School Website To Keep Up With The Times

Brick Township Board of Education. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – The school district will be launching a new website this summer that Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Farrell said “would be the hub of communication, public information and promotional communication.”

  The site would contain social media, board meetings, archived videos and much more, he said.

  An introductory promotional video for the new website, called “We Are Brick Schools,” was presented during the most recent Board of Education meeting.

  The narrator said that the school district website has had four major revisions over the past 18 years, each taking advantage of changing and evolving web elements, coding and technology.

  The new website, version five, gives consideration to improvements in site aesthetics and content culture, and builds on the best aspects of the current website, including essential content and existing current information.

  Also, various embedded district and departmental school-level Twitter feeds would remain in place from version four. These will be incorporated into the new website as well as other popular features while addressing or improving three core areas.

  First, site aesthetics, including navigation, will receive a facelift, or a new theme. Using consistent, crisp fonts and vibrant colors against a white background makes reading easier, said the narrator in the video presentation.

  The new theme focuses on reducing clicks and making better use of popup menus or content wherever possible.

  The second and third areas of improvement is content and images, which are two areas that tie in together. Trending news from social media, or a revolving news section on a homepage “creates excitement and fun.”

  The speaker said “Brick Schools has a wonderful story to tell. We are embracing image-led stories, making better use of photos and video on our website to punctuate student and staff achievements at all levels.”

  Some of the stories could be about awards won by students and/or faculty, notable curriculum, and arts, clubs and sports.

  “Defining the characteristics and culture of each building, this version will serve as a record of school and individual achievement, and a permanent or persistent visual and written forum.”

  Dr. Farrell, who has a background in marketing and served as the director of technology in another school district, said the new website has been in the works for over a year, and was developed in-house, using no outside vendors.

A presentation showed how the new website will show off the best the district has to offer. (Screenshots by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation Susan McNamara thanked the Technology Department at Brick Township Schools, particularly Ross Ellicott and Jim Gfroehrer “who took on the challenge of re-imagining the Brick Schools with vim and vigor.”

  McNamara said the department had taken all the suggestions of wanting the site to be more image-driven that “speaks to the heart and soul of Brick Schools, puts out there our vision and our mission, and brands the district as a district of excellence.”

  This was accomplished by looking at the site aesthetics and incorporating a deeper persistent content, she said.

  The new website will be available sometime this summer at

  The next Board of Education meeting will be on Thursday, July 15 at 7 p.m.