The board voted unanimously to reject the proposal. Rutherford and McGohen said they would do more research to make sure students living in the Paron Elementary area had gone through proper channels before attending another elementary school.

Other announcements included a financial report from Business Manager Richard Stipe and a brief facilities update.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!