JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Morgantown Middle School web masters Richard Bellar and Cindy Peterman discuss the Natchez-Adams School District's updated website in the Morgantown library Tuesday.
JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Morgantown Middle School web masters Richard Bellar and Cindy Peterman discuss the Natchez-Adams School District's updated website in the Morgantown library Tuesday.

Archived Story

Natchez-Adams School District unveils new website

Published 12:03am Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School District launched a new website Monday that officials say offers better access to information for parents and community members.

JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — The Natchez-Adams School District's updated website is supposed to be more user-friendly than its predecessor.
JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — The Natchez-Adams School District’s updated website is supposed to be more user-friendly than its predecessor.

The new website, www.natchezschools.org, has been a work in progress for nearly a year, technology coordinator Dewana Strauder said.

“It’s never really going to be finished because there will always be things we see that need to be updated or changed,” Strauder said. “But we felt like it was time to get it out there, and let the public see a new, fresh look for the district.”

Apart from a completely different design on the home page, each individual school throughout the district received a new landing page as well as subsequent pages for various departments at the school level.

Strauder said in order to make each webpage unique to each school, teachers or school employees were assigned as webmasters for their respective webpage.

“The webmasters are responsible for all the content of those pages, but these are also classroom teachers who have other responsibilities in the districts, so we didn’t want it to interfere with classroom time too much,” Strauder said. “We want them to highlight what good things are going on in their building, while still maintaining that sense of uniformity in design across all the pages.”

Fourth-grade teacher Toni Martin is the webmaster for Frazier Elementary School and said she’s enjoyed working to bring the school and district into the 21st century.

“One of my specialties is technology, so I do enjoy working on the website, and I’ve worked on it quite a bit in the last few weeks to get everything up and running,” Martin said. “I updated all of our administration, staff, contact information and all that so far.

“Now, it will just be a matter of keeping everything updated.”

Part of those updates, Martin said, could include anything from a photo gallery page to updating the school’s event calendar.

“It’s really parent-friendly and easier for a parent to navigate now, so they can get to exactly what they need,” Martin said. “That was my goal to break it down where it was easy enough for a parent to know exactly where to go to get the resources available and even learn a little bit about our school, staff or principal.”

Strauder said new features to the website include the calendar function, which is synced up to a Google calendar the webmaster is in charge of controlling.

Morgantown Middle School media specialist Cindy Peterman said the calendar function is one of her favorites of the new website.

“All I have to do is add something to my e-mail calendar and it automatically updates to my webpage, and I really like that,” Peterman said. “It’s not a huge technological feature, but it’s something that gives us a better avenue to communicate and keep parents informed.”

Strauder said the website change is the first for the district in nearly a decade. The majority of the website work, Strauder said, was done by district employees. A consultant company that the district uses for its technology needs provided a webpage template for the district to use and customize at no additional cost.

“We have to add all of our own content, but they provided us with the basic template,” she said. “The training and everything was included in the consultants fee we pay to them.”

Strauder said she hopes parents and community members will enjoy the new website.

“We want it to be interactive and handle our content and also be user friendly for everyone,” Strauder said. “This is the product of a lot of hard work from some dedicated people, and we just hope the public likes it.”