Getting a makeover

Alisal updates website to provide better access

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The Salinas Union High School District’s websites have become outdated and neglected as of late. The District has finally taken notice of its lack of an online presence, a crucial aspect of the 21st Century and is taking its first steps to a more complete online experience. An idea further reinforced by the Principal, Ernesto Garcia, “I believe it’s important for us to be at the forefront of the latest technologies.” Later enthusiastically stating “I think it’s going to work, I think it’s going to be awesome.” The new Alisal page, stemming from the District website, plans on making online interaction with students far more attainable and convenient.

The old site, characterized as “Web 1.0” by Freshman Seminar teacher Natalie Bernasconi, really lacked connectivity with other aspects of school and felt more like a hub of information that didn’t really concern the average student. Another problem with the site seemed to be its complete lack of interactivity and intimacy with the student. For example, when the old website displayed a current event it was very administrator based without the involvement of the student body. The new site already has up-to-date information and presents them alongside visuals of people being involved with said events really making the website more visually pleasing while keeping the information relevant and interactive.

The new page for Alisal, through edlinesites, makes the site more about the individual student and what matters to them. Bernasconi, a member of the Alisal Tech team, said, “The idea is for students to take ownership of the site and time manage more efficiently and that’s what this website will empower students to do.” Students will be able to create a page that’s entirely theirs where they will have instant access to their classes, sports, and club pages. In addition to this, each student will be able to tailor a school event calendar synced to their interests and events occurring at school.

The new webpage is easy to understand because it divides information into six major sections: About Us, Departments, Activities, Athletics, Library, Parents; enveloping all aspects of school activity in an orderly and attractive way. Within these sections, students and parents will be able to find valid, up-to-date information quickly and conveniently. Joanne Collins, Librarian and Website Supervisor, stated, “The new website really makes everything more accessible and keeps everyone on the same page.” Under the Department tab, for example, parents and students can access teacher profiles containing information on assignments and Academies; the Athletic tab on the other hand will provide information about athletic eligibility requirements as well as games and banquet information.

And all this is just the beginning, with Garcia promising the live streaming of sports events through the PlayOnSports program, and providing grades on site instead of going through the HomeAccessCenter, the site has the potential to make student life a lot more convenient.

But staff feelings are mixed. Alex Lanctot, another member of the Alisal Tech Team claims, “The website is a million times more efficient, once we get teachers on board with it.” Not all teachers are on board though; the general complaint being that most teachers have many other things to do other than keeping an online presence and haven’t been given enough time to adapt to the site.  French teacher Melissa Olvera, said, “It has great potential and is a good idea, but we should have been forewarned.”

Students will be receiving their access codes for the website by October 7th, the day it goes live. However, without complete cooperation from staff it is unknown how effective it will be. The tech team along with the Principal will continue to push for more teacher involvement and parents should be receiving an auto-dialer soon after launch to get them participating as well.

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