As the pandemic reaches its two-year benchmark and some parts of instruction remain virtual, it’s important that your private school website content prioritizes virtual connection with your school families, as meetings, open houses, and other events become less frequent in-person.
Your school website needs to be easy to navigate, chock-full of helpful resources, and respect the time of your school families. As a reminder— your school website is more than the homepage! Parents who have to dig through page after page just to find an FAQ page on how to connect with your school faculty, or “guess” what your school mission is because it’s not explicitly stated, will become frustrated.
There is a difference between making your site look good, and making your site work seamlessly. An effective website captures both. In this blog post, we’ll explore which pages you should build or update for your school website that will not only enhance the overall design of your site, but prioritize the experience of your school families during continued virtual learning situations.
Oftentimes, people underestimate the power of a great “About” page when designing a website. Though it’s not the best practice, many throw all of their About page details on the homepage and call it a day. However, the homepage is built to create a first impression on your audiences, not tell them every single asset that makes your school unique. There are several components of a good private school About page that can enhance the virtual experience for parents and school families.
What makes your private school unique
You know what makes your school stand out, but that needs to be communicated on your website, perhaps through a video, imagery, or other virtual elements like infographics. What about your school is different from your competitors? Do you teach a different curriculum that you can back with data and case studies? Does your school have certain distinctions, like faith-based learning? Make sure you carve out a special place on your “About” page for this information.
Key Website Content for Private Schools
Below is a list of some content you should build into your private school website (if you haven’t already) to create virtual connections between parents and your school:
Though your school may not be 100% in person again, there are still events (both in-person and virtual) that would be helpful to point out for school families. Events like teacher workdays, days marking virtual or in-person instruction, PTA meetings, and other events alike would be helpful to keep track of in an online calendar. Another note— keep the calendar as updated as you can! Nothing is more confusing for parents, students, and school families than an updated, incorrect calendar. To open the door for more personal virtual connections, perhaps allow parents to “suggest” relevant calendar events for the school and submit event requests through your website.
Testimonials and Case Studies
If your small school offers a specific, unique type of curriculum, it is important you have data and testimonials easily accessible to back your instruction methods. For example, if you claim your school programs are built to encourage collaboration between students, even in a virtual setting, which over time betters their testing scores, you need to have proof woven into your messaging through articles, case studies, or infographics. This gives parents the reassurance that you know what you’re talking about. Additionally, testimonials from happy students and satisfied parents will help provide reassurance to potential school families.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your private school has altered daily operations to accommodate virtual learning, you need to have content that answers common questions parents may have. An easy-to-find FAQ page will enhance user experience and reassure worried parents. There are several ways to organize an FAQ page, but we recommend categorizing by subject for easy access. An accordion style will organize the information in a way that isn’t overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to dig into each question and provide parents with lots of details. Be sure to include internal and external links where necessary.
Again, this is a good spot for a contact form that can set up virtual meetings between parents and a faculty member.
Parents want to feel comfortable sending their children to your school, so make sure they know (and ideally, can “see”) who will be caring for their kids. Focus on redesigning your faculty and staff page content on your website to include headshots, faculty bios, or even welcome videos from faculty, especially the Head of School/Principal. The more information parents can digest about your staff, the more satisfied and comfortable they will be. This is a great option if your school isn’t currently hosting in-person open houses or meetings!
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