New Albany-Plain Local officials plan to launch the school district's redesigned website within two weeks.
The website will have drop-down menus for different groups of users and more interactive features, said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway.
"We wanted to bring a more modern look to it, be a bit more engaging and make it easier to find things," Gallaway said. "We actually researched and benchmarked school websites from across the country and even some internationally to identify features and usability that would best fit the needs of our parents, staff, students and community.
"As we continued this work, we also looked at several vendors based on recommendations of other districts and referrals, and when all was said and done, we selected a company called Schoolwires."
The district paid $12,000 to Schoolwires -- which is based in State College, Pa. -- for the new website, Gallaway said.
The new website is designed for use on mobile devices and tablets, and it will include a new site search engine, easier access to teacher portals, more calendar options, a new staff directory with a search option and links to the district's social media sites, Gallaway said. It also will have more graphics and photographs.
The drop-down menus will be labeled for families, the community and classroom portals, Gallaway said.
The site first was introduced to the students and staff members, who use it the most, Gallaway said. He said both groups gave positive feedback.
Although the redesigned website likely won't be unveiled for two weeks, district residents had a chance to preview it through a link on the district's online news reports, Gallaway said.
He said district officials planned for the site to go live Jan. 6 when students returned from winter break but they decided to delay it to give residents more time to preview the changes.
Gallaway said the website is hosted "off site," which "in the event of any sort of emergency or if our school information-technology system may be down for any reason, our site will continue to be live."
The last upgrade to the district website was in 2010.