Website Design Tips for Schools
From August until June, there’s no shortage of yellow school buses on the roads throughout the cities, boroughs, and towns of the United States. So how do parents choose which ones to put their children on, and who to trust with their children’s education?
From private schools to public schools to cyber schools, there are many choices available to parents with school-age children. It’s an overwhelming decision, and they need to do their research to make an informed decision. And where do they look? The Internet, of course.
If you want to show parents that your school can meet their children’s needs, you need to provide information for them online. Your site should show them exactly what you have to offer, and give compelling evidence as to why they should trust you with their children’s education.
So how can you do that? It depends on your school. On this page, we’ll discuss web design for kindergarten, elementary, and high schools, and why each one requires a slightly different approach.
Web design for kindergartens
Kindergarten is sometimes the first educational experience for kids, and can have a huge impact on how they feel about education as a whole. Your kindergarten needs to be a positive environment, and it also needs to ease a few parental concerns.
Here’s what you should focus on:
- Safety—A kindergarten needs to be a safe environment, and parents should be able to feel comfortable trusting you with their children.
- Reputation—A good reputation for academics starts with solid curriculum and great teachers. These are important to moms and dads.
- Cleanliness—Kindergartens that seem dirty or even just run down are not appealing to parents.
- Price—If your kindergarten is not part of a public school system, you should be up front about the costs.
Here’s how your site can address these concerns:
- Pictures – The old adage suggests a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s certainly true on the Internet. When parents see a kindergarten website filled with smiling faces, clean classrooms and grinning teachers, they feel more confident in giving the kindergarten a chance.
- Content that addresses the parents’ concerns – Knowing that parents will have questions, administrators and owners of kindergartens should offer FAQs on all pages. That way, moms and dads won’t feel they have only half the information they need.
- Encourage visits—If you don’t already allow prospective parents to visit, it may be time to start. And if you do, make it clear on your site that you welcome visitors. Parents will get a much better sense of your school in-person, and will likely be put at ease by the fact that you are proud enough of it to openly encourage visits. Make it as easy as possible by allowing them to register right on your site.
- Include costs – If you don’t feel comfortable talking about your rates on your website, you may want to reconsider. Parents are sometimes hesitant to ask about tuition, and may bypass your kindergarten because they assume it’s out of their price range.
Certainly, a well-created kindergarten site will contain many other features, such as videos, a calendar of events, teacher profiles, etc. However, the items above are a solid starting point to set one kindergarten apart from another.
Web design for elementary schools
Kindergartens and elementary schools have a lot in common when it comes to parents’ concerns. Thus, many of the same elements apply. Parents still want a school that is safe, reputable, clean, and within their price range. However, after kindergarten, parents sometimes focus more on the academic offerings.
Elementary school is when some of the most important years in a child’s education occur. Unlike kindergarten, where the focus is simply getting them accustomed to being in school, this is where they start learning the information that will serve as a foundation for the rest of their education.
Here’ how you can show parents that they can trust you with these formative years:
- Prominently display any school awards and achievements—Has your school recently won any educational awards? Have your teachers been recognized? Have your students done anything amazing? Accomplishments like these will impress parents and show them that your school is a good place for their child to be.
- Include information about the curriculum and how academic standards are met and exceeded—Many parents want to know exactly what their children will learn at your school. Thus, the website should explain to parents how the curricula works from grade to grade. Be as specific as possible.
- Discuss the expertise of the teaching and administrative staff—Parents want to know who will work with their children. Provide information about teachers and administrators, and include any accolades your teachers have received.
- Discuss the opportunities available for children with special needs – This is of huge importance to some parents, and may change their intentions in terms of the school they want their son or daughter to attend.
- Update your site regularly – This could include everything from a clip of the elementary school chorus singing holiday tunes at the local nursing home to a copy of the latest issue of the school newspaper. Not only do these items add an extra dimension to the website, but they may also encourage current students and parents to share the pages and videos through social media and other channels.
Without these elements, your site can make your school look unremarkable. And for parents who want the best for their children, that’s not a good impression to make.
Web design for high schools
Similar to an elementary school site, web design for high schools should include proof of academic excellence. However, as children get towards the end of their secondary education, parents take a few more things into consideration.
Here’s what you need to include:
- Rankings – This includes any kind of ranking your school holds, from academics to music to sports.
- Articles and information related to higher education – Show that you are dedicated to your students even after graduation by creating dedicated pages about what resources you offer to graduates. Whether your students are interested in colleges, trade schools, or immediately starting a career, you should show that you are willing to help with their next step.
- Focus on the individual high school learner – Parents like to work with a high school where their child won’t be lost in the crowd. Images and videos can showcase how a high school is helping students from a personalized perspective.
- Clubs – High school is a place where teens get involved in clubs and extracurricular activities. Add information about those available at your high school, so parents and students can get a broader understanding of what’s available before and after school.
You should also be sure that your site is useful to both parents and students. Unlike younger children, who don’t have much say in their education, high school students may want to look at what your school has to offer for themselves.
If the web design for your kindergarten, elementary, or high school doesn’t accomplish these things, it might be time to consider an update. And if you need help getting started, feel free to contact us! Our dedicated team of designers and developers can create a unique site that will put parents’ concerns to rest and show them that your school is the right place for their child.