Shoreline School District to revamp websites and adopt mobile app

Monday, April 18, 2016

By Marianne Deal Stephens

Parents and community members will have noticed that the various Shoreline School District websites are not consistent in look or organization. That may change in the near future. At the April 11, 2016 School Board Meeting, District Information Officer Curtis Campbell presented a plan to revamp digital communications. 

Mr. Campbell spearheaded the effort to solicit and evaluate vendor proposals for new District and school websites and a new mobile app. The project grew out of Shoreline School Board Priority #6 for 2015-2016, which pertains to District communications.

Source:  Curtis Campbell, Shoreline Schools Information Officer

The goal is to “align our online communications and features under one system,” according to Mr. Campbell. Currently, with a mix of systems, users must log in and out, and the look and features vary greatly. Present District and school sites do not work well on mobile devices.

Through a process involving several District department heads, principals, teachers, librarians, and a few parents, Blackboard was selected to provide the communications system.

End users will be able to ‘pin’ items on their home page according to their role and concerns, and parents will be able to set up their accounts so that the system aggregates content from the schools where you have kids. There should be a single sign on for Data Dashboard and Naviance so that users have a “seamless transition.”

Source: Curtis Campbell, Shoreline Schools Information Officer
The mobile app was particularly attractive to the group. The app will pull information from individual school sites, pertinent district information, and student information into one feed. 

Emergency alerts will be integrated, and parents can choose to receive notifications when a student’s grade or a meal balance drops below a certain, customizable, point.

Sample screen shots of school district mobile app. Source: Blackboard District App

Mr. Campbell suggested that the app could “provide a catalyst for conversations at the dinner table.” Following this comment, there was an audible and possibly good-humored groan from high school students attending the meeting for their Senior Civics course.

Sample screen shots of school district mobile app. Source: Blackboard District App

The District will work with Blackboard to come up with a custom design, and the transition should occur by the start of the 2016-2017 school year. 

The Board voted to approve the recommendation to award the contract to Blackboard and move ahead with the project.


Erik White April 18, 2016 at 8:02 PM  

This seems like a huge waste of money. There are so many better things that these funds could be spent on.

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