September is back-to-school month, when millions of students (and many of their teachers) reluctantly say goodbye to summer and head back to the classroom.

For those students making the transition from elementary school to junior high, or from junior high (middle school) to high school, the upcoming semester may be especially stressful as it entails getting used to a new school, new classmates, and a new daily routine.

But the school website can play a significant role in reducing any fears over getting lost, sitting in the right classroom, or taking the wrong bus home.

School District Site Essentials

A school’s website should be a place that helps students and their parents plan ahead for the upcoming semester.

Here is some of the information that would be helpful in this process, and should be made available at least two weeks before classes begin:


What paperwork, permission slips etc. the student will need should be described here – and perhaps made available for download, so they can be completed and returned in advance.


A floor plan of the school building, noting locations of classrooms, cafeteria, locker rooms and bus pick-up locations can help new students acclimate to unfamiliar surroundings.

Activity Sign-Ups

What clubs are available? How would a student try out for an athletic team or Mathletics, or audition for the band or glee club? List all the extracurricular activities the school offers, with brief descriptions of each and how one can sign up.

Many school districts are now in the process of revising their websites, to accommodate new information, more intuitive design, and compliance with ADA and Section 508 rules regarding accessibility. 360Civic can help

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